Brow Beat

Watch “Shake It Off” Rotoscoped Into Technicolor, Surrealist Splendor

The University of Newcastle’s visual communications program has just inadvertently released the best recruitment video ever. Forty-nine first-year animation students at the Australian university were tasked with rotoscoping Taylor Swift’s music video for “Shake It Off.” The technique, in which animators trace over stills of live-action footage, might be most familiar from the Richard Linklater films Waking Life and A Scanner Darkly, and its effects are no less trippy here.

Each student was given 52 frames to animate over, and every few seconds the video jumps from one student’s vision to another: Some minimalist, some Technicolor, some surrealist. Let’s just say that more than a few human-animal chimeras appear in this spectacularly weird homage to last summer’s No. 1 hit