Nacho the cowboy and Salsa the horse
Nacho and Salsa
Fifteen-year-old Tom Ball from Barnstaple has made a short animated film about a hapless cowboy called Nacho and his hobbling horse, Salsa.
Student Tom Ball has his sights set on a career in animation - and he's much more likely to hit his target than the 'hero' of his short film, Nacho the hapless cowboy!
Tom, 15, from Barnstaple, made his short film, Nacho and Salsa, when he was just 14, and it impressed the organisers of the Animated Exeter 2008 festival, who selected it for screening.
Tom, who goes to Pilton Community College, told BBC Devon: "It's a western based animation about the antics of a cowboy in Arizona. He's a hapless cowboy called Nacho and he's got a hobbling horse called Salsa.
"The film also has Cunning Cactus and Sly Snake."
Tom added: "I think of an idea for a short sketch, then design and develop the characters involved and do a storyboard.
The models are made from Plasticene
"At present, I am working on an animation set on an alien planet, so the backdrop and models have a space theme.
"For Nacho and Salsa, I used Plasticene, and made the set at home.
"The trickiest thing is making the skeleton inside the Plasticene out of balsa wood and wire.
"The joints must be flexible so you can animate the models properly without them falling to pieces when they are moved hundreds of times.
"I used a digital camera and then ran it through my computer using an editing package. I used between 12 and 15 frames per second. For a five minute film I would make about 4,500 digital photo frames."
Tom is hoping for a career in films: "I've done animated films before as a hobby, but this is my first proper one when I've been thinking about it. I'm entering competitions now, so it is more serious."
Watch Nacho and Salsa, using the video link on this page.
last updated: 24/01/2008 at 12:13