“WoodSwimmer” by filmmaker Brett Foxwell is an absolutely gorgeous stop-motion short. Using cross-sectional photos and stop-motion techniques, Foxwell was able to achieve a luxurious liquidity in which one can visually swim through the otherwise hard surfaces, offering a unique view both inside and out of this natural element.
WoodSwimmer is less than two minutes long, and you will be mesmerized the entire time. It’s hard to look away from the ever-shifting wood images. It feels like you’re watching a deep scan of a tree, with all its perfections and imperfections. It’s a different and abstract view on something so ordinary and so familiar to us.
“Fascinated with the shapes and textures found in both newly-cut and long-dead pieces of wood, I envisioned a world composed entirely of these forms,” Foxwell told Colossal. “As I began to engage with the material, I conceived a method using a milling machine and an animation camera setup to scan through a wood sample photographically and capture its entire structure. Although a difficult and tedious technique to refine, it yielded gorgeous imagery at once abstract and very real. Between the twisting growth rings, swirling rays, knot holes, termites and rot, I found there is a lot going on inside of wood.”
Foxwell explains that the animation was created by sequencing cross-sectional photographic scans of pieces of hardwood, burls and branches.