Last year we embarked on one of our biggest undertakings to date, collaborating with This Agency on a creative 'think tank' assignment for the cyber security firm Mimecast. We set out on the mission to explore "a world of excess danger" seen through the lens of cyber security, depicting the challenges and threats faced by business in the digital realm. We began developing a story that explored how phishing scams, clickbait, malware, fake news and other nefarious elements would invade and terrorise a business landscape, prohibiting the human inhabitants from working in peace. We then introduced agents of change, who would descend from the skies and begin clearing up the chaotic fallout of these cyber threats - protecting, organising and neutralising the world in order to shift from nightmare dystopia, to secure utopia in the blink of an eye. This case study details a wide variety of development work, providing an overview of character and world creation and showing how initial sketches were transformed into hyper-detailed, CGI realities.


We collaborated with Painting Practice and Sylvie Minois during our initial R&D Phase to help explore a vast number of different concepts for our heroes and antagonists – ranging from cute to genuinely creepy.

We were aiming to create characters that were symbolic and had personality, without being overly cliche or too ‘Disney’. We also spent a long time experimenting with how we could bring humans (or representations of humans) into our universe, and how these could tie back to the world of ‘business’ and ‘cybersecurity.


In addition to bespoke characters and motion assets, we created a suite of ‘clickbait tiles’ – adverts based on dubious banner content and internet culture. These represented dodgy links and bad scrolling practice – once of which unleashes our ‘Malware Snake’ in the film.


The jumping off point for our world was Surrealism, and how artists of this movement depicted landscapes – Graphic, often simplistic environments with a forced ‘wrong’ perspective and a central focal point. Undulating hills and a checkerboard road were a must!

On top of this, we needed our two main world states (‘threat’ and ‘secure’) to follow a similar structure, so we could show the transition between the two.

The development of the look & feel of these environments was truly a collaborative process between the whole team, developing a style that sat a little different to our usual output.

Again we started with scamps and photoshop collages, before moving into CGI.


We wanted each character and asset to have a unique motion style and personality, in order to make the spot watchable over and over again. We designed, developed, modelled, textured, rigged and animated the majority of the elements from scratch – creating these bespoke assets really enabled us to add the depth, humour and detail our depiction of cyberspace needed. It also enabled each character to work as a standalone asset as part of a wider campaign.