"To graduate with a comprehensive project and a professional portfolio that best reflect your areas of expertise."



      Over the course of your senior year each of you will participate in two projects. 

      A comprehensive "Thesis Project" will be the central focus of your senior year, while a smaller "Research Project"  will be included as creative break from production duties and ideally, an opportunity to rejuvenate creativity and bring some diversity to your portfolio.

      The content and form of these projects should reflect each animators proven track record and personal interests.



      Thesis Projects are designed to create showcase-worthy animation at a near-professional level.  They must be a comprehensive work of art with potential for festival entry, gallery exhibition or pitch competition. 

      All animation seniors will be required to have direct involvement in a Thesis Project performing as a principle, or supporting artist/animator.  While we encourage students to work in small teams to maximize man-hours and creative potential, collaboration is not a requirement.  Team sizes can range from solo endeavors to teams of three*. 

      Thesis Projects will primarily surface as animated projects executed in a variety of media.  Other forms of visual story, interactive gameplay, and kinetic sculpture may be accepted provided a strong case is made for their potential success. We are open to see what the future holds as technology and student interest continue to expand our options. 

      The Green-light Approval Process is designed to support concepts that show particular artistic merit, reasonable production challenges, and a clear path towards completion.  These projects will function in a studio-like environment with some students fully dedicated to the project while others may be brought on in a freelance capacity.

      A successful pitch for Thesis Projects must address the following concerns:

      Strength and Clarity of Concept: Why should we support this and how well have you thought this through?

      Strength of Pitch: How well did you communicate key aspects of your project?

      Do-ability of Your Project: Did you show an understanding of the project requirements and address how you will meet the demand?



      The Research Project is designed for students to explore a single area of personal interest unencumbered by production pipelines and group dynamics.  This project may be tailored towards filling out a professional portfolio or as a low-budget micro-short designed to be a break from a larger Thesis Project.  For some, the option of freelancing on a different Thesis Project may sound attractive.

      Research Projects Examples - Focused Portfolio Building & Freelance Opportunities: 3D Character Modeling, 2D Character Animation, Character Design, 3D effects, Color Scripting, Storyboarding, etc.

      Micro-short Animation Research - 10-30 second explorations in traditional media, zoetrope construction, web comic, etc.




























Stephan Leeper/Central Michigan University/2019