Following the clubs 2024 AGM at the February 2nd Meeting, members were treated to a very well received presentation by member Dave Skertchly who is an avid maker of all things Animation!
Dave started by showing a basic animation he had created called ‘Rumble Tum Operation’ which was based on Dave’s recent health episode which he thankfully is now fully recovered from. The short film showed how a relatively easy to make comedy can be put together using a basic storyline idea, simplistic drawing techniques and sound effects.
Interestingly, he also advised that there were currently over 100 people studying Animation Film in Farnham, stating that it is very popular especially with younger film makers.
Dave made two animation films during 2023, ‘Spyderfall’ and ‘The Fall and Rise of Mr Punch’ both of which had technical assistance by Jim Reed. Dave explained that the story is the main important necessity of animations. Puppets can be purchased for as little or as much as you wish to spend, but puppets can also be hand- made from gloves, socks and pretty much anything you like without the necessity for expert crafting skills.
Some of the very early puppets were used on the hand, but were followed by puppets on sticks and strings with moveable parts, these mainly originated from Greece and China. Clay and Plasticine are also often used, together with paper, realistic kits, or homemade models.
Dave had a display table showing some of the miniature boats, trains and cars that he has used with special filming angles to make them look full size. He also discussed how you can use Green Screen and specific lighting to add special effects etc. The rig which Dave Skertchly uses for filming was also on display and can be seen in the February 2024 edition of Border Post on our website.
A wide selection of film clips were put together by Dave to show examples of various filming and puppetry techniques and this treated the audience to a fine selection of entertaining and nostalgic animated films from years gone by, they included: Andy Pandy, The Flowerpot Men, Four Feather Falls, Thunderbirds, Fireball XL5, Supercar, Morph, The Clangers and Camberwick Green. The audience also saw a clip of the work of an American Street Artist who has created the character ‘Stix’ who is a string puppet which showcases special animation skills.
The late animator Oliver Postgate is a favourite hero of Dave’s as he was an excellent storyteller and also used simplistic techniques. Some of the newer techniques now available through Computer Animation are Pixilation and Rotorscoping, are they better than the simplistic animation? That is for the viewer to decide.
On that theme the evening concluded with a film shown by Peter Frost showing some very clever use of Computer programming and software to produce a part animated music video.