Stop motion research.

Hot Animation

Hot Animation is a company in Manchester that specialises in stop frame model animation. They have studios dedicated to their model animation and workshops. Some animations they are well known for are;

Pingu – In 2004 Hot Animation got involved in the making of the TV series ‘Pingu’, they created solid representations of the characters in different poses and they were interchanged to achieve the movements that they wanted.

Bob the Builder – They were involved in the creation of the well-known song ‘can we fix it?’ promo.

Brambly Hedge – For this animation they used a method called ‘Decoupage’ and used images from the illustrated book to create backgrounds in the scenes by layering the enlarged printed copies.

And were known for their involvement in many more such as; Danger Mouse, Funny Bones, Wind in the Willows, Count Dracula, Noddy, Chicken Run and the children’s TV series  ‘The Rubber Dubbers’


Cosgrove Hall

A company created by Brian Cosgrove and Mark Hall, produced animations with other well known names in the animation industry. They were well known for their wit and good design within their CEL animations and were also well known for their production of these CGI children’s series; ‘Engie Benjy’, ‘Andy pandy’ and ‘Bill and Ben’ which are said to be good examples of how they blend their techniques within their animations.


Aardman Animations

A company located in Bristol developing and producing British feature films. They have two studios at which they hire around 200 people working on multiple features. At this current time they have 10 features in development including a new project from Nick Park. Some animations they are known for are; The Pirates, Chicken Run, Flushed Away, Wallace an Gromit the Curse of the Wererabbit and Arthur Christmas.


Ray Harryhausen

Ray Harryhausen is a stop motion animator who animated some very well recognised scenes from; Clash of the Titans, The Sinbad films, Jason and the arganoughts, and many more. Most of his films he has worked on seem to be based on myths and legends. The technique that he used in most of  his films was ‘dynamation’ (The insertion of models into a scene giving the impression that they are interacting with the actors., ‘The art of Ray Harryhausen’ (book)


Replacement  Animation

This is a technique where a number of models/ puppets are created (of the same character) or parts of that character are created to ease the movements when animating. For example a characters face would be created with no eyes or mouth attached and there would be separate eye and mouth models each representing a different  facial expression or speech pronunciation. The different pieces would be changed/replaced for each frame to animate the character.

This technique is still used today in films we all recognise such as ‘The nightmare before Christmas’, ‘Creature comforts’ and you even see it in advertisements, such as the one with the ‘underdog’, it is very obvious that replacement animation was used to create this short animation. The reason this technique is still been used is that even though it is time consuming it eases the proses and makes the animation much neater and accurate.


Jan Svankmajer

I read a bit about this guy not having heard of him before, I found that he was a film maker married to a surrealist. One of his know films was ‘Alice’ which was a take on the story of ‘Alice in wonderland’. I decided to look up some of his films just to get an idea of his style, and the first film I found by him was a short film called ‘Breakfast’.

I found that this film was very, weird, surreal, disturbing but different and quite clever. You can see from the movement of the actors that Jan has used ‘Pixilation’ to create this even though he did not need to as unlike a static object the actors can move on their own. But by using this technique it gives the characters quite a quirky movement, robotic like which adds to the surreal effect of the movie.

It was said that Jan Svankmajer was an influence on some very renown directors/ film makers such as Tim Burton and The Brothers Quay. He seemed to explore all aspects of film making from Stop motion, Claymation, to live action films.



Dictionary definition;

pix·i·la·tion  [pik-suh-ley-shuhn]  Show IPA



the state or quality of being pixilated.


Movies. animation of people, where performers change their positions slightly between exposures of one or two frames each, to obtain a comic effect of jerky movement when the film is projected at normal speed.


1945–50; (in def 1) pixilate  + -ion; (in def 2) pixil(ated) + (anim)ation

I think this definition describes clearly what pixilation is, very much like stop motion but using people instead. Using this technique allows us to create different movements that would be difficult to create in normal film, a very common effect I find a lot of people like to create with this technique is making the subject look as if they are floating, by making the subject jump and photographing them in the air and repeating this over a distance.



‘Clay animation’ Another form of stop motion but using clay models. The clay models are usually supported by a metal frame (armature) as the clay on its own is too soft and under the heat of the set lights the clay can become weak and start melting. Replacement animation plays a big part in this as if you had to remodel your model each time you wanted it to move it would not be accurate or time efficient.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s