The Senior Project pitch process is designed to germinate ideas that may eventually result in completed projects. Ideally, projects that will showcase the abilities you have acquired and refined during your last two years in the animation program.  

Senior Thesis Goals:

To showcase artistry, hone production skills and strengthen portfolios: The goal is for you to end your Senior year with a comprehensive project that accurately reflects the areas of expertise you most want to showcase.  While we strongly encourage you to work in teams to maximize artist-hours and to take advantage of collaborative possibilities we realize this is not a path that suits everyone.

Festival-worthy animated projects: This will primarily surface as a short animated films executed in a variety of media.  That said, we are open to see what the future holds as technology and student interests continue to expand our options. 

The "Preliminary Project Pitch" will be our first attempt at getting your potential projects out in the open.  Please bring your ideas, sketches, character designs, story thumbnails and project descriptions and be ready to share them with the class and be open for feedback.

Please turn them into the @Dropbox in a single folder for each subject you would like to pitch

simpsonB_pitch01_workingTitle, simpsonB_pitch02_workingTitle, etc.

Inside you can include movie files, sequential panels, word documents, etc.  My suggestion is to use Bridge Batch Rename to order and renumber them accordingly.

Tell us a story! This should be a fairly casual event and a chance to get the pot stirring and get some helpful feedback from your instructors and your peers.



Each of you will participate in two projects over the course of your senior year.  Which one you choose as a central focus is up to you to establish by the beginning of the fall semester.


A. Team-based Projects

Teams will be built around 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.

Team-based Projects have larger budgets and therefore the bar for risk is set relatively low.  Utilizing known technology leaving while leaving room for controlled experimentation is a strategy that is highly encouraged.   At this time, team-based projects will primarily surface as a short animated films executed in a variety of media.  That said, we are open to see what the future holds as technology and student interests continues to expand our options. 

A successful pitch for team-based projects must address the following concerns:

  1. Strength and Clarity of Concept: Why should we support this and how well have you thought this through?
  2. Strength of Pitch: How well did you communicate key aspects of your project?
  3. Do-ability of Your Project: Did you show an understanding of the project requirements and address how you will meet the demand?

B. Solo Project

This 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 a professional portfolio or as an artistic detour designed to be a break from a larger team project. 

Solo projects may consist of the following: Portfolio project designed to explore a specific area of interest.  3D Modeling, Character Animation, Concept Development, etc.




"Soft Pitch": We are looking for concrete ideas that you can develop over the summer.   While each project may have its own criteria for moving forward, there are specific questions we would like you to address and a format we would like you to follow for your End of Semester "Soft Pitch".

1. Written Project Description: Sum up your project in a single page word doc named: simpsonB_workingTitle.doc

Treatment:  A simple written treatment describing the project.  This could range from the synopsis of a storyline, a basic subject and media you would like to pursue, or an area of technology that you are interested in exploring.  In no more than two paragraphs, help us to understand the nature of your project.

Players: Who do you envision working on this project?  Will any of them be involved in the initial development?  Provide a simple breakdown explaining various roles for each of the partners. 

Summer Goals: Give us a list of concrete/reasonable goals which you hope to accomplish over the summer.

2. Visual Work: Show us images that help us understand the visual nature of your proposal.

Personal Work: This should include artwork that you have done for the project and examples of your work that is relates visually.  Story panels, character sketches, color concept, etc.  Animation tests, frame grabs and short clips are acceptable but keep them short.  

Inspirational Images: Frame grabs or clips from short films (do not include entire films), concept art, photographs, illustrations and any other examples of media that will help us visualize the project you are proposing.

3. Submit: Please place all of your work in a single folder and place it in the class folder Dropbox.

Naming: simpsonB_softPitch_workingTitle

Project Feedback: In response to the soft pitch we will help you to shape reasonable goals for entering your fall semester and explore ways to keep your project alive over the summer.  Ideas are subject to great changes during the early development process so we would like to get all of that out of the way over the summer.  The main goal is to establish some momentum that would allow you to hit the ground running next September. 





Stephan Leeper 2019/CMU Animation