The Animation Academy is now on Facebook

Check out their cool Facebook page! I really enjoy looking at the artwork over there and reading their news!

The Animation Academy Goes Online!!!

The Animation Academy Goes Online!!! They're going to start doing online classes soon!

Bad Animation Test lol

Just something that I did, without thinking too much. Tried to experiment and have some fun with it.

Some More Stuff

Did these in like 10 mins, I was trying to work on facial expressions using squash and stretch, I'm pretty happy with the result.

Some daily sketches. Did these on the back of my notebook, that's why the paper is brown.

Sketchbook Stuff

Did most of these drawings and sketches while I was at school yeserday, during class. Had a lot of fun with these. I used blue penciel and Prisma markers.

Dedicated to Charles Zembillas

I'd like to dedicate this drawing to Charles Zembillas -- Designer of Crash Bandicoot and best teacher in the WHOLE world. Charles used to be my teacher over at The Animation Academy. Thank you Charles for everything that you taught me. I appreciate it more than you'll ever know.

It took me almost all day to draw and paint this. I really tried my best with so I hope you guys like it.

Merry Christmas

Well, tried to draw spyro from my memory, I know there are a lot of mistakes but still I really tried. Used Prisma Color markers on this.

I'd like to dedicate this drawing to Charles Zembillas (Character Designer of Spyro)

Merry Christmas

Check out my new DeviantArt Page

One of my sisters sent me an email with the link to an article which appeared in The Boston Globe and In her email, my sister said “… I cried as I read it. The girls (our daughters) mentioned Abigail on Sunday . One of them said she was their friend and they showed me her stocking…”. Even though I was at my desk at work and knew I would also shed a tear, I couldn’t NOT read the article:

To children abandoned, lives unlived, a farewell tribute with dignity
by Globe columnist Brian McGrory.

Christmas carols were playing over the sound system at the nearby skating rink on Boston Common yesterday morning and Macy’s was decked out in fresh wreaths, as Father David Convertino walked into a tiny upstairs chapel at St. Anthony Shrine in the midst of Downtown Crossing to preside over an event that would challenge even a friar’s faith.

Dim light filtered through a wall of stained glass and flattened along the dark hardwood floors of the room where 16 people, some of them in brown robes and sandals, waited for the proceedings to begin. A clear vase held an elegant bouquet of white flowers; the altar was made of simple wood; a woman sang hymns in an angelic voice.

And at the center sat two tiny caskets covered with one white cloth, each topped with a spray of fresh flowers and a small stuffed bear that had never been touched by a child’s hand.

Their names were Andrew and Nicholas. There were no headlines when they died, no press releases, no investigations — really no public awareness at all. They were each stillborn in Boston hospitals, one in October, the other in November, then abandoned by families who either wouldn’t or couldn’t send them from this world in a dignified way.

Which is why they were here, because the Franciscan friars of St. Anthony Shrine see it as a key part of their mission to provide dignity in death — dignity to abandoned infants, dignity to loners whose bodies go unclaimed, dignity to homeless people with no one to celebrate their lives and see them to their graves.

But two infant deaths seemed to be taking an unusual toll yesterday on Convertino and the brothers who gathered to pray in a season that is supposed to be dedicated to hope and joy.

“It’s painful, it’s not understandable, and it leaves a huge question in our hearts,’’ Convertino said from the podium. “Why?’’

He had no answer, except to say that he didn’t believe these deaths were God’s will or way. “We are faced here, brothers and sisters, with a mystery of life and death, but there are no easy answers in life and death,’’ he said.

It was, as he noted, a gaping contradiction — two deaths of infants marked during Advent, a time of life. They were eulogized in a chapel set amid the commercial cacophony of downtown.

Inside, as the brief service came to a close, people quietly wept. Incense filled the small room, and after the last song was sung (“On Eagle’s Wings’’), the congregants slowly, silently, drifted from the chapel, one woman lingering with her hand on each casket. Stuffed animals had never looked so heartbreaking.

Afterward, Convertino sipped coffee around a long table in the nearby dining hall and openly acknowledged that these kinds of funerals can, in his words, “rock your faith.’’

He is a large man, a gentle man, a relentlessly straightforward man. “This is trying to grapple with the emptiness of a baby’s death and the responsibility of presiding over a celebration of faith,’’ he said.

Added Brother Gary Maciag, lifting up a volume in front of him, “Do I buy all the stuff in these prayer books? Some days, it’s very difficult.’’

As they talked, though, a striking humanity began to emerge, by no means an explanation for these deaths, but an indication of the goodness that followed them. The friars bury, by their account, about six abandoned infants a year, and another dozen or more homeless men and women, part of a mission they may have to pare back unless their Franciscan Campaign picks up in the last couple of weeks of 2010.

As the brothers spoke, their memories crystallized into stories. There was the funeral for the homeless man and the abandoned infant not long ago. They were buried in a donated grave, side by side, with homeless friends weeping over a baby they had never met.

There was the mother who decided she wanted to attend the funeral of the infant that she abandoned, but arrived too late. Convertino hunted around for a program until he found one on the floor. He gave the mother the flowers that rested beside the altar, and even those small gestures seemed to be enough.

None of the priests sits in judgment of the parents who fail to see their children to the grave. “I can’t,’’ said Convertino. “There’s always the story behind the story.’’

As part of the mission, volunteers sew tiny white burial garments. Others donate the simple flowers for each service, and the graves. An extraordinary young funeral director, Jed Dolan, provides services from his two family funeral homes in Dorchester and Milton, collecting just a small stipend from the state. He personally attends every service and stands by each grave.

“It brings everything home,’’ he said.

It also brings back Convertino’s overriding point. There may not be answers, but there is a response. “There is no reason not to be buried with all the dignity a community can give them,’’ he said.

In the face of anguish, there is goodness, a reason for the friars and so many others to hold tight to their faith.

-Brian McGrory, Globe columnist

Blogger's Notes:

When Sarah and I went to the local funeral home to discuss services for our daughter Abigail, the director’s response was something like “We will not take money when a baby dies”. And they didn’t.

God bless the friars - I personally know countless individuals, including immediate family members, who have been comforted in some way at St. Anthony Shrine.

Abigail Ruth
June 4, 2006

I was just trying to have some fun with these designs, I'm aware of all the mistakes that I did with it but still I was just trying to have some fun.

I've been working on a project for school today, I tried to do something different than what I usually do, it really isn't my style and I'm not sure if I'm happy with it or not, but I think it came out pretty ok. We had to do a short stop motion\animation film about dreams, so I basically did what I had in mind, again, I was trying to do something different so I hope you guys like it.

Here's the link to the film

Other than that, hope you guys have a nice weekend. AG

Aladdin Grants Three Wishes!

During a recent Marketing for Managers (one of two classes I took this semester) online lecture, the topic of blogs came up briefly. One of the few comments made by the professor regarding blogs was "quality not quantity". The statement made me snicker to myself because I don't think I have either quality nor quantity covered in my blog! Oh well. C'est la vie.

I'm okay with being an inconsistent and/or mediocre blogger - that's the beauty of blogging, right? Sure, it would be great to have 1,000 hits a day on my blog. But, until I have the time needed, periodic posts will suffice.

So, back to Disney. I think the girls' meeting with Aladdin and Jasmine was one of the more memorable meet and greets of our trip for several reasons. Check out the video clip:

Hello to Disney's Thumper at WDW Orlando

Given the fact that I am in the last two weeks of a two-class MBA semester, I've concluded that I am not going to have much time in the next couple of weeks to blog extensivley about our Disney trip. I will, however, find some time to blog about our trip. Note: If you are planning a trip, or are just curious about what it was like visiting Disney World with triplets who are three and a half, check out Sarah's blog - she has posted a fair amount of detail about the trip (our opinions may vary slightly, but are generally the same. LOL). Here's a clip of the girls giving hugs & kisses to Thumper and Miss Bunny at Animal Kingdom, which we visited on day two of our stay at Disney World:

Why So Serious?

So, I've never tried to draw Batman before and I think it came out pretty cool for a first time. I started with a blue pencil, then scanned the actual drawing and colored it in Photoshop. I really like it, I think the composition is pretty cool. I really tried my best with it. I really hope you guys like it too, AG

By the way, I don't know if it's interesting, but I always like to see the process of how things were being created on other artists' creations, so I thought it would be nice to post the process of my work as well

I'm going to Pixar's Masterclass!!!

So, I got some great news! I'm going to Pixar's Masterclass on April '11! It's going to be a 3-day seminar with some of the best Pixar artists\animators ever! I'm really excaited about it all and I can't wait! I'll post some more info about it soon

It's important to mention that the seminar is open to all of the computer animation students at my school, the only thing is that it costs a lot of money lol. Pixar did the same thing last year in Canada and now they're coming over to my hometown, so it's really exciting!

I don't have any info about the seminar yet but I will post some once I have it. Here's some info about Pixar's Mastersclass of last year:

Happy Birthday Gran!

So we were celebrating my grandma's 80th birthday this week, every memeber of my family showed up to the party and it was a blast!
Happy B-day gran. I love you!
The gang, my grandma, sisters and I
Gran and I
And some more cool\funny pics. lol --
Yes, it's me goofing around... Again
Umm, me goofing around I guess, just experimenting things, and besides I really love my shoes so it makes this picture perfect lol I thought it would be cool to take a pic next to this cool motorcycle lol
Me and my sister on our way to my grandma's birthday party

Turkeys of a feather flock together.

Thanksgiving was nice this year, even though the day seemed to pass in the blink of an eye (and I am at work on Black Friday - boo hoo). Given I have twelve siblings, twenty-something nephews and nieces, this year's Thanksgiving was a fairly simple one. My brother-in-law (on Sarah's side) and his wife hosted an afternoon dinner which we followed up with dessert at my brother's house. We were only in the van for about an hour the whole day yesterday - a nice change from the time we spent driving to and from Disney the previous two weeks!

No, there are no sensational stories to tell about this year's Thanksgiving. Just a simple day to think about all that we have and remember those who are not with us.

I did, however, capture some fairly cute commentary the other night of Allie and Emily as they compared Thanksgiving hats they made in school:

Day One Excitement at Disney World.

We did it. Sarah, Allie, Anna, Emily, Grammy and myself made the 1,300+ mile trek south last week to see Mickey, Minnie, Ariel, Cinderella and ALL the other Disney characters our daughters have come to absolutely adore!

I hope to have time to share more about our 10 day trip, but time does not allow me to spend much time today. I will, however leave you with a video clip of one of MANY precious moments we experienced while at Disney - Mickey was one of the first characters Allie, Anna and Emily met!

Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde

Quick sketching and coloring in Photoshop

Last Assignment at Schoolism

Man, I can't believe it's been two months since I started taking online classes with Steve Silver over at Schoolism, It's been such a great experience and I'm really happy for taking this class. Steve gave me great direction and advices and I'd like to thank him for that, I learned the fundamentals at The Animation Academy though, Charles Zembillas really helped me to understand the basics, and that basically the most important thing for me, so I'd like to thank him, it's really all thanks to you Charles.

The assignment was to create a character by Steve Silver's description, so here's the description of the character I really tried to do the best with it.
Description: Jerry Loomy. used car salesman boss. New York.2008.A cruel, moody ,high strung, dishonest man. Wears a cheep button down shirt with a vest or sportscoat and a greecey tank top underneath and a tie that doesn't fit. Middle aged, White male Negative attitude towards life. Stocky Build around 5'4". A patch over one eye and missing a finger due to an angry employee biting it off.A large round head with deep set eyes and sunburned skin. receding hairline with a pony tail. mouth with yellow stained teeth.


Ok, so this was an idea I had in mind for a real long time. I did a really quick sketch of this character while I was in class and then when I got back home I scanned and colored it in Photoshop. I'm really happy with the result, it's exactly what I had in mind so I'm very happy. I'll upload some more designs of this character soon, I can't wait to start modeling this character in Maya. Hope you guys like it. AG

Some more sculptures

Quick Sculpting

So today was my 2nd day at school, I really enjoy it. So they gave us like an hour to sculpt one of our characters and I really had no experience with sculpting, but I think it came out real nice for a first time. Sorry for the quality of the images.

Well, I'll post some more stuff later on, when I'm done. Hope you guys like it. AG

First 2D Animation and Stop Motion

Click on image to watch the video

Click on image to watch the video

It took me a few minutes to create this cute little bouncing ball, I wish I had more time to work on it, the only time I can actually work on these assignment is usually at nights since I work full time everyday. I see all the mistakes I've done with it but still I think it came out pretty well for my first time, plus it makes me laugh every time when I watch this video.

Click on image to watch the video

As I promised here's the first stop motion film that we've been working on our first day at school, we were a group of 4 students and we had only 2 hours to create the whole film with no previous experience. So I think it came out pretty well for a first short stop motion film. Hope you guys like it. AG

P.S Check out my new cool lookin' Youtube channel

Suddenly So "Popular" lol

First of all I'd like to dedicate the following drawings to my friend K from work, K and I are overworking together lol. We work almost 12 hours every day and it's crazy hours but it's a lot of fun thanks to you and N. K, don't forget the house with the squares! lol I will never forget that, it makes me laugh every time I think about it. Anyways, here are the drawings.

It's important to mention that I'm trying to develop all sort of different styles when it comes to my drawings, I really want to grow and be able to create all sort of things as an artist so I really think it's important to be open to new styles, basically, the style of the drawings above is really not my style, I usually don't draw like this but I thought it would be nice to try something new for a change.

And as for the designs below, it took me about a few minutes to do the following designs, as I said before on my blog, I started my animation studies and I'm working with a group of cool students on a short stop motion film and I was chosen to design the characters. So I did some VD as a start and created these characters, again, I really did it fast just so we can have an idea of the the character is going to look like in general, it's not the final character.

Well, about a week ago I started school and our instructors gave us an assignment even though we didn't have any experience, they asked us to create a short stop motion film and they gave us about 1-2 hours to create it, they told us to create something really simple and easy so that's what we tried to do. I was in charge of the VD/Character Design and Story. It came out real nice for a first stop motion film, again, we've never done that before so it was a challenge. I will upload the film later on. Check out the stills from the first film we made.