It is easy to forget that Andrew Silke´s animated creations are little more than conglomerations of pixels.
They endure their wacky misadventures with dignity and good humour and provide every indication that they actually do think and move for themselves. 'Creating a believable personality is the holy grail of animation,' Silke explains, and such a feat requires fluency in a range of different skills.
First, Silke harnesses the potential of computer-aided 3D animation to graphically sculpt a character so that it becomes a kind of puppet, and then orchestrates its motion, gestures and expressions, gives it a voice and dialogue, overlays music and sounds, and of course hangs the lot on a good story. But even then to create that mystical spark of life requires a certain mastery beyond a mere accumulation of elements.
For Silke, 3D animation was a matter of love at first sight when he stumbled upon it by chance while studying multimedia at Queensland University of Technology. He co-created a short film, Cane Toad, in 2002 which was screened in a number of festivals and went on to win a swag of awards. He has also worked on animated blockbusters such as Happy Feet. In addition to his animation practice, Silke actively shares his knowledge through authoring free online animation tutorials, which he hopes will help demystify the process and enrich the discipline through encouraging new talent.
"Cane toad" (2002) Andrew Silke y David Clayton