By Ellen Collins

Pixilation (from the word 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. So, basically, it is the stop-motion animation of humans. Using pixilation animation is a great way to combine humans and animated characters together in the same scene frames (“Pixilation,” Wikipedia, 2020).

The term is credited to two different people depending on the source; either Grant Munro or Norman McLaren. Grant Munro was a Canadian animator, filmmaker, and actor.  Norman McLaren is a Scottish Canadian animator, director, and producer. McLaren pioneered many types of animation in filmmaking. In 1952, Munro starred in with Jean-Paul Ladouceur in Norman McLaren’s Neighbours, a film which used the pixilation technique. Neighbours won a Canadian Film Award and an Academy Award (“Grant Munro,” Wikipedia, 2020).

For Homeschool Tuesdays in January, the West Wyandotte Library hosted a 2-part pixilation animation workshop. In part 1 of the program, we learned about pixilation and how to do it yourself. After the program, participants downloaded the free Stop Motion Studio app to a device at home, film their own pixilation movie in their free time.

Part 2 was a Zoom viewing party!

Here are some examples of pixilation animation:

Reference list:

Grant Munro (filmmaker). (2020, December 21). In Wikipedia

Pixilation. (2020, December 15). In Wikipedia.

Photo by Patricia Prudente