Vanessa Sweet Headshot

Vanessa Sweet

Assistant Professor

School of Film and Animation
College of Art and Design

907-538-8158
Office Hours
Virtual Office Hours T 8:30 am-9:30 am EST Thurs. 12:30-2:30 pm EST HTTPS://RIT.ZOOM.US/J/2226059378
Office Location

Vanessa Sweet

Assistant Professor

School of Film and Animation
College of Art and Design

Education

BFA, University of the Arts; MFA, California Institute of the Arts

Bio

Vanessa Sweet is an artist, illustrator, and animation filmmaker. She has created work for such clients as Fandango, Hallmark, the BBC, and more. Vanessa's independent work highlights social, environmental, and woman issues via the use of 2D animation. In 2017 she won the Rasmuson Individual Artist Grant for her film Wild Woman; screened in over 50 festivals across the globe and won numerous awards, including the 2020 Gold Award in Animation at the UFVA Conference. In 2021 she was a fellow of the Constance Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts in Ithaca, NY. Vanessa is a graduate of the University of the Arts and California Institute of the Arts. She teaches in the School of Film and Animation at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). 

907-538-8158

Areas of Expertise

Select Scholarship

Shows/Exhibits/Installations
Sweet, Vanessa, Nina J. Ross, and Meg Bartlett. Bridging the Gap. 8 Mar. 2021. BBC 4- Online, London. Exhibit.
Sweet, Vanessa. Wild Woman. 4 Feb. 2021. MANIPULATE Puppet Scotland Film Festival, Edinboro, Scotland. Exhibit.
Sweet, Vanessa. Wild Woman. 18 Sep. 2021. Breck Film Festival, Breckenridge, CO. Exhibit.
Sweet, Vanessa, Nina J. Ross, and Meg Bartlett. Bridging the Gap. 5 Nov. 2021. REEL Recovery Short Film Festival, Studio City, CA. Exhibit.
Sweet, Vanessa, Nina J. Ross, and Meg Bartlett. Bridging the Gap. 2 Nov. 2021. Aesthetica Short Film Festival, York, UK. Exhibit.
Sweet, Vanessa. Wild Woman. 25 Oct. 2020. Milwaukee Film Festival (MFF), Milwauwkee, WI. Exhibit.
Invited Keynote/Presentation
Sweet, Vanessa. "Design/Tech/Management presents:." Storyboarding Masterclass. University of Wisconsin. Online, due to COVID-19. 3 May 2021. Guest Lecture.
Sweet, Vanessa. "School of Design presents." Guest Animator- Vanessa Sweet. South Dakota State University. Online- Brookings, SD. 22 Mar. 2021. Guest Lecture.
National/International Competition Award Winner
Sweet, Vanessa. University Film/Video Association (UFVA). Gold Award for Animation- WILD WOMAN. Online, due to COVID-19, 2020.

Currently Teaching

SOFA-217
4 Credits
This course will provide the first practical experience of building a complete animated film from conception to finish. Students will apply their knowledge within the greater context of an animation production pipeline. Weekly workshops are focused on helping students plan, develop, and execute their work with regular milestones and deadlines. Students will practice time-management and build skills to adhere to deadlines, and will present their completed films to the RIT community.
SOFA-218
3 Credits
This course will introduce students to the basics of design as applied to characters and environments for animated productions. Students will create and develop a cast of characters for an imagined property, focusing on group dynamics, visual appeal and personality development. Line, color, texture, shape, form and story are referenced when developing characters and environments. Students will institute a process of visual development through a variety of exercises, working toward a final, finished project.
SOFA-224
3 Credits
This course will introduce students to two-dimensional computer animation, adapting traditional techniques to the digital production environment. Students will learn how to use specialized 2D animation software to produce short exercises adapted from traditional animation techniques. Students should be able to apply 2D digital animation tools into their own work.
SOFA-323
3 Credits
This course will focus on the continued development of students’ skills in the two-dimension animation medium, using computer software. As an intermediate course, students will build on the skills they accrued as well as learn new, advanced techniques. A variety of examples of 2D computer animation will be screened in class.
SOFA-407
4 Credits
Students work independently with their advisor towards completion of their capstone experience for their BFA degree. Students have a predetermined timeline and must complete all deadlines of that timeline to pass this thesis course including completion and public screening of finished work or final presentation of craft experience.
SOFA-599
1 - 6 Credits
SOFA Independent Study will provide students with the ability to study in a specialized area with an individual faculty member. Students, with the assistance of a faculty adviser, should propose a course of study or project with clearly defined deliverables. Students must obtain permission of an instructor and complete the Independent Study Permission Form to enroll. Student must have a minimum of a 3.0 GPA to apply.
SOFA-603
3 Credits
This course will introduce graduate students to the concepts and mechanics of movement for animation, focusing on, but not limited to, character based movement. Animation principles and theories on movement and acting will be introduced and applied using hand-drawn methods, which will serve as the foundation for their application in any desired medium. Various styles of animation timing will be examined and students will have the opportunity to develop their own sense of timing and movement. Multi-week exercises will be recorded using standard animation software, and will be reviewed, discussed and open to group critique.
SOFA-790
4 Credits
This is the first of two courses designed to advance a student towards completion of their thesis. Students will work independently on their approved plan of work for their thesis while meeting on a regular basis with their committee chair. They are required to meet at least twice with their full committee during the semester.
SOFA-799
1 - 4 Credits
Film and Animation Graduate Independent Study will provide students with the ability to study in a specialized area with an individual faculty member. Students, with the assistance of a faculty adviser, should propose a course of study or project with clearly defined deliverables. Students must obtain permission of an instructor and complete the Independent Study Permission Form to enroll. Student must have a minimum of a 3.0 GPA to apply.
SOFA-890
4 Credits
This is the second of two courses designed to advance a student towards completion of their thesis. Students will work independently on their approved plan of work for their thesis while meeting on a regular basis with their committee chair. They are required to meet at least twice with their full committee during the semester as well as present a final screening of their thesis.

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