Attracting millions of visitors, Guinness Storehouse is one of Dublin’s most popular tourist attractions. Creative production studio, Algorithm, was brought in by the brand to celebrate its 20 millionth visitor with the Guinness Storehouse After Dark installation on April 27, 2019.
Algorithm’s creative directors, Kev Freeney and Daniel Staines, worked closely with Notch Designer, Dillon O’Sullivan, and production company, Archetype, to land on the ultimate activation that showcased the brand’s creativity and ingenuity. Additional themes key to the Guinness brand included light emerging from the darkness and connecting the long history of the company with the future.
The team envisioned an installation centred around the imposing Dublin landmark, St. James's Gate that would be transformed in real-time by projection mapping and motion tracking. It would quite literally be used as a canvas from which something exciting would emerge.
The installation created the illusion of spray paint, but with a fiery afterglow and embers that emanated from the virtual paint. The harmony between the technology used to create the paint and the history of St. James’s was intended to echo the magnificent interior of the Guinness Storehouse and the brand’s values. To ensure the experience was immersive, visitors would also be able to make their own mark on the monument
It was important to the client that the spray can represent creativity and freedom, rather than graffiti. Dillon began by building the tracking system in Notch, the visual creation tool for interactive motion graphics. His first move was to prototype the tracking system with processing and test the prototype with various cameras and light sources from a range of angles.
The final design was drawn up as a C4D file from which Dillon and Octane animator, Ross Ryder, could work from concurrently. While Ross built the background layers, Dillon perfected a spray paint simulator using Notch’s field system.
Speed, ease-of-use and render quality were the biggest factors in choosing Notch for this project. The team was able to build several variations of the spray paint simulator quickly with the field system, ultimately freeing up time for developing and testing. Dillon explained, “being able to nail the look and feel of the paint early on, and with the knowledge that refinements would be reasonably quick and stress-free, was a liberating experience.”
With the project close to completion, the client made a last-minute request to incorporate more branding. Dillon was able to work directly on top of the graphics to recreate what the client was envisioning. The particles he added at this later stage combined various image emitters, noise shading nodes, and turbulence affecters. The particle image emitters were especially helpful as he didn’t have to rethink the system or throw anything away when the creative direction shifted. He simply took the output from the original paint system and built on the work he’d already done.
Live at the event all rendering and simulation was executed with Notch and sent to the Hippo capture card. Dillon’s spray paint simulator ran seamlessly. Visitors congregated to create beautiful, instantaneous, glowing trails on St. James’s Gate.
- Client: Archetype, Guinness
- Production Company: Algorithm - Olan Clarke & Ciara Finn
- Production Design: Algorithm - Daniel Staines
- Notch Designer: Dillon O'Sullivan
- Camera: Jar Finnegan
- Video Producers: Algorithm - Kev Freeney
- Video Technician: Chip Devitt
- Animator: Ross Ryder
- Equipment Vendor: CAVS
- Media Server: Green Hippo Karst+
- Custom Built PC with capture card
- Go pro camera
- Custom-built spray can torch