Feeling Pixilated

On her blog, Becca recently posted a video of some animation experimentation she’s doing, using her own face as the puppet. Which seems like a good excuse to mention the art of Pixilation — which is the name for the technique she’s using. (“Pixilation” itself, as a word, lives in the funny zone between being “pixilated,” which means being drunk, and being “pixelated,” which means being broken up into boxy lo-res squares).

Wikipedia has a page on Pixilation here, which is a good starting point for hunting down examples of the technique — probably the two most famous animators who have used it are Jan Svankmajer and Norman McLaren. McLaren won an Oscar for his pixilated short “Neighbors,” posted below:

“Neighbors” is actually one of my least favorite of the McLaren films I’ve seen — once you know where it’s going (which is pretty early into the film), the rest seems a foregone conclusion — though there are some nice bits of whimsy strewn along the way. A smaller (but better quality) version of “Neighbors” is posted up on the National Film Board of Canada’s website — their animation section has posted up many of the animated films they produced over the years — it’s an amazing collection of work, now up for web viewing, and any enthusiast of animation owes it to themselves to spend some time browsing.

2 thoughts on “Feeling Pixilated

  1. Chris Lanier

    No problem. I hope it doesn’t seem too impersonal to post up a response to what you’re doing on the SNC blog rather than your blog– I’ve just had it in my head that it might make sense to post responses and recommendations here in a way that’s more public for other students who might be interested/intrigued.


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