I've always wanted to talk about things that have always left an impression on me, so with Inspiring Design I thought I'd dedicate a few words to the things that have sort of influenced the way I do things. Maybe other people will find this stuff interesting and if so then I've done my job.

    Something that has always struck me as odd when I was a younger were a series of shorts that I remember watching about people moving oddly. I didn't understand it at the time but they would walk without moving this legs, and levitate without their feet ever touching the ground. A few years later I learn about stop-motion, the art of bringing inanimate objects to life by moving them one by one and taking pictures. So was this what they called those strange shorts I saw earlier? No! I didn't know until several years later that there was a special name for when it applies to humans.

    The correct term is pixilation, and has nothing to do with pixelation in case your wondering no I did not misspell it. Pixellation was a technique probably started around 1908 with the film The Electric Hotel and I saw probably because even the Wikipedia article isn't sure about it. The technique was used in order to blend stop-motion effects with the actors better and it's kind of interesting how aware people were of this back in 1908. They knew how contradictory the actors and effects looked against each other so they had to do extra work to make them blend in so it was more believable. Even today there are times when CG effects don't match up with anything else in the film at all and it seems like everyone can't see just how putting it looks.

    Fast forward to the 50's and my favorite example of pixilation is released, Neighbours by Norman McLaren. Yeah you've probably already seen this in film class or maybe everywhere else if your Canadian, but that's because it's such a good example of the medium. Probably not my favorite pixilation film (Tom Thumb gets that honor) but it's up there, and I also need to mention the soundtrack. The music that you hear was not composed on any kind of piano or any instrument at all. The creator took the film strip and drew each note by hand so when it ran through the projector you get that unique soundtrack. I won't go into the meaning of the film, whatever it means politically or socially. That's for another time, for now I just want to put this incredible work out there.


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