The Year of Animated Features

by Noelle Brandmier

“In the eight-year history of the animated feature Oscar, there have been five nominees only once.” Due to the incredible amount of qualifying animated feature films being produced this year, it’s looking like there may be five nominees. This is exciting, people! Get on your feet and give a great “hoorah”! Can you think of a time when there have been more animated features in theatres? It’s certainly making its mark on the industry. And what’s really remarkable is that a good portion of the films are coming from rising studios (which is a good thing for us soon-to-be-graduating animation students).

Now let’s get some discussion going on these features:   Continue reading “The Year of Animated Features”

“Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs” Doesn’t Disappoint

by Noelle Brandmier

It’s been quite awhile since I’ve written my first entry. Sorry! I could have written a whole essay about how wonderful Ponyo was, but some how I got caught up with the closing of summer and the beginning of the school year.

The animation line-up for the year is looking good, especially with Disney’s first 2D film in five years, The Princess and the Frog. There are a few films being released this year whose origins can be found in children’s books, including Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Where the Wild Things Are, and The Fantastic Mr. Fox.   Continue reading ““Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs” Doesn’t Disappoint”

For Starters: An Animatic for Life

by Noelle Brandmier

Hi! Welcome to my very first entry for the Trading Eights blog! My name is Noelle, and I’m an animator/artist. I’m 21 and entering my senior year at the Rochester Institute of Technology. That means I get to do my senior thesis this year—a whole three-quarters devoted to creating a short animation. As usual, I’m working by myself on this project, so it’ll be a really busy year. My plan is to animate apartment tenants dancing, cooking, and cleaning in their own apartments in sync with a piece of music. At the end, they’ll all come together in one apartment for a gathering of sorts. The idea behind it was to create a kind of ode to people’s favorite mundane tasks. Mine is cleaning.

Whenever I finish something that can be shown, I’ll post it up here along with my blog. I might link to other animators in my class who are posting their stuff on the Internet as well. I’ve always found it fascinating to watch an animation go through the whole process, so I think it would be nice to share it with readers.

Because of the stage I’m at right now (being a rising senior and getting closer to the real world every day), I just started the search for graduate schools that offer a MFA in animation. Thankfully, I have Professor Tom Gasek to help me in this search.  He’s the best animation professor at RIT right now. He’s done a few really neat commercials, he’s worked on “Creature Comforts”, and recently he worked on “Coraline”. He did the shot where the snapdragon flowers are biting at her feet. Which is why I’m pretty excited that he’s my advisor for my senior thesis.

I will eventually write more about the in’s and out’s of animation, but if anyone wants me to talk specifically about animation programs, the process of animation, the difference between 2D, 3D, and stop-motion or anything else, feel free to comment and say so!

For now, welcome to my colorful world of computers, doodles, and lots of coffee!