Cameraless Direct Animation

Direct or cameraless animation is the process of creating moving images by working directly onto motion picture film stock by hand. According to Devon Damonte, "Various graphics are set in motion by using the film material as a vehicle for a 'moving canvas'. Techniques may include (but aren't limited to) painting, scratching, adhering thin semi-transparent materials to the film with tape or glue, ironing to transfer inks from plastic, and various other strange and obsessive methods not recommended by the manufacture."

By Brakhage: An Anthology. A DVD review by Brett Kashmere of legendary American avant-garde filmmaker Stan Brakhage's collection of film work including direct film animation.

Devon Damonte Interview by Eric Aron. Experimental filmmakers Devon Damonte talks about the making of his films showcased at the 2002 Maine International Film Festival. Damonte,considers himself to be an "abstract cameraless filmmaker".

Direct Animation Revolution Now! A 2003 exhibition of direct animation is discussed here with example frames from featured films.

Films by Devon Damonte.Watch selected segments of films Damonte makes by hand, without cameras, working directly onto film leader.

The Film Strip Tells All. An article by William Moritz about the evolution of the cameraless film making and includes example Quicktime movie downloads.

Firehouse Germany | 5:29 | Barbel Neubaueravg. An online example of direct animation. Rave-like, yet strangely soothing, this experimental film is great for a hypnotic break. The images were created by scratching and painting directly onto film.

Norman McLaren. Norman McLaren was a poet, for whom images, color, sounds and music had special resonances which he was capable of exploring in their entire range and magnitude. Today, more than fifty films remain as evidence of his gifts. He is well known for his cameraless film Begone Dull Care.which is a visual interpretation of jazz played by the Oscar Peterson Trio. Painted directly on film with Evelyn Lambart.

Music for the eyes: Stan Brakhage (1933 - 2003). Brakhage saw his films as a school of sight and as a source of visual experience. This site provides some stills from his direct animation explorations.

In Search Of The North American Direct Animator - Species and Variants by Devon Damonte."While most people with any knowledge of animation remember paint and scratch from the intro animation class, increasingly animators and experimental filmmakers are adopting this as a serious, unique genre of expressive artistic inquiry."