University of Cape Town

Animation for the Programme for Improving Mental Health Care

The Programme for Improving Mental Health Care (PRIME) is a research consortium that includes several institutions and ministries of health from Ethiopia, India, Nepal, South Africa and Uganda. The programme’s research was focused on improving the coverage of mental health treatment in low and middle-income countries. They generated evidence around an approach that integrates mental health care into primary and maternal health systems. Lushomo partnered with PRIME to summarise the programme’s key research activities and findings, and to share these in an animation.


Developing an animation to share research activities and findings for the PRIME research consortium


A 2 - 3 minute animation for social media and hosting on PRIME website


The first step involved investigating the kind of animation that we could make. Our options were either to create a full graphic animation with illustrated scenes, or to use live motion footage with animated graphic overlays.

PRIME had filmed beautiful footage from the various field sites in the five countries that was available for us to use. We decided to go ahead with the second option, agreeing that using authentic faces and scenes from the research would make the data more relatable and emotive. We then gathered the footage that we needed at PRIME’s offices, which involved sorting through three terabytes of video!

In the next step, we sorted through PRIME’s content and developed a script for the story that we wanted the video to tell. We then developed a storyboard, which involved organising the footage around the script to tell the story in a creative but informative way.

We also created sketches and designs for infographics that could be used in amongst the footage to explain certain concepts or findings from the research more clearly.

Once the storyboard and visuals had been signed-off, the infographics were animated and we brainstormed how to integrate the footage and graphic components in a creative way in the final video. The final video uses dynamic transitions, graphic overlays over live footage and progressive scene building to creative visual interest.