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.