(old) New hotness at Dabrosis.com!

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For those really BIG ideas!

During a recent password audit, it was found that a blonde was using the following password:


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 capital.

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 of animation.

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 crazy!

Happy Halloween!

Jack double update - Portland:

San Francisco:

Bombs away!

"You need to leave your cart and exit the store right now." Never something 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.

You can read an article about it here.

Jack update - Seattle:

Week 4 - Stewie Takes A Test (Refining):

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 just moving the desk flop to the end...and viola, problem 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 good shape.

Next week: The Finished Product

Jack updates:

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 while on 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 possible exception of the ending. I want to see what ideas Boola might have, but there's a decent chance I will bring back my pencil breaking conclusion. 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

Jack update:

Steven Spielberg digs me:

Jack update:

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 worth it.


Calling all you Wisconsinites, Jack is in town! He has two shows in state this week, Tuesday in Madison and Wednesday in Appleton. Details below:

Tuesday, October 6, 8:00 PM - Madison, WI
(Genna's Lounge, 105 W. Main Street)

Wednesday, October 7, 7:00 PM - Appleton, WI (Harmony Cafe, 233 E. College Avenue)

Jack was also featured in an article in the Apple Post Crescent. Please check the article out here.

And he has a new video:

Jack update:

Class 4, Week 1 - Stewie Takes A Test (Video Reference):

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, before realizing 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 some fun!

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.

Jack update:

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 trim.
7. Your hairdresser doesnít have to clean your ears.
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 or pedicure.
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 slim.

Animation School

Welcome to another term at Animation Mentor! Class 4 officially kicked off today and my new mentor is Boola Robello:

Be sure to check out his website at www.boolarebello.com.

Slap your troubles away:

I see this commercial every morning, so this "remix" had me rolling!

The Jack videos are coming fast and furious now, so I'll do my best to keep up:

This is especially hilarious if you have a Garmin (or perhaps any GPS)!

A few pics from our latest Disney trip (click thumbnail to see full-size image):

The tour is underway and Jack has been busy! The videos below are in chronological order:

New Progress Reel:

Week 11 - Stewie's All-Star Baseball Camp (The Catch - Final):

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 to come!

Up next: Class 4 - Introduction to Acting

The latest from Jack:


For all you classic video game lovers:

Week 10 - Stewie's All-Star Baseball Camp (The Catch - Refining):

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!

Next week: The Finished Product

Week 9 - Stewie's All-Star Baseball Camp (The Catch - Blocking Plus):

Meh. This animation isn't exactly going the way I had envisioned, and part of that is my own fault for not really solidifying the 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 planning.

Next week: Polishing

Virtual Domination:

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 in question.

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 more stories 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 you."

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:

or CityLoveSong.com

Week 8 - Stewie's All-Star Baseball Camp (The Catch - Blocking):

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.

Next week: Blocking Plus

I know you cat owners can relate to this animation:

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" as I would have liked. I ran into a series of problems during the polishing process (see 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 displayed 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:


So true.

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 probably already knew, but hearing him say it made me realize that the ending was indeed in need of a change. The new flip and subsequent landing aren't 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 hiding lewd 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 "sproing" effect 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 squishy things:

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!

Just kidding, honey - I love you!

Week 4 - Stewie's All-Star Baseball Camp (The Pitch - Final):

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.

Next week: The Hit - Blocking

Week 3 - Stewie's All-Star Baseball Camp (The Pitch - Blocking Plus):

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.

Click here to play.

(quick note: I'm not sure how long Epcot saves these old games, so play it while you can!)

Week 2 - Stewie's All-Star Baseball Camp (The Pitch - Blocking):

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 hand.

Next week: Blocking Plus

He's baaaaaaaaack:

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 pitch

Some photos from our recent Florida trip (click thumbnail for full size version):

Week Twelve - New Progress Reel:

Class 3 coming up!

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