Producing a fun and informative animation about ozone for ECMWF

For ECMWF we have produced an “explanimation” video. Its aim was to briefly inform a general audience about the discovery, the origin and the historic international collaboration of the UN to deal with the Ozone hole. It was published on ECMWF’s social media together with the annual animation they publish on the annual reappearance of the Ozone hole.

ECMWF implements the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS) as part of the Copernicus program – the EU’s flagship program for monitoring the Earth’s environment using satellite and in-situ observations. It provides policy makers, businesses, scientists and the general public with reliable information about the composition of our atmosphere and how it is changing. CAMS has been carefully monitoring the ozone hole for the past six months, and has reached its maximum in mid-September.

Design & Data were commissioned to produce an animated video to explain the general public the annual reappearance of ozone and why it happens, as well as to show the roles of science and international collaboration. The challenge was to accomplish the task of complex scientific phenomena in only two to two and a half minutes. We wanted to informative but not sound boring. We experimented with some different visual styles, in an attempt to make the visuals light and wanted to avoid a corporate look. We aimed to make the video visually captive and a “hand-drawn” style was selected. This would be the first in a series of explanations videos, so it would follow the standard and style for all the ones that would eventually follow.

The process of producing the animation involves creating a script, then a hand-drawn storyboard to help illustrate the flow of the visuals throughout the video. This would be followed by the design of the key assets in their “hand-drawn” style and following their animation. We had to carefully select a voiceover artist who could convey the informative but not overly serious nature of the video. Later we added music and sound effects to help keep the narrative going, so it could not be the animation without overpowering the voiceover.

The video was released on Copernicus’s ECMWF’s social media channels on The International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone to commemorate the date of the signing, in 1987, of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. Observed on 16 September each year, the occasion seeks to educate on the public about the ozone layer, its ‘hole’ on Antarctica, and the vital role that monitoring services play in assessing the dangers posed by ozone depletion.

  • Animations