“Snail Trail” by Philipp Artus

Today is bittersweet because we are presenting the final film in our 2012 Cartoon Brew Student Animation Festival. But we are delighted that this film is an extraordinarily unique achievement in computer animation.

Snail Trail comes to us from Germany, where it was made by Philipp Artus at the Academy of Media Arts Cologne. The film draws an ingenious link between two disparate things: the spiral of a snail shell and the concept of exponential acceleration (don’t worry, we had to look up the latter one too).

Mere description fails to do this film justice though. Snail Trail is an intensely visceral experience. Excitement and surprise abound in every frame, even as the film celebrates the mathematical order of the universe. The snail’s dynamic evolution in mobililty is eloquently expressed through a luminescent line that curls and stretches across the screen. Artus achieved the fading trail of images by projecting his computer animation with lasers onto a phosphorescent material.

The totality of Artus’s vision is startlingly beautiful. Snail Trail, quite simply, uses computer animation in ways that we have not seen before, and the results are astounding.

Click HERE to read an interview with the filmmaker Philipp Artus.




The Cartoon Brew Student Animation Festival is made possible by the generosity of our presenting sponsor JibJab.


  • Kevin

    That was gorgeous.

  • Mel

    Wherever he is, Norman McLaren wishes he’d done that!

  • Mic

    The visual is great and the sound is awesome.

  • akira

    so cool! great going and thanks for including this in the festival!!! great to see raimond krumme in credits too!

  • Alan

    Great! i felt hypnotised by the end. Lovely sound too.

  • http://animationhardtofind.blogspot.com GW

    It would have made more sense if they’d said evolution rather than exponential acceleration, I think. It was a beautiful short and while I could describe it more thoroughly, I couldn’t express the atmosphere in words.