Emoting through Liliana

So a lot of what we hear at first is timing, spacing, arcs and such when it comes to animation. I thought lip syncing would be the painful next step, but honestly once you have the mouth shapes figured out it's not that hard. What WAS challenging was suddenly remembering all the times I've heard about "acting in animation." What does Liliana say "hello" like? I need to know that if I'm going to know how she says anything else, so I gave it another shot (with upgraded eyebrows!).

Wart trouble

So a lot of you guys probably saw the stop motion blue dinosaur I finished a few months ago, which was one of the more rewarding (and exhausting) projects I've worked on recently. Naturally, I've signed up to do something way crazier and way longer in the same amount of time in the fall. SCAD has one of the best university stop motion labs in the world, and they're setting up the stop motion class for us to team up and make a real animated short rather than all of us making smaller, less impressive projects, so it seemed like I ought to take advantage.

To that end, I signed onto a project about a kid with a demonically possessed wart on his back. Not my usual schtick, but with directing ambitions it's important to learn how to work on someone else's stuff. So without further ado, the first pass at a rough animatic:

The nice thing about storyboards is that you have a lot of license to be rough with your lines, as the most important thing is the clarity of the action in the frame. Storyboards are typically used as a tool for directors, assistant directors, cinematographers, producers, and more broadly for the entire crew. Given that, it's important they be easily reproducible and easily legible.

Right now, the biggest problem is that this thing is over four minutes. Our next job is to pare it down to only the NECESSARY action to get the story across, which is a major headache but also one of the most thrilling steps (!!). Stay tuned for a look at how the whole thing turns out.

SCAD Animationfest 2017

So as a lot of you guys know, I'm at SCAD for an MFA in animation right now. The school was recently gracious enough to shuttle us all the way to Atlanta for an animation festival, and it was incredible. There were so many people with so much talent, professionals and students alike, and I did my best to meet all of them. Really great trip.

Kylie, Pedro, myself, and Meghana, all good friends from Savannah.

Kylie, Pedro, myself, and Meghana, all good friends from Savannah.

The only downside was the five-hour bus ride between cities, our shuttles were not designed for the long haul. Fortunately, I'd picked up a fun character design exercise somewhere recently before we left, and was able to spend a good chunk of the trip drawing a bunch of nonsense. You'll forgive the squibbly lines.

I think Nub-legs Bull is my favorite.

I think Nub-legs Bull is my favorite.

Basically the idea was you take a heavy pencil and draw a bunch of weird shapes on a page, then come in with something smaller and fill in the details. Fun stuff!

The long pause

Hey guys!

So you may have noticed that blue dinosaur comics have been a little sparse of late, and I wanted to fill you in a little. Since "the stick," which was released in September but actually happened the winter before, I arrived in Georgia to start working on my MFA in animation. Exciting times! Unfortunately, as it turns out, grad school is really hard. I'm not complaining, I love every second of it, but it doesn't quite afford me the leisure time for blue dinosaur-ing that desk jobs and the coffee shop did.

But I haven't forgotten the little blue guy! In fact, I wanted to share a couple photos from my stop-motion class of a certain work in progress...

Look at his little feet!

Look at his little feet!

Just wanted to say thank you to all of you here for sticking with me even if the content hasn't been surfacing as much as it has in the past. Can't wait to see what comes next!


The stick

Hi everyone. So, today was amazing. I woke up, posted the last 'get the stick' page on Facebook and Reddit, and went to work. When I looked at my phone on my first break, it was hard not to tear up over what had happened in just a few hours.

Some of the kindest words I've ever seen on the Internet had appeared under the little drawings I made, and to be honest I'm still a little floored by it. Rather than paraphrasing:

"Thanks for posting this! really needed it"

"I've been moping around home for the past week, feeling down and awful because i hate searching for jobs.
This just gave me the motto i needed. 'GET THE STICK!'"

And my favorite:

"Don't know if you'll see this in all the replys, but this honestly made me cry. ... Your comic helped me, and I'm going to try to turn my life around because of it."

All I know is it makes me happy that my story could help make a difference for even one other person. And, to at least start to say thank you for all your support and kindness, I made some things.

Should fit most smartphones, I think?

Should fit most smartphones, I think?

Intended as a Facebook banner, but yours to use as you'd like.

Intended as a Facebook banner, but yours to use as you'd like.


'Til next time,

New words

It's hard to believe it's been almost two years since Blue Dinosaur first saw the light of day. There's a lot of room for reflection on the journey it's been since then, and while the little blue guy has certainly seen his fair share of obstacles he's not going anywhere.

I'm honored to welcome you to the new site, built using Squarespace rather than Wordpress or Drupal, or certainly by scratch like the earliest prototype (may the code gods forgive me), but honestly I'm just glad it'll free up more time for me to focus on the stuff I really love. 

Thanks as always for your support guys, it means the world. Cheers to you, and I'll see you all again real soon.


New Horizons

Howdy all! So I've had my head down for a long time over something I'm really excited about, and while I'm not ready to drop the whole thing on you yet you guys may recall way back when I uploaded a sketchbook doodle of a sloth and lizard character I was working on. In an effort to make peace with you all over not doing a million new blue dinosaurs a day, I thought you might like to take a look at some character designs for the thing. Enjoy!


Feathered Dinos!

Hey kids! I've been an irresponsible cartoonist and spent the past few days making a Halloween costume instead of more comics, but I thought I'd share something I found online while you wait for the next exciting update from the little blue guy. Looks like we found another feathered ornithomimus, one of only three in the world! It's very exciting for those among us who love to look back in time at some of the coolest critters that ever walked the earth, which should be 100% of everyone. Take a look, it's a short read but they do link to the original scientific paper at the bottom of the article (you have to be a fancy researcher to see the whole thing, unfortunately). Check it out here.


About a year ago, I had the great pleasure of being a groomsman in a wedding for two very good friends of mine. We're all pretty relaxed guys, so the groom's bachelor party was just a camping trip, and at some point someone said "we should do this every year." If I've learned anything since that time, it's that there is no good excuse in the world not to make that time for the people who are close to you. So off we went, all coming from different cities, to spend one weekend out in the country (kinda) together. A few people couldn't make it, which was sad, but all the more reason to do it as much as possible. Today's late-night comic isn't Blue Dino's typical fare, but that doesn't mean he can't be a little sappy once in a while. If you know me, I think you're great and I hope we get to see each other again soon. If you don't, I'm sure you're pretty swell anyway; maybe give someone a call you haven't talked to in a while! As always, thank you all so much for supporting me and this little nonsense I make. Come back soon for more!




Hello everyone!

It's been a long road since the little blue guy's first day in a sketchbook. There have been tough times and big changes here in the real world, but he's managed to hang on through all of it. Good thing, too; I don't know about you but he definitely keeps my days a little brighter.

I just wanted to say thank you to all of you. Most of you know me personally, and you've all been incredibly supportive and encouraging as Blue's been getting on his own two feet. To those of you I don't know, it is just so humbling and gratifying to know you're here, and I only hope you'll continue to find bits of joy in the work I do.

To express my gratitude to all of you and to deliver the best Blue Dinosaur experience I've been working pretty hard on a new home for the blue guy and anyone else I might be putting on paper in the near future, and I think you're going to like it. After a couple unexpected roadblocks I don't think there's enough coffee in the world to get me through today, but I'm sure it's well worth it. Welcome to the new bluedinosaur.net, thanks for coming and enjoy your stay!

An interview!

Hello, the world. Yesterday I had the great privilege of being featured as a guest on the "If You Had Superpowers" podcast run by Bob Knarwhal. He's a great guy and was a lot of fun to chat with, if you have an extra fiftyish minutes of ear-time you should totally check it out! http://www.ifyouhadsuperpowers.com/2015/07/is-there-purple-dinosaur-iyhs-ep17.html

Pixel Sprites!

"Life begins at the end of your comfort zone." -Neale Donald Walsch This is way more profound than what I need it for, but I wanted to tell you guys I tried pixel art! I've always been a little mystified by it, so I figured what better way to get over it than by just doing it? Turns out, playing lots of Minecraft actually helps you think about how to simplify complex shapes into little blocks, and I think I mostly did okay. I used the five characters currently playing through my Dungeons and Dragons campaign as a jumping-off point, so here! Have some pixel sprites.

Baqir David Riesen Smaugette Vargas

Lizard doodles

I've been pretty busy working on a project I'm not ready to release yet, but in the mean time I thought it would be nice to share some doodles I've doodled! I've had a Zorro/Don Quixote-like lizard stuck in my head for a while, and he keeps making his way onto nearby surfaces when I'm trying to do work. So inconsiderate, he is. ascuai

Also, there is a sloth.