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Pixilation: Wikis


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Pixilation (from pixilated) is a stop motion technique where live actors are used as a frame-by-frame subject in an animated film, by repeatedly posing while one or more frame is taken and changing pose slightly before the next frame or frames. The actor becomes a kind of living stop motion puppet. This technique is often used as a way to blend live actors with animated ones in a film, such as in The Secret Adventures of Tom Thumb by the Bolex Brothers, which used the technique to compelling and eerie effect.

Early examples of this technique are El hotel eléctrico from 1908 and Emile Courtet's 1911 film Jobard ne peut pas voir les femmes travailler (Jobard cannot see the women working).

The term is widely credited to Grant Munro.


Television series

Short films

Music videos

"Long Gone" by Fat City Reprise
"Heard 'Em Say" by Kanye West
"Her Morning Elegance" by Oren Lavie
"Hello Again" by The Cars
"Paralyzed" by The Used
"Point of No Return" by Nu Shooz
"Road to Nowhere" by Talking Heads
"Sledgehammer" by Peter Gabriel
"Shopping Trolley" by Beth Orton
"The Box" by Orbital
"The End of the World" by The Cure
"The Hardest Button to Button" by The White Stripes
"There There" by Radiohead
"Time Won't Let Me Go" by The Bravery
"Vermillion" by Slipknot
"Sex Machine" by The Fat Boys
"Last Dance" by George Clinton
"Strawberry Swing" by Coldplay
"Fix" by Jean-Paul De Roover

Michel Gondry uses pixilation in many of his videos.

The pixilation technique was also used for the opening of Claymation, Will Vinton's 1978, 17-minute documentary about his animation studio's production techniques, the first time the famous trademarked Claymation term was used, now a term synonymous with all clay animation.

The Czech animator Jan Švankmajer uses pixilation in most of his work; most notably Food. Jan Kounen's Gisele Kerozene (1989), a short film that shows witches riding around a city on broomsticks, is another influential example of this technique. A recent example of the technique is the Stephen Malkmus' video clip "Baby C'mon" [1].

Pixilation is also used in Andrew Huang's short video, Fluxis.

An effect similar to pixilation can be achieved by dropping occasional frames from a conventionally-recorded film. While obviously easier than the stop-frame technique, this does not achieve the same quality.

External links

  • Watch A Chairy Tale and Neighbours at the National Film Board of Canada
  • Spin Award-winning Pixilation Short Film by Dustball and André Nguyen (4:13)
  • Fuerte Malacate's Pixilation Music Video by Sebastián Baptista (3:13)
  • Paranoiaparadise Some pixilation cut to house music (0:36)
  • Leap Of Faith Voice of Apollo's Pixilation Music Video by the band. (5:41)


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