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Pixilation is a stop motion
Stop motion
Stop motion is an animation technique to make a physically manipulated object appear to move on its own. The object is moved in small increments between individually photographed frames, creating the illusion of movement when the series of frames is played as a continuous sequence...

 technique where live actors are used as a frame-by-frame subject in an animated
Animation is the rapid display of a sequence of images of 2-D or 3-D artwork or model positions in order to create an illusion of movement. The effect is an optical illusion of motion due to the phenomenon of persistence of vision, and can be created and demonstrated in several ways...

 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
A puppet is an inanimate object or representational figure animated or manipulated by an entertainer, who is called a puppeteer. It is used in puppetry, a play or a presentation that is a very ancient form of theatre....

. 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
The Secret Adventures of Tom Thumb
The Secret Adventures of Tom Thumb is a 1993 stop-motion animated film made by bolexbrothers, and funded by the BBC, La Sept, producer Richard Hutchinson and Manga Entertainment, which also distributed the film on video...

by the Bolex Brothers, which used the technique to compelling and eerie effect.

Early examples of this technique are El hotel eléctrico
El Hotel eléctrico
El hotel eléctrico is a 1908 silent Spanish comedy-fantasy film directed by Segundo de Chomón.-Background:The film displays one of the earliest uses of stop motion animation in history, though it is not de Chomón's first try at this technique. His 1906 film, Le théâtre de Bob, use animated puppets...

from 1908 and Émile Cohl
Émile Cohl
Émile Cohl , born Émile Eugène Jean Louis Courtet, was a French caricaturist of the largely forgotten Incoherent Movement, cartoonist, and animator, called "The Father of the Animated Cartoon" and "The Oldest Parisian".-Biography:Émile's father Elie was a rubber salesman, and his mother, Emilie...

'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
Grant Munro (filmmaker)
Grant Munro O.C. is a Canadian animator, filmmaker and actor.-Early life:He was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He has one sister and a brother . Brian Munro spent his adult life in the Canadian Forces, serving with Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry...

. He made an experimental film named "Pixillation", available in his DVD collection "Cut Up - The Films Of Grant Munro".

Television series

  • Angry Kid
    Angry Kid
    Angry Kid is a series of stop motion animations written, designed, created and directed by Darren Walsh. Angry Kid was produced by Aardman Animations, depicting the mini-adventures of a troubled 15-year-old known as "Angry Kid"...

  • Sesame Street
    Sesame Street
    Sesame Street has undergone significant changes in its history. According to writer Michael Davis, by the mid-1970s the show had become "an American institution". The cast and crew expanded during this time, including the hiring of women in the crew and additional minorities in the cast. The...

     (Milo Counting, Ordering a Pizza, George the Farmer)


  • Numerous Jan Švankmajer
    Jan Švankmajer
    Jan Švankmajer is a Czech filmmaker and artist whose work spans several media. He is a self-labeled surrealist known for his surreal animations and features, which have greatly influenced other artists such as Tim Burton, Terry Gilliam, the Brothers Quay, and many others.- Life and career :Jan...

     films, but most notably Food (1992) and large sections of Conspirators of Pleasure (1996).
  • Bolex Brothers' The Secret Adventures Of Tom Thumb
    The Secret Adventures of Tom Thumb
    The Secret Adventures of Tom Thumb is a 1993 stop-motion animated film made by bolexbrothers, and funded by the BBC, La Sept, producer Richard Hutchinson and Manga Entertainment, which also distributed the film on video...

  • Norman McLaren
    Norman McLaren
    Norman McLaren, CC, CQ was a Scottish-born Canadian animator and film director known for his work for the National Film Board of Canada...

    's A Chairy Tale
    A Chairy Tale
    A Chairy Tale is a 1957 animated short film co-directed by Norman McLaren and Claude Jutra, and starring Jutra and a most uncooperative chair....

    and Oscar-winner Neighbours
    Neighbours (film)
    Neighbours is a 1952 anti-war film by Scottish-Canadian filmmaker Norman McLaren. Produced at the National Film Board of Canada in Montreal, the film uses the technique known as pixilation, an animation technique using live actors as stop-motion objects...

  • Chuck Menville
    Chuck Menville
    Charles David "Chuck" Menville was an American animator and writer for television. His credits included Batman: The Animated Series, Land of the Lost, The Real Ghostbusters, The Smurfs, Star Trek: The Animated Series, and Tiny Toon Adventures.-Pixilation: career in 1960s and 1970s:Menville was...

     and Len Janson's trilogy of pixilated short films (Vicious Cycles - 1967, Blaze Glory - 1968, and Sergeant Swell of the Mounties
    Sergeant Swell of the Mounties
    Sergeant Swell of the Mounties is a 1972 short film written and directed by Len Janson and Chuck Menville, and starring Menville in the title role.The film is a pixilation spoof of Sergeant Preston of the Yukon....

    - 1972)
  • Mike Jittlov
    Mike Jittlov
    Mike Jittlov is an American animator and the creator of short films and one feature length movie using forms of special effects animation, including stop-motion animation, rotoscoping, and pixilation...

    's short The Wizard of Speed and Time
    The Wizard of Speed and Time
    The Wizard of Speed and Time is a 1989 low-budget feature film written, directed, and starring animator Mike Jittlov, as well as a 1979 16 mm short film, also by Jittlov.-1979 Short film:...

    . Jittlov made a feature film with many pixilation sequences, also titled The Wizard of Speed and Time, based on the making of the original short.
  • Paul Cummings' and Tony Fiandaca's Tony vs. Paul
  • What Cassandra Saw short listed for Virgin Media Shorts by Littlenobody
    Littlenobody, founded by Karen Penman, is a small animation collective working from the South East of England.Littlenobody Productions specialise in animation and have screened projects in competition at Bradford Animation Festival, Encounters Film Festival, Northern Lights Film Festival and...

  • Jan Kounen's Gisele Kerozene
  • Michael Langan
    Michael Langan
    Michael Langan is an American film director. He grew up in Montgomery, Alabama, where he began his artistic career as a professional stage actor, and is a graduate of Rhode Island School of Design....

    's Doxology (2007)
  • Monsieur Pointu
    Monsieur Pointu (film)
    Monsieur Pointu is a 1975 animated film about Quebec fiddler Monsieur Pointu, the stage name for Paul Cormier. In this 12-and-a-half-minute film, Pointu and his violin break into pieces that take on a life of their own, dancing to the artist's music. The film was directed by Bernard Longpré and...


Music videos

"Consolation Prizes
Consolation Prizes
"Consolation Prizes" is a song by French rock band Phoenix and is featured on their third studio album, It's Never Been Like That. It was released 11 September 2006 as the second single from that album ....

" by Phoenix
Phoenix (band)
Phoenix is a Grammy Award winning French indie rock band from Versailles, founded by Thomas Mars, Deck d'Arcy, Christian Mazzalai and Laurent Brancowitz.-Formation and early years:...

"Long Gone" by Fat City Reprise
Fat City Reprise
Fat City Reprise is a four-piece rock band from South Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.The name Fat City Reprise is derived from Hunter S. Thompson's failed bid for sheriff of Pitkin County, Colorado in 1970...

"Heard 'Em Say
Heard 'Em Say
"Heard 'Em Say" is a song by American hip hop artist Kanye West. It was released on November 8, 2005 as the third single for his second studio album, Late Registration. The song features Maroon 5 lead vocalist Adam Levine, who sings its chorus and bridge. Co-produced by Jon Brion, the song contains...

" by Kanye West
Kanye West
Kanye Omari West is an American rapper, singer, and record producer. West first rose to fame as a producer for Roc-A-Fella Records, where he eventually achieved recognition for his work on Jay-Z's album The Blueprint, as well as hit singles for musical artists including Alicia Keys, Ludacris, and...

"Her Morning Elegance" by Oren Lavie
Oren Lavie
Oren Lavie is an Israeli singer, songwriter, playwright, and theatre director. His music video for "Her Morning Elegance" earned a 2009 Grammy Award nomination for "Best Short Form Music Video". On March 10, 2009, Oren released his debut album, The Opposite Side of the Sea, in the United States...

"Hello Again
Hello Again (The Cars song)
"Hello Again" is a song performed by the rock band The Cars, released in 1984 as the fourth single from the album Heartbeat City. It was the fourth Top 20 hit from the album, reaching number 20 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart; it also reached number 8 on the Dance Music/Club Play Singles chart and...

" by The Cars
The Cars
The Cars are an American rock band that emerged from the early New Wave music scene in the late 1970s. The band consisted of lead singer and rhythm guitarist Ric Ocasek, lead singer and bassist Benjamin Orr, guitarist Elliot Easton, keyboardist Greg Hawkes and drummer David Robinson...

"Paralyzed" by The Used
The Used
The Used is an American rock band from Orem, Utah. The band was founded in 2001 and signed to Reprise Records the same year. They rose to fame in June 2002 after releasing their self-titled debut album. They followed up with their second album, In Love and Death, in September 2004 and their third...

"Point of No Return
Point of No Return (Nu Shooz song)
"Point of No Return" is the title of the second single taken from the Nu Shooz album Poolside. The song spent one week at #1 on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart in September 1986. It also peaked at #28 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and #36 on the R&B chart in the U.S., as well as topping...

" by Nu Shooz
Nu Shooz
Nu Shooz is an American Freestyle-R&B-Dance group fronted by husband-and-wife team of John Smith and Valerie Day, based in Portland, Oregon. The Shooz released four albums in the U.S...

"Road to Nowhere
Road to Nowhere
"Road to Nowhere" is a song by Talking Heads, from the 1985 album Little Creatures. It also appeared on Best of Talking Heads, Sand in the Vaseline: Popular Favorites, the Once in a Lifetime box set and the Brick box set...

" by Talking Heads
Talking Heads
Talking Heads were an American New Wave and avant-garde band formed in 1975 in New York City and active until 1991. The band comprised David Byrne, Chris Frantz, Tina Weymouth and Jerry Harrison...

Sledgehammer (song)
"Sledgehammer" is a song by British musician Peter Gabriel from his 1986 album So. It hit number one in Canada on 21 July 1986 where it spent four weeks; number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the United States on 26 July 1986; and number four in the UK singles chart, thanks in part to a...

" by Peter Gabriel
Peter Gabriel
Peter Brian Gabriel is an English singer, musician, and songwriter who rose to fame as the lead vocalist and flautist of the progressive rock group Genesis. After leaving Genesis, Gabriel went on to a successful solo career...


"Shopping Trolley
Shopping Trolley
"Shopping Trolley" was a 2006 single by English songwriter Beth Orton. It was released as a 2 CD single set and 12 inch vinyl , and an early version of the title song can be purchased from iTunes.-CD: EMI / CDEMS 694 United Kingdom :# "Shopping Trolley"...

" by Beth Orton
Beth Orton
Beth Orton is a BRIT Award–winning English singer-songwriter, known for her 'folktronica' sound, which mixes elements of folk and electronica. She was initially recognised for her collaborations with William Orbit and the Chemical Brothers in the mid 1990s. However, these were not Orton's first...

"The Box
The Box (Orbital song)
"The Box" is a single by the British electronica duo Orbital. Taken from their 1996 album In Sides, the single was released in 1996 and reached number 11 on the UK Singles Chart.-The song:...

" by Orbital
Orbital (band)
Orbital are a British electronic dance music duo from Sevenoaks, England consisting of brothers Phil and Paul Hartnoll. Their career initially ran from 1989 until 2004, but in 2009 they announced that they would be reforming and headlining The Big Chill, in addition to a number of other live shows...

"The End of the World" by The Cure
The Cure
The Cure are an English rock band formed in Crawley, West Sussex in 1976. The band has experienced several line-up changes, with frontman, vocalist, guitarist and principal songwriter Robert Smith being the only constant member...

"The Hardest Button to Button
The Hardest Button to Button
"The Hardest Button to Button" is a 7" single by the American alternative rock band The White Stripes. It is the third single from their album Elephant...

" by The White Stripes
The White Stripes
The White Stripes was an American rock band, formed in 1997 in Detroit, Michigan. The group consisted of the songwriter Jack White and drummer Meg White . Jack and Meg White were previously married to each other, but are now divorced...

"There There
There there
"There there." is a song by the English rock band Radiohead, featured on their album Hail to the Thief and released prior to the album as its first single. "There There" reached number four in the UK Singles Chart and number one in Canada...

" by Radiohead
Radiohead are an English rock band from Abingdon, Oxfordshire, formed in 1985. The band consists of Thom Yorke , Jonny Greenwood , Ed O'Brien , Colin Greenwood and Phil Selway .Radiohead released their debut single "Creep" in 1992...

"Time Won't Let Me Go
Time Won't Let Me Go
"Time Won't Let Me Go" is a song by American alternative rock band The Bravery and is featured on their second album The Sun and the Moon. The song was also released as the first single from that album on March 27, 2007, in the United States . In the United Kingdom, the song was released as a...

" by The Bravery
The Bravery
The Bravery is an American rock band from New York City that consists of Sam Endicott , Michael Zakarin , John Conway , Mike Hindert , and Anthony Burulcich...

Vermilion (song)
"Vermilion" is a song by American metal band Slipknot. The song is released as the second single from their third album, Vol. 3: ....

" by Slipknot
Slipknot (band)
Slipknot is an American heavy metal band from Des Moines, Iowa. Formed in 1995, the group was founded by percussionist Shawn Crahan and bassist Paul Gray...

"Sex Machine" by The Fat Boys
The Fat Boys
The Fat Boys are a successful African American hip-hop music trio from Brooklyn, New York City, that emerged in the early 1980s. Briefly, the group was known originally as the Disco 3.-Members:*Mark Morales a.k.a. "Prince Markie Dee"...

"Last Dance" by George Clinton
George Clinton (musician)
George Clinton is an American singer, songwriter, bandleader, and music producer and the principal architect of P-Funk. He was the mastermind of the bands Parliament and Funkadelic during the 1970s and early 1980s, and launched a solo career in 1981. He has been cited as one of the foremost...

"Strawberry Swing
Strawberry Swing
"Strawberry Swing" is a song by English alternative rock band Coldplay and is the fifth and final single from the band's fourth studio album, Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends....

" by Coldplay
Coldplay are a British alternative rock band formed in 1996 by lead vocalist Chris Martin and lead guitarist Jonny Buckland at University College London. After they formed Pectoralz, Guy Berryman joined the group as a bassist and they changed their name to Starfish. Will Champion joined as a...

"Fix" by Jean-Paul De Roover

"Les tartines" by Sttellla
Sttellla is a Belgian band named after Stella Artois Beer. They formed in 1975 in Brussels. The lead singer is Jean-Luc Fonck.-Discography:Main releases, including live and compilation albums:* A.B...

"Now You See Her
Now You See Her
"Now You See Her, Now You Don't" is a song by Canadian group Crash Test Dummies and was the second promotional single from their 2010 album Oooh La La!...

" by Crash Test Dummies
Crash Test Dummies
The Crash Test Dummies is a Canadian folk rock/alternative rock band from Winnipeg, Manitoba, widely known for their 1993 single "Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm".The band is most identifiable through Brad Roberts and his distinctive bass-baritone voice...

"Be Near Me
Be Near Me
"Be Near Me" is a song by ABC. The hit single from How to Be a...Zillionaire!, it is a message from the group's lead singer, Martin Fry, to an unknown addressee. He commands the addressee not to leave him. It peaked at #26 on the UK singles chart in 1985, then later in the year it went to #9 on the...

" by ABC
ABC (band)
ABC are an English band, that charted ten UK and five US Top 40 singles between 1981 and 1990. The band continues to tour and released a new album, Traffic, in 2008.-Formation:...

"Ma Che Discorsi" by Daniele Silvestri

Quebec band Les Colocs
Les Colocs
-External links:**Extensive French Wikipedia Les Colocs information***...

 and Michel Gondry
Michel Gondry
Michel Gondry is an Academy Award winning filmmaker, whose works include being a commercial director, music video director, and a screenwriter. He is noted for his inventive visual style and manipulation of mise en scène. - Life and career :...

 used pixilation in many of their music videos.

The pixilation technique was also used for the opening of Claymation, Will Vinton
Will Vinton
Will Vinton is an American director and producer of animated films. He was born in McMinnville, Oregon, near Portland. He has won an Oscar for his work, and several Emmy Awards and Clio Awards for the work of his studio.- Education :...

'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
Czech Republic
The Czech Republic is a landlocked country in Central Europe. The country is bordered by Poland to the northeast, Slovakia to the east, Austria to the south, and Germany to the west and northwest....

 animator Jan Švankmajer
Jan Švankmajer
Jan Švankmajer is a Czech filmmaker and artist whose work spans several media. He is a self-labeled surrealist known for his surreal animations and features, which have greatly influenced other artists such as Tim Burton, Terry Gilliam, the Brothers Quay, and many others.- Life and career :Jan...

 uses pixilation in most of his work; most notably Food. Jan Kounen
Jan Kounen
Jan Kounen is a Dutch-born French film director and producer.In France, he is mostly known for his films Dobermann , Blueberry, l'experience secrete and 99 francs ....

'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
Stephen Malkmus
Stephen Joseph Malkmus is an indie rock musician and icon, and a member of the band Pavement. He currently performs with Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks.-Early years:...

' video clip "Baby C'mon" http://www.the-rivalry.com/lana/video/malkmus2.htm.

Pixilation is also used in Andrew Huang
Andrew Huang
Andrew "bunnie" Huang is an American hacker, who holds a Ph.D in electrical engineering from MIT and is the author of the 2003 book Hacking the Xbox: An Introduction to Reverse Engineering...

'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, Neighbours and Monsieur Pointu at the National Film Board of Canada
    National Film Board of Canada
    The National Film Board of Canada is Canada's twelve-time Academy Award-winning public film producer and distributor. An agency of the Government of Canada, the NFB produces and distributes documentary, animation, alternative drama and digital media productions...

  • 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)