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The Global Search for Education: Hot Diggity’s Danielle Pedersen on Her Senior Thesis and the Tech Trends that Interest Her Most.


This month audiences can screen Hot Diggity, curated by KIDS FIRST! Film Festival for the Planet Classroom Network. 

Directed by Danielle Pedersen who recently graduated from UW-Stout Entertainment Design, the 2D story was animated, colored, and rendered in Clip Studio Paint. It’s a simple, unique tale about a rascal street pup who tries to steal sausages from a street vendor. The animated short features interesting, fun characters. 

The Global Search for Education is pleased to welcome Danielle Pedersen.

Danielle, this is a very well done short. What were your main inspirations?  

Thank you so much! My main inspirations were slap-stick humor and Hanna-Barbera cartoons like Tom and Jerry. 

You were able to animate, color, and render this short all in one program.  Can you tell us about your creative process – what you learned?

Of course! I used Clip Studio Paint EX for the entire production of Hot Diggity. By sticking to one program, my creative flow wasn’t interrupted by transferring my project to different programs. Though I did use Adobe Premiere to put together the MP4 files in the end. This production was also the first time I went fully 2D. I’m a 3D animator by profession, and illustrator as a hobby, so being able to hone my 2D animation skills within a program I was familiar with helped a lot! 

I learned that less is more when you’re a one woman team. A story and its animated elements can still be a powerful tool if you’re able to pace yourself. Through Hot Diggity I was able to keep my animation simple yet appealing by keeping my character designs simple, so the animation process itself wasn’t too heavy of a workload. 

The pandemic created problems for filmmakers everywhere, but not as much for animators who in most cases can work remotely.  Were you able to stay in touch with the creative community and continue to work during this period? What lessons did you learn and what projects have been inspired since the pandemic?

I was able to keep in touch with the creative community since Hot Diggity was my senior thesis! I was able to connect digitally with my classmates and professor during my last months at UW-Stout. I also kept in touch with the creative community within Minnesota through Nice Moves, which is an organization that brings together the entertainment industry within the Twin Cities. We met up digitally during the pandemic.

I was able to continue to work during the pandemic, and hopped onto side projects that aren’t public yet. Unfortunately, no personal projects have surfaced since Hot Diggity due to wanting to shift gears and work on a team!

There is so much going on in terms of innovation in the world of animation at present.  What innovative technology trends in animation interest you most and why?

I’m interested in the use of Unreal Engine 5 for real time rendering. A side project I’m on with Aurora Bell Tower Studios is using Unreal Engine to fully render our animated short, Glow. By using Unreal Engine we can bypass the long rendering times animation usually takes. We can also make adjustments in real time without waiting for full renders, which reduces a lot of potential headache and stress!

What can we expect from you next?

You can expect the future animated shorts being uploaded weekly on the Imaginext Youtube channel, and Aurora Bell Tower’s Glow in 2023!

Thank you Danielle!

C M Rubin and Danielle Pedersen

Don’t Miss Hot Diggity, now screening on the Planet Classroom Network. This delightful story is curated for the Planet Classroom Network by KIDS FIRST! Film Festival.

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This content was originally published here.

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