When asked why such a long password, she
said she was told that it had to be at least
8 characters long and include at least one
Getting a jump on Week 6:
I can hardly believe it, but it's dialogue
time at AM! Here are eight movie quotes that
I am considering for this next week's assignment...but
I need to narrow it down to three. If you'd
like to place a vote (three votes, actually)
you can do so on my youtube page - or you can just email me.
Week 5 - Stewie Takes A Test (Final):
You've gotta love a rendered shot! It's so
much nicer to look at, don't you agree? And
here, in its fully rendered glory, is my
final animation of Stewie taking his test.
I would have to say this is probably the
finest work I have done so far at AM, and
although that might seem obvious (I am a
student, after all, and the goal is to keep
getting better), not every assignment has
necessarily been an upgrade over the previous
one. But hey, this animation stuff isn't
easy, so I cut myself some slack. Anyway,
I'm not one to sit here and fawn over my
own work (well, maybe I am), but I really
do feel like this is a pretty fine piece
Actually, there was quite a bit of good animation
turned in by my peers, as well. Here's a
gut-wrenching, heart-warming piece from Gene:
Next week: TONS! Dialogue tests, a new character,
maybe some video reference...it's gonna be
Jack double update - Portland:
"You need to leave your cart and exit
the store right now."
you want to hear while
shopping at Wal Mart,
but Crystal, Eric and I
had that very pleasure
last night. After being
evacuated we were
not allowed to return to
our car for almost
an hour. Good times.
A slight rearrangement
this week, as you
may have noticed. I already
had an urge to
have Stewie hit his head
onto the desk at
the end of the animation,
but didn't want
to use that same move twice
in the shot.
That's when Boola recommended
the desk flop to the end...and
solved! There's still a
fair amount of cleaning
up to do in this shot,
but with a week to
go I think it's in pretty
Next week: The Finished Product
Who knew South Dakota could be so fun? Here's
some photos from my recent trip with Jack
(click for full size):
Don't get sick:
Mark turned me on to the Auto-Tune News while I was staying at his place and I have
to admit I'm hooked. It's a little bit odd
at first, but give it a chance and it's pretty
hilarious! Mark's personal favorite is the
Katie Couric segment from Episode #2.
Week 3 - Stewie Takes A Test (Blocking Plus):
As some of you may know, I spent this last
week on the road with my buddy, Jack (in
case you were unaware, he's kind of doing
this national tour thing right now). Despite having the best of intentions
towards working on my assignment
the road, this proved to
be difficult. I wound up doing most of the work upon my
return, Saturday night and Sunday morning,
which means this is quite as "plussed"
as I would have liked it to be. No worries,
though, as I can make up for it this next
week (and last week was well worth it).
Next week: Refining
Week 2 - Stewie Takes A Test (Blocking):
Here is my first blocking
pass into the wonderful
world of acting. I feel
like this is pretty
close to my original idea
for how I wanted
the shot to go, with the
of the ending. I want to
see what ideas Boola
might have, but there's
a decent chance I
will bring back my pencil
The biggest issue with
breaking the pencil
is creating the broken
pencil prop, which
is harder than it sounds.
Anyway, we'll see
how it goes.
Next week: Blocking Plus
Steven Spielberg digs me:
Ahhhhhhh - attack of the giant pencil! Some
things are just too fun not to share, this
render was one of those things.
Saw Jacks' show in Madison tonight and it
is brilliant! If there's a chance that he's
doing a show anywhere near you, I implore
you to go see it. Trust me, it will be well
Jack was also featured in an article in the
Apple Post Crescent. Please check the article
And he has a new video:
Class 4, Week 1 - Stewie Takes A Test (Video
Let the acting begin! I
suppose I should
metion some things about
my upcoming shot
so the video reference
makes a little bit
more sense. The basic premise
of the shot
is that Stewie will be
taking a test and
not doing very well. He's
about to give up,
when suddenly the answer
comes to him. As
he grabs up his pencil
to fill in the answer
the unseen teacher snatches
it off his desk
as time has expired (this
is why I keep flicking
the paper off the table
in the video). In
his eternal frustration,
Stewie snaps his
pencil with his thumb.
I actually broke three
pencils while filming this,
that I should probably
just keep taping up
and breaking the same pencil
(which I did).
The main focus of this assignment is to show
contrasting "beats" of emotion.
My animation will include confusion/frustration,
elation/relief, and finally anger/frustration.
Since Stewie still does not have a face,
these emotions will have to be conveyed solely
through his body language. Get ready for
Next week: Blocking
More video reference (and some darn good
acting) from Gene:
Here's a little precursor to the video reference
I'm shooting for my upcoming shot:
Did I really just make that noise? Apparently yes. It's amazing what you can
learn when you shoot reference of yourself.
I love guacamole!
These guys are great! They've got several
different songs on youtube, so check them out if you get a chance.
The Top Ten Reasons your dog's hair cut costs
more than yours (from Salon Fido, Caleb's groomer):
10. Your hairdresser doesnít wash and clean
your rear end.
9. You donít go for eight weeks with out
washing or brushing your hair.
8. Your hairdresser doesnít give you a sanitary
7. Your hairdresser doesnít have to clean
6. Your hairdresser doesnít have to clean
boogies from your eyes.
5. You sit still for your hairdresser.
4. Your haircut doesnít include a manicure
3. Your hairdresser only washes and cutís
the hair on your head.
2. You donít bite or scratch your hairdresser
(at least I hope not).
...and the number one reason your dogís hair
cut costs more than yours:
1. The likelihood of you
pooping or peeing
while your hair is being
cut is extremely
Welcome to another term at Animation Mentor!
Class 4 officially kicked off today and my
new mentor is Boola Robello:
Well, here we are, the end of Class 3...half
way to the finish line. And here is my final
animation for Class 3, which I think turned
out pretty good. There's some small things
here that could use some additional tweaking,
but I'm happy with the overall feel.
This will also bring to an end the body mechanics
portion of my schooling, and I'm very excited
to be moving into the acting phase next.
Thank you to all who have stopped by to keep
an eye on my progress - there's lots more
Okay, I'm feeling a little bit better about
things this week. Most of the time I spent
refining was put in to the run and skid,
so things after that point are still a little
rough - oh, except the very end, which I
think is pretty funny looking. From the feedback
I've received, most of my classmates agree,
so that's good!
Meh. This animation isn't exactly going the
way I had envisioned, and
part of that is
my own fault for not really
pre-vis process before
I got started animating.
Still, we live and we learn,
so it's given
me a better idea of what
areas I need to
improve upon, especially
with Class 3 almost
at an end. There will be
two more weeks to
really iron this piece
out, so all hope is
not lost, I just caught
up doing nickel and
dime crap this week that
probably could have
been avoided with better
Next week: Polishing
I had to share this hilarious article I read featuring a top ten list of video
game "glitches" where real life
athletes were accidentally created with god-like
abilities. I have to admit, this is a lot
funnier for people who have played some of
these games, but a nice enhancement to the
article is a series of related links to youtube
videos, showing clips from the video games
Yep, Jack and I go back a ways - here you
can see us in our (brief) time as college
roommates - so you can take my word when
I tell you the man is talented. He has an
upcoming tour of the U.S. in which he will
showcase these talents in a way he has never
done before, and as promised, he has taken
the time to give Dabrosis an exclusive first
look (okay, maybe not exactly, but damn that
sounds good). Take it away, Jack:
"It has been four years since the HOWL!
East Village Arts Festival, where my music-inflected
story Apricots was received with resounding acclaim; it
has been my great privilege to spend the
time since in the service of elders as I
have earned a degree in philosophy, written
a memoir and published revisions in a book
about New York City, my adopted hometown
of the past thirteen years. Now, in the face
of a collective 'No' from academic writing
circles, I embark on an ambitious journey
to see and meet my country, traveling by
rail and telling a tale of life as it is
lived in cities.
The objective is to collect
than I tell, to encourage
others to remember
their influence on the
world, to foment excitement
at the possibilities of
living, and to present
to humankind a man who
refuses to bend his
dream to cold reality.
Join me in person (NYC, Boston, Cleveland,
Detroit, Chicago, Madison, Appleton, St.
Paul, Fargo, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco,
LA, Austin, Houston, New Orleans, Memphis,
Nashville, Atlanta, Raleigh, DC, Philadelphia)
and follow along online. The journey is mine
but the story is ours. I can't do it without
Keep scrolling down for more...
Jack on the Rails:
I've asked Jack to write a little something
up in regards to his upcoming endeavor, and
since he himself is a loyal Dabrosis follower,
he agreed. I will continue to try and pry
that piece of literature out of him (just
kidding, Jack), but in the meantime be sure
to follow his every move at:
The beginning of the end - doesn't that have
an ominous ring to it? Not to worry, all
that means is this the first phase of what
will be my final assignment for Class 3;
my how the time flies! This blocking is a
little "rougher" than usual, as
I found myself displeased on Saturday night
with the way the run was going, leading to
a complete redo of the run before Sunday's
deadline. Basically, the reason Stewie appears
to slide across the screen in the beginning
is that there is one or two poses from the
run that are missing. All will be fixed by
Next week: Blocking Plus
I know you cat owners can relate to this
Revision: Stewie's All-Star Baseball Camp
- The Pitch:
I've kind of been pecking away at this revision
a little bit each week and finally got it
to a point where I was ready to hand it back
in to get more comments from Bryan. I know that it's still not perfect, but
there comes a time where you just kind of
get tired of working on the same piece and
you have to set it aside and move on.
To quote another blog, "If you're not
a Disney snob, you probably won't get this."
Week 7 - Stewie's All-Star Baseball Camp
(The Hit - Final):
So, it's maybe not as "final"
I would have liked. I ran
into a series of
problems during the polishing
previous post) that caused
me to put more
time into fixing stupid
stuff rather than
really refining the animation.
I still think
it turned out alright -
some of the arcs
and poses are th best I've
ever created -
but this is one where I
know there's still
work to be done.
My buddy Gene was kind
enough to consent
to having his latest animation
here as well:
Next week: The Catch - Blocking
This is the sort of thing that happens when
you go from stepped keys,
where you have
a key set every two to
four frames, to splined
keys, where the computer
fills in those in-between
frames you don't have keyed:
Week 6 - Stewie's All-Star Baseball Camp
(The Hit - Blocking Plus):
Yes, the ending has been
changed. I think
something that will help
me down the line
is my willingness/ability
to change a piece
of animation after I've
already gotten a
ways into it. Bryan pointed
out some things
about the ending that I
knew, but hearing him say
it made me realize
that the ending was indeed
in need of a change.
The new flip and subsequent
quite as polished as the
first half of the
shot, but all of that will
be ironed out
by next week.
Next week: The Hit - Final Animation
There's often a hotly debated topic about
how animators are supposedly
and suggestive undertones
in their work.
It's all true.
Week 5 - Stewie's All-Star Baseball Camp
(The Hit - Blocking):
That's right, what follows the pitch? The
hit! This blocking is maybe
a little rougher
than I would have liked;
for instance, at
the very end where Stewie
sticks into the
ground, he'll eventually
have that wiggly
when he hits.
I spent quite a bit of
time trying to figure
out how to end the swing,
as it needs to
have a similar animation
style to the pitch,
and this didn't leave me
with time to get
to some of the finer details.
Next week: Blocking Plus
Both of these are for Eric, who will be starting
school this fall to be a wind turbine tech
and whose burrito at Chipotle makes mine
look like one of those little water-filled
I kid you not, this is Crystal each morning.
18 alarm clocks and I have to listen to every
one of them. Hello?! Some of us are trying
to sleep until 11!
Here is the final animation for Stewie's
pitch, which I feel turned out to be pretty
fun. It's certainly different than my past
work, which tended to be a bit more grounded
in reality - this piece is far more cartoony.
There's a couple of small tweaks I'd like
to make, so I'll probably hand in a revision
for next week, but overall I'm pleased with
the final results.
This shot looks a little bit different than
last week's.....okay, so it looks a lot different.
Bryan was pleased with the first offering,
but really wanted me to open this one up
a bit, exaggerate the poses and have some
fun with it.
Next week: Finishing the pitch
Looking for a great video game starring the
ultimate dynamic duo? Then Epcot's Runtime
is the game for you! Guide Jay and Crystal
through the digital realm collecting rings
(and not getting electrocuted). Don't have
a lot of time? No worries - the game is only
about five mintues long.
It sure is good to be animating again! I
played around with this shot a lot this week
and in the end found myself hurrying to get
it handed in on time (never a good thing).
I think it's off to a good start, but I'd
still like to work with some of the poses
and the overall timing. The blocking pass
is more to get the idea of the animation
across, so I feel like I've accomplished
that much. If you watch closely, you'll see
that the baseball never actually leaves Stewie's
Next week: Blocking Plus
Class 3 - Advanced Body Mechanics
Week 1 - Video Reference:
Welcome to Class 3! My new mentor is Bryan Engram. For this class we had the choice to select
whether we wanted to do a series of three
related shots or just three unique (and unrelated)
shots. As you can see in my reference above,
I have decided to go with the three realted
shots approach, with baseball as my theme.
The first couple of weeks will be animating
the pitch, after that I will move on to the
batter hitting the ball, and I will finish
up with the outfielder catching the ball
(I might actually re-shoot some more interesting
reference for the catch).
Next week: Blocking the
Some photos from our recent Florida trip
(click thumbnail for full