How Art & Graft created this warm, textured animation about a leafcutter ant

Created as part of a campaign for Costa Sunglasses, The Leafcutter is a story-led animated film about an ant who leaves the regimented life of a worker to go on adventures around the world. You can watch the film above.

The ants and their world are rendered in Art & Graft's trademark soft-shaded, textured style of CG. Below you can see a making-of film – where the studio reveals how it sketched and developed the characters; created the look of the piece; modelled, animated and rendered the ad.

Art & Graft creative director Mike Moloney say that "throughout the process this always felt more like we were making a short film rather than a commercial; spending equal time on crafting the narrative storyline and rich, illustrative visual treatment as on the subtle 3D character animation of the finished film.

"Surely we all recognise a bit of ourselves in the Leafcutter’s quest for adventure. At times we follow the journey in microscopic detail, watching as huge raindrops crash all around, before viewing the same landscapes in glorious wide shots, utilising the full range of scale that animation affords.”

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