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There are a number of fruitful digital humanities approaches to cinema and media studies, but most of them only pursue traditional forms of scholarship by extracting a single variable from the audiovisual text that is already legible to scholars. As an alternative, cinema and media studies should pursue a mostly-ignored "digital surrealism" that uses computer-based methods to transform film texts in radical ways not previously possible. This article describes one such method using the z-projection function of the scientific image analysis software ImageJ to sum film frames in order to create new composite images. Working with the fifty-five feature-length films from Walt Disney Animation Studios, I describe how this method allows for a unique understanding of a film corpus not otherwise available to cinema and media studies scholars.


Originally published as: Ferguson, Kevin L. "Digital Surrealism: Visualizing Walt Disney Animation Studios," DHQ, vol. 11, no. 1, 2017. Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives License 3.0



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