Norman McLaren was born on April 11, 19194 and died on January 27, 1987. McLaren is a well-known figure in the history of animation. He has done several styles of film and has received the recognition that has come to him. McLaren was an influential figure for animation and may still influence the works of animators of today’s generation. My pixilation project for Digital Media and Animation was influenced by his works of animation.
Norman McLaren was an innovator who used different techniques for his projects dealing with the art of animation. Some styles of animation McLaren used were scratch on film, cut out animation and paint of film. In the year 1952 during the Cold War he began to do stop motion in the style of pixilation which is the style of stop motion that use humans. His most famous pixilation project is entitled Neighbors (thecanadianencyclopedia.ca). Within Neighbors McLaren’s actors were seen as if they were flying which was achieved by having them jump at different locations while taking pictures while they were air born.
With the help of Len Lye Norman McLaren further developed abstract cinema that was first used by Gina and his brother Bruno (Cavalier 54). McLaren would later be appointed as the head of the animation unit of NFB which was the National Film Board of Canada by Grierson in 1938 (Cavalier 55). A Colour Box a film by Len Lye using scratch on film would inspire McLaren to make animation his main work (Cavalier 117). Other influences for McLaren were Oskar Fischingner and Emile Cohl. These two inspired him to strip film stock of its images and then applying dyes in order to create abstract color pieces accompanied by jazz music. He used this technique to create Colour Cock tail in 1935 for GPO (Cavalier 125).
For my Pixilation project I tried to adapt the idea McLaren used in A Chairy Tale where a man was trying to sit in a chair while the chair was moving away from him. The way I used this was having myself trying to step on my skateboard after it reappears and then having the board move. I would then, have it move to the other actor while his skateboard moves to myself. I believe that my adaptation of this movement was done in a decent manner. I believe this because while I watched my project played back that movement played back smoothly. The overall video in my opinion was a little shaky. In the future I will try to use an actual camera instead of a smart phone, but if I do use the smart phone I will only either take pictures horizontal or vertical.
In conclusion my pixilation project was indeed inspired by Norman McLaren an animator that has ventured into other forms of animation. My overall pixilation stop motion project had its faults while, having its moments where there were some fluid movements. I believe that I could have done better and I am a believer that the finished product of a stop motion project may surprise the artist. One will not know how it actually turns out until they can play it back and even the slightest mistake of not being in the same place of a movement may cost you.
The World History of Animation