Derbyshire Wildlife Trust: Green Influencers Youth Animation

In the spring of 2022 Derbyshire Wildlife Trust invited Mair Perkins to work with their Online Youth Forum, Green Influencer Group to co-produce an animation.

The Green Influencers spent time thinking about how they could help the environment not just locally where they lived, but across the whole of Derbyshire. They came up with the idea of an animation as it could be watched anywhere. It is designed to be part of an assembly,  aimed at primary school-aged children.  The Green Influencers hope that the animation will be empowering and an inspiration to children, to know that if everyone makes small changes, together they can make a big difference.  The animation is available for all to watch and there are pledges and a teachers' assembly plan that are available for download here.

The young people developed the story, messaging, designed the characters and regularly met with Mair Perkins as the animation was produced to direct the production.

Animation Production Process


The project started with an animation workshop at a Derbyshire Wildlife Trust building where the Green Influencer Group developed a story, messages, character designs and storyboarded scenes of the animation.

Workshop table with young people drawing and working on animation ideas

Character designs and story concepts created in the workshop.

Animation style options

Mair Perkins adapted the Green Influencer Group’s character designs into two different animation style options. Style 1 was chosen by the young people.
Character designs option 1
Character designs option 2

Sketched Storyboards and Animatic Video 

Derbyshire Wildlife Trust Animation Sketched Storyboard
A storyboard was sketched out based on the script. The storyboard images were then put into a video sequence with a draft voiceover recording so we could test the timings and ensure the script and images made sense when played together. At this point we made some script and image revisions before moving to the next stage. 

Illustrated storyboards

Once the sketched storyboards were signed off, the storyboards were illustrated in the style design. The illustrations were created using Adobe Illustrator. Some revisions were made before moving onto the next production phase. 
Derbyshire Wildlife Trust Animation illustration production


The animation phase started by preparing all the illustrations for animation. This involved separating artwork out onto layers and naming them. The young people recorded the voiceovers at Haynes Music Productions’ studio in Derby then the audio track was mixed and edited so it could be animated to.  The illustration files were imported into Adobe After Effects then animated. 

Derbyshire Wildlife Trust Animation After Effects
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A post shared by Mair Perkins (@mairperkins)

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A post shared by Mair Perkins (@mairperkins)

Character rigs were created using the Duik Bassel plugin for After Effects.


The animation has been published on Derbyshire Wildlife Trust’s website and social media and is included into their wilder action ‘Curb Your Carbon’ campaign.

It is also being shown in schools as part of an assembly resource pack.

The Green Influencers also asked for pledge cards to be printed so encourage other young people to pledge to take action. The pledge cards are in Wildlife Trust charity shops for families and schools to pick up.

Downloadable resources - which character