I was intrigued by the pinscreen animation we saw last week in " A Night on Bald Mountain" by Alexandre Alexeieff and Claire Parker. It seemed like an interesting way to go about creating things...
The whole thing consists of a sturdy board, a lot of pins, a lot of tools, and a lot of patience. Light shines from the side of this platform causing each and every single pin to cast its own shadow. The white screen becomes darker the farther the pins are pushed out. The more the pins are pushed in, the lighter the screen becomes, giving a grayish tone and eventually an all white screen again.
The process is really time consuming, because frames are created one at a time (although that isn't really a hard concept to grasp for those who have done animation of any kind). The movies that Alexeieff and Parker created were very short, but they got a lot of praise for them.
I stumbled across this REALLY cool video by a bloke named Jacques Drouin that was made in 1976, and you should check it out.