The Technium

Giving Life to the Unmoving

Stop-motion films never cease to entertain me. The very elementary process of arranging anything — no matter how inert originally — into a sequence with subtle differences can give that thing a wonderful life and meaning. You can take post-it notes, clothes, legos, murals, junk from your garage, or the art store, light beams, snapshots, parked trucks, and of course stationary people, not to mention puppets, and transform them into the most dynamic beings. With web cams and simple software, almost anyone can make a stop-motion sequence which gives life to the unmoving.


Recently artist Liam Stevens used pencil, paper, exacto knives and much time to craft a lovely retro stop-action music video. The juxtaposition of hand-drawn roughness and seamless hi-tech video is particularly charming.


A still from his short piece, and a collection of the characters he used above.

I am convinced that one could (and someday someone will) make a stop action film from anything visible.

  • Robbo

    Beautiful work! And, yes, everything and anything that can be seen can be animated.

    I’ve always loved the experimental animations of Norman McLaren of the NFB –

    Even words upon a computer monitor as played with by the late b.p. nichol –

    And this, with candles, is lovely too:

    Someday soon perhaps we’ll see an animation made on the atomic scale with atoms being manipulated to do more than just form an IBM logo. Maybe something wacky with a rabbit and a duck.

  • hugh macleod-

    What an absolutely charming piece of work… Thanks for sharing :)

    As somebody who has worked in animation (albeit briefly), one thing I do know: the main issue with it isn’t tech, the main issue with it is how DARN labor-intensive it is.

    Professional animators probably have the longest work hours of anyone alive… that was true in the 1930s, it’s still true today.