About Poverty

Motion Graphics


An animation for one of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The selected goal: End Poverty in All its Forms Everywhere. The use of motion, type, voice, and animation to deliver a clear message and call to action about the goal in support of the UN 2023 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Story Boarding, Motion Design, Sound Design
5 Weeks
After Effects, Adobe Illustrator
MA Studio I



From the onset of this assignment I had a rough idea of what style of animation would work well for my video. I chose the use of a simple line drawing as the visual style for the animation. This idea of a single line stood out to me, a continuous line to represent continuity within the narrative. A popular drawing exercise inspired me for this animation, the exercise of sketching with single line, without lifting the stylus off of the drawing surface. I wanted the animation to follow this line as it was drawn on the screen. For color, I chose to keep it at a greyscale to reflect the serious nature of the subject matter.

Desk research

Many of the World’s Vulnerable Population Remain Uncovered by Social Protection. Poverty is often an inescapable trap. 719 million people — 9.2% of the world’s population — are living on less than $2.15 a day. Poverty is a state of deprivation in which people or communities lack access to resources and basic necessities needed to live a healthy and dignified life. Living in poverty means not being able to afford medical care or access to basics such as electricity, shelter, and food. Improper nutrition can cause stunting and wasting, permanently impacting children’s development. Poverty in countries lacking access to clean water and sanitation leads to the spread of preventable diseases and unnecessary deaths, particularly of children.

United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

Storyboard v1

With this initial storyboard, I had intended to use the animated line, motion type, and a voice over for the animation. However, after the initial critique it was evident that type and a voice-over together would be redundant and distracting to the viewer. I chose to remove the motion type and have only the voice-over follow the line animation. It was also suggested to remove the hands animation with the coins falling through them, this concept seemed to confuse the audience. A stronger call to action was also lacking in the initial storyboard and would need to be revised.

Selected Storyboards

Storyboard v2

This revised storyboard displays a more clear call to action with a supporting series of animations. The beginning of the animation was also simplified from the initial draft. With this set of revised storyboards I included a draft of the audio for the animation. Although the storyboards themselves were approved, the audio draft needed some work. The transition from the first half of the audio to the start of the call to action audio is too abrupt. It was suggested to mix in additional voices along with the two in the original audio.


  • Coin animation ends
  • Narration starts:
  • 719 Million People live in extreme poverty on less than 2 dollars and 15 cents a day
  • Poverty has many dimensions
  • Some of its main causes are
  • Unemployment
  • Social Exclusion
  • High vulnerability to Natural Disasters
  • Diseases
  • Armed Conflict
  • And a multitude of other reasons that prevent people from escaping the poverty trap.
  • Help break the cycle of extreme poverty
  • Advocate to your local governments
  • Support peace initiatives
  • Empower vulnerable populations
  • Donate to charities
  • Support UN sustainable development goals

Sample Stills


In conclusion, I am kind of in love with After Effects (am I okay, probably not). What a project this was! Writing scripts, creating storyboards, animating in After Effects, and voice recording; all to make one fifty four second video. The process of creating an animation is really under appreciated. In all seriousness, I am quite happy with the outcome of this assignment. I believe that this animation is a clear and powerful call to action for the fight against extreme poverty.

Special thanks to Lika M, Alex P, Sam H, and Alex C for assisting in the voiceover for the video, and to Brett and Jessica for helping to guide me in this project.

About Poverty
About Poverty