DIRECTOR David Daniels
MOVIE TYPE Montage
STUDIO Bent Image Lab
Strata-cut animation, also spelled stratcut or straticut, is a form of clay animation, itself one of many forms of stop motion animation.
Strata-cut animation is most commonly a form of clay animation in which a long bread-like "loaf" of clay, internally packed with varying imagery, is sliced into thin sheets, with the animation camera taking a frame of the end of the loaf for each cut, eventually revealing the movement of the internal images within. Wax may be used instead of clay for the loaf, but this can be more difficult to use because it is less malleable.
Pioneered in both clay and blocks of wax by German animator Oskar Fischinger during the 1920s and 30s, the technique was revived and highly refined in the mid-90s by California-Oregon animator and Bent Image Lab co-founder, David Daniels. A past associate of Will Vinton, Daniels dropped his strata-bomb on the world with the release of his thesis film from Cal Arts, entitled "Buzzbox."
After the firestorm of "Buzzbox," Daniels found himself implementing the technique of stratacut for commercial uses. He found work with Pee Wee's Playhouse, Sesame Street, Peter Gabriel's music video for "Big Time," The Jackson Five, and the infamous scene from the tv series "Gary n Mike" in which one of the boys drops acid on accident, sending his conscious mind into a psychedelic stratacut whirlpool.
Stratacut is created only through an in depth understanding of space-time, because in stratacut, you build your imagery not just in X, Y, and Z space, but also considering time as a dimension, and the most important one. Students who have undertaken the challenge of creating stratacut animation will tell you, it is not for those unwilling to bend their perception of animation, and time in the process.