Animated Guinness from Fractals

November 23, 2008

A few years ago I created a couple of TV spots for Guinness – short 10 sec sponsorship ads for Sky TV and the Rugby Six Nations Tournament.  It was a mixture of live action and animation, with each ad having to end on the classic Guinness ‘Surge’ – the black liquidity motion of the pint settling. 

However, my unique approach was to animate this part, and not only animate it, but use computer fractals, and just any computer fractals, but ‘Fractal Flames’ – a unique type of fractal discovered by software engineer & artist Scott Draves in the 1990’s.

I used the fabulous Apophysis – a piece of freeware software with which to create and animate Fractal Flames.

These particular type of fractals stand out as being visually complex, endless in variety, subtle in colour tones, and generally much more aesthetic – much more so than the Mandelbrot set, which is understandable as the Mandelbrot formula is a very simple piece of math compared to the fractal flame formula which is more of a long genetic code.

The short film above isn’t the actual TV ad, it’s just the animated Guinness part which I turned into a piece in itself.

Using Apophysis I discovered a fractal I thought contained similar shapes to wheat/barley – and thought this would be a good transitional idea by starting from a still picture of a field of barley, and blending this into the fractal stuff.

This is a raw still from the Apophysis output.


I rendered out a short, raw animated fractal sequence (which I’ll upload separately soon), and layered multiples of these together in After Effects, with the appropriate colour palette, to give a fairly good impression of the Guinness surge. 

So one of my few minor claims in life is the first to animate Guinness for TV, and all using math 🙂



4 Responses to “Animated Guinness from Fractals”

  1. Glenn- gorgeous piece of work, you’d be surprised at how hard it is to get guinness to supply this style of promo for our European sports promotion in the States. Keep up the good work!

  2. lol, all clients are a nightmare…

  3. […] of my few minor claims in life is the first to animate Guinness for TV, and all using math" (blog post) The Red Rose of Newcastle (2:58) a short film commissioned for a regional BBC series called Days […]

  4. Renee said

    The animated wheat, is simply beautiful! 🙂


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