LUMA ad causes a huge buzz

LUMA, a South African digital content creation studio, has local and international competitors open-eyed. Their 50-second digitally animated high-definition television commercial created for DSTV Africa attracted over 3,000 online views in the first few days after going viral. (To view the ad go to this link:

Produced in less than two and a half months by a 12-member Johannesburg-based crew, the input and final product has literally and figuratively caused quite a buzz. The team of modellers, texture artists, animators and compositors, created a photo-realistic advert seen through the eyes of a macro photographer following a nectar-seeking honey bee.

The bee buzzes from flower to flower and over a pond, before alighting on a window sill. Through its multi-faceted compound eye it notices another life-sized flower inside the room. Unknown to the bee, the flower is a high definition broadcast image on a flat-screen TV. The bee immediately flies over, trying to harvest nectar from the virtual flower, as a child’s voice is heard saying, “It’s so real, it’s unreal,” culminating in DSTV’s standard audible payoff line, “DSTV High Definition, So Much More.”

“The challenge was in the meticulous detail,” says Luma director Paul Meyer, “We had to go beyond photo-realism as conventionally applied in most of our projects. Our client mandated us to bring to life a creature in such minute detail and follow its movements so closely, that the audience – viewing on conventional TV – would immediately be persuaded that high def TV carries a far superior viewing experience.”

Under the direction of Meyer and the agency team: creative director Lambertus Dormehl, art director Sandile Ntlemo, copywriter Fezile Marubelela and producer Cathi Williams, LUMA produced the commercial for pan-African client specialist agency, Underline Advertising and Marketing. Their clients include DSTV Africa, GOtv, Goldcrest, Frams, AMEX and City Property Management.

From a tools point of view, Autodesk Softimage was used to create the digital assets and rendering was handled using Arnold. The final composite and look was crafted in  A was used to simulate the in-camera depth of field effect.


The animation had to show how HDTV can blur the line between a displayed image and reality. Enjoy!


Agency: Underline Advertising

Client: DSTV
Agency Producer: Cathy Williams
Creative Director: Lambertus Dormehl
Art Director: Sandile Ntlemo
Copywriter: Fezile Marubelela


Animation Studio: Luma
Director: Paul Meyer
Head of 3D: Werner Ziemerink
Modelling/Texturing: Brownwyn Horne, Rosie, Charlie Sithole
Lead Animator: Martin Sen
Animators: Tim Morar, Erik Kruger,
Lighting: Tim Morar and Werner Ziemerink
Compositing: Gerhard Painter


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