Grade Level: 10th Grade
Time Needed: 4 class periods
Focus: This lesson is focused on exploring the different methods and possibilities of pixilation.
A. Students will be able to identify the elements in media arts such as image, sound, space, time, motion and sequence. (0.1.1.2.1)
B. Students will integrate tools, materials, and techniques to create original products for artistic purposes. (126.96.36.199.1)
C. Students will integrate linear and non-linear software including video- and sound-editing software to create original products for expressive intent. (188.8.131.52.2)
-My Blog: http://blog.lib.umn.edu/gibbo071/myblog/
-Powerpoint (to introduce project, give history, and show examples)
-Video Examples (on blog, powerpoint, and handout)
-Assignment sheet handout
-Computer with Photoshop, iMovie, and Garage Band
-Props, by request
Introduction to the Lesson:
Pixilation is an animation technique in which real people are the subject in a frame-by-frame shooting method to create an animated film. The name "pixilation" is taken from the word "pixies" which is a mythological creature. They called it this because the subjects seemed to be getting moved by some unseen creature. The subject would move a little, then a picture would be shot. The subject then moves a little again, and a picture would be shot, and so on and so forth. The principle behind it is very simple and does not require any high tech computer imagery to make the animation. Pixilation has been used in two main ways: to create films, and to create music videos. Some pixilation films date as far back as 1908. Some pixilation music videos that you may be more familiar with are the 2010/2011 Kindle commercials.
One of the reasons pixilation is so intriguing is that it defies the laws of physics. Different techniques can be used to create these effects. Scooting can be created by having a person stand still with their feet together. The photographer will then take a picture. The subject then takes a small step forward and stands still once more, and another photo is taken. This action can be done repeatedly and will create a scooting effect. By having the subject lay on the ground, many effects can be created that a normal person would not be able to do, such as flying, jumping long distances, or flipping. This effect was used in the famous pixilation, "Her Morning Elegance." A final effect that can be interesting to use in pixilation is having a character appear and disappear very quickly. This can be created by shooting a frame that does not have the character in it at all, then shoot a frame in which the character is fully visible in the frame. Vice versa can be done to make the character disappear. Many more examples of neat techniques and effects in pixilation can be found online.
Lesson Plan PDF: