My Name is Neil Brooks, I am a stop motion animator from Ipswich, Suffolk.
I have had a passion for animation since I was a child when I watched shows like Wallace and Gromit, Trap Door and Danger Mouse and wondered how it was done. I remember starting with small flick books and drawing in the corners of my school books as well as making simple characters out of Play-Doh.
I eventually got a chance to work on some of my own animations while at college. Experimenting with 2D, 3D and stop motion, and making a range of small animations which fuelled my passion for this art form. I went on to study computer animation at the University of Portsmouth, where I learned more advanced techniques and how to use software like Maya, as well as boosting my overall knowledge and skill set.
After university, I continued to learn more and worked on my own animated shorts from home as well as taking a few courses to continue to expand my skills. These included online CG training courses with Puppeteer Lounge and a body mechanics course with CGMA.
I enjoyed working on CG animations over the years however found my interests shifting away from CG to stop motion. I found the hands-on approach to stop motion, working with puppets and building sets really enjoyable so I decided to set up my own home studio and develop my skills further. In April 2022, I was accepted onto the Aardman Academy's industry training course Stop Motion 1 and later in January 2023 went on to do their more advanced Stop Motion 2 course.
Aardman is a studio I have admired for many years whilst watching their amazing films and characters such as Morph, Shaun the Sheep, Wallace and Gromit and my favourite Feathers McGraw. Their courses have enabled me to build upon my skills as an animator and pushed my practical skills further through learning about character performance, facial animation and lip-sync.
During each of the two twelve-week courses with Aardman as well as working through weekly tasks I produced two short films. These showcased my developing skills in stop motion, character creation and set production. I am currently working on developing the character I created in stop motion 1 to make a small series of shorts based on the adventures and misfortunes of this character.
I look forward to continuing my animation journey developing my skills further and working on new and exciting projects in the future.