Film School: The Animated Dreamworlds of Lucy Dyson

Lucy Dyson | Courtney Barnett 'Nameless, Faceless' Lucy Dyson | Courtney Barnett 'Nameless, Faceless'

A look at the masterful animator’s distinctive style and techniques.

The music videos of Lucy Dyson are absurdist collages brought to life: from the sweet to the surreal, from the dense to the dreamy, and always hypnotic.

Stop Motion

Lucy’s aesthetic is essentially handmade collage meets stop motion animation at a low frame rate:


With computer-generated motion design, the handmade collage aesthetic can be achieved through masking individual elements, where shape masks can evoke careful cutting out with scissors or a scalpel:

Note – maybe turn down the volume for this next one:


Sometimes a visible framework (one large, encompassing composition) is used to both contain and move us through various ideas, like a camera tracking across a scene:

Repeated elements (objects and their movements) both help to fill the frame with visual interest, and establish a visual language for the viewer:


“Copy-Paste” takes on new meaning in Lucy’s work. Objects become characters, movements become personalities, and juxtapositions become environments, when they’re repeated enough:


Repeating shapes and symmetrical compositions feature in much of Lucy’s work. In this example, patterns (and film grain overlays) evoke vintage Esther Williams films:

Nesting & Repetition

Combining all the above techniques results in complex, kinetic, feast-for-the-eyes goodness.

Visual Motifsrepeated instances of elements (objects, movements, transitions, behaviours) establish style and story:

Repetition of objects and movements establishes visual themes:

There’s so much more work to discover over at

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