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Title: Pixilation  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Animation, Michael Langan, Stop motion, List of stop motion artists, List of Canadian films
Collection: Animation Techniques, Stop Motion
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


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 (film) 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 movie, such as in The Secret Adventures of Tom Thumb by the Bolex Brothers.

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

The term is widely credited to Grant Munro. He made an experimental movie named "Pixillation", available in his DVD collection "Cut Up – The Films of Grant Munro".


  • Movies 1
  • Television shows 2
  • Music videos 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


Television shows

Music videos

"Consolation Prizes" by Phoenix
"Long Gone" by Fat City Reprise
"Heard 'Em Say" by Kanye West
"Her Morning Elegance" by Oren Lavie
"Hello Again" by The Cars
"In your arms" by Kina Grannis
"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
"Vermilion" by Slipknot
"Sex Machine" by The Fat Boys
"Last Dance" by George Clinton
"Strawberry Swing" by Coldplay
"Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall" by Coldplay
"Fix" by Jean-Paul De Roover
"Les tartines" by Sttellla
"Now You See Her" by Crash Test Dummies
"Be Near Me" by ABC
"Ma Che Discorsi" by Daniele Silvestri
"End Love" by OK Go
"Lame Claim to Fame" by "Weird Al" Yankovic
Quebec band Les Colocs and Michel Gondry used pixilation in many of their music 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 movie. While obviously easier than the stop-frame technique, this does not achieve the same quality.


External links

  • Watch A Chairy Tale, Neighbours and Monsieur Pointu 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)
  • Mirage Surreal animated dance utilizing the Pixilation technique by Joel Fletcher and Mark Danel, 1981. (4:49)
  • 'The Hunter Pixilation Project'
  • Two Gentlemen of Honour Slapstick short film utilizing Pixilation, 2012. (3:21)
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