Refugee crisis in Mali


Bringing craftwork into digital communication

The Briefing

We were asked by UNHCR to produce an animation explaining the refugee and forced displacement crisis in Western Africa. The priority was to raise awareness of the crisis itself and the UNHCR’s role around this critical situation.

The story we wanted to tell

The most effective way to do this was to create a piece that’s emotionally powerful as well as educational – so we used 3D animation techniques combined with realistic and high quality drawings to make a video with a real emotional connection.

We wanted to feel that the drawings and characters truly lived, while also keeping the artistic style of the illustrations.

Cédric Wavreil, Motion Designer.

The creative process

Most of the illustrations are inspired by real photography.

So we needed to separate each element – lines, colours, backgrounds, textures – and to create several versions for each of these elements in order to give them an organic aspect, in constant movement.

This “rough” aspect of the illustrations contrasts with the sober and delicate movements of the characters


Significant post-production work was done on each separate shot to add details such as depth of field, 3D camera movements, and particles that bring the illustrations to life.


The film was broadcast on UNHCR’s internal platforms and also featured as an external communication tool and on social media.

All Animations