Envision Science Animation: The Role of Cultural Value Shifts in Deforestation Frontiers

In collaboration with researchers from the Lancaster University, we created this animation that explores their interdisciplinary research, incorporating findings from anthropology, geography, and economics, into how deforestation is linked to cultural shifts and economic practices, such as cattle ranching. The primary focus is on the Amazon, where vast areas are impacted.

Our animation is a valuable resource for students, educators, policymakers, and anyone interested in the science of environmental issues. Watch it to understand the multifaceted approach needed to study and manage deforestation.

This is one of the four animations we created for Envision PhD researchers in 2022. Envision ran a competition where candidates submitted a brief for an animated film. The winners were selected by a judging panel and the prize was to have an animation produced about their research work.




Stills from the Animation:

Production Process:

Script & style concept 

We collaborated with Jordan to write a 2 minute script for the animation based on the competition entry that explained his research and pitched the storyline concept. A style concept was designed to give an idea of how the animation would look. 
The style use clean vector shape illustrations with grainy texture effects to suit some of the subject matter.

Sketched Storyboards and Animatic Video 

A storyboard was sketched out based on the script in Photoshop then uploaded to Boords. Jordan sent reference photos of cattle culture to help us depict the subject matter.

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.

Illustration of Animation Assets

Once the sketched storyboards were signed off, the storyboards were illustrated in the style design.

The illustrations were created using Adobe Illustrator and the textures were applied in Adobe After Effects.

Some revisions were made before moving onto the next production phase.


The animation phase started by preparing all the illustrations for animation. This involved separating artwork out onto layers and naming them.

Illustrator files were imported into Adobe After Effects to be textured then animated.

Duik was used to rig the cows and some of the other characters.

A professional voice over artist recorded the script then the audio track was mixed and edited so it could be animated in time to.

What the client said

"Another highlight for me this year was working with professional animator, Mair Perkins, to create an animated video to communicate my research to diverse audiences. Not only has this increased professional engagement with my research among collaborating partners around the world (Brazil, USA), but it allowed my family and friends to understand and engage with my research in a meaningful way too."

Jordan Blanchard-Lafayette, PhD Researcher, Envision