Using Live Action and Animated Video to Communicate Scientific Research to its Target Audience

ACER Consulting began in 2013 because of Dr. Steven Roche’s PhD research that, among other things, looked at how we communicate science in agriculture. At the time, that meant running producer focus meetings to encourage peer learning and adoption of best management practices to reduce Johne’s disease in Canadian dairy herds. 

Part of that research involved the development of a novel, hand-drawn and animated video series describing how Johne’s disease can impact producers, veterinarians, and the industry. The original English producer-focused video has over 10,000 views on YouTube and has since been translated into French, German, and Italian and has been showcased at many dairy conferences around the world. 

ACER has been engaged by a variety of other commodity groups and industries interested in promoting their research in approachable and engaging ways. Our team has also developed videos for University of Guelph distance education courses, as well as to showcase and extend the reach of some of the research performed by other faculty members. Some of the topics and organizations involved include:

    • The ACER team has developed producer education videos on the 5 R’s of antimicrobial stewardship, and veal calf research and welfare
  • College of Veterinarians of Ontario (CVO)
    • The CVO developed two animated videos for veterinary clinics to manage their controlled drug inventories
  • Saskatchewan Sheep Development
    • This included a series of three animated videos for improving biosecurity and prevention of abortion storms, pneumonia, and Johne’s disease
  • University of Guelph Department of Population Medicine
    • Videos showcasing research on the impacts of outdoor cats on wild bird populations, reducing food-borne illnesses in Inuit communities, and teaching epidemiology concepts to undergraduate students
  • McMaster University
    • ACER and Tivoli developed an award winning video showcasing McMaster University’s groundbreaking study on ASD development and impacts on family members
  • Equine Guelph
    • EG developed a series of animated videos to promote biosecurity and infection control within Ontario’s horse racing industry 

Of late, the development of live-action videos is increasing in popularity. They allow for engaging data visualization and explanation of research results without requiring access to scientific journals. Live action videos have also been developed by the ACER team to allow students virtual farm tours to appreciate food-animal production. Some videos in this style include:

  • Dairy at Guelph
    • This video uses live-action presentation and animated data visualization to demonstrate 30 years of milk quality data
  • University of Guelph Department of Population Medicine
    • The team developed virtual farm tours using drone and ground footage to help students visualize food animal production in Ontario as part of the Animal Health distance Education course


To see more of the videos that we have developed over the years, visit our YouTube channel:

ACER Consulting


Since 2013, ACER Consulting has partnered with Brent and Lauren Hallman of Tivoli Films and Hallman Animation Studios for their artistry and technological skill in developing these resources.


Do you have special scientific communication project you’re looking for advice on? Need a website or educational toolkit built to deliver your messages? Give us a shout at and we’ll be happy to discuss how we can support your next project!




Tivoli Films Inc.

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