To Be Captured, a 3D animated short, utilizes some toys as the film’s main characters to increase the sense of artificiality, while trying to animate their movements as closely to the forces of the real world as possible. It tells a story of a group of stuffed animals enclosed in a doll claw machine waiting to be captured. The main character, one of the smarter toys, is a seahorse who plays tricks to be captured when a little girl starts to play the game. Once out of the box, he despairs realizing that the girl is a fanatic who only cares about catching the biggest toy in the machine, which is the bear. While playing, she becomes furious when she fails to capture her prize. The bear in the box trembles with fear when he witnesses her ill-treatment of her previous prizes, the carrots and the seahorse, and he begs for help. The animals work together to protect the bear and then have to rely only on themselves to face the challenges of a truly free life. This thesis short shows that the use of fictional narrative, artificial stage setting, and anthropomorphic dolls in an animated film featuring toy characters can still produce a strong sense of realism if viewed from Brecht’s A-Effect perspective and balanced with the realistic representational approaches in animation, such as facial expression personification, varied camera angles, detailed movement analysis, expressive area lighting design, and texture parameter adjustment. This thesis presents a journey of exploration of how to create this fantasy short film and animate it in a realistic manner.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Computer animation--Technique; Computer animation--Themes, motives; Toys--Drama

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Film and Animation (MFA)

Department, Program, or Center

School of Film and Animation (CAD)


Peter Murphey

Advisor/Committee Member

Mark Reisch

Advisor/Committee Member

Carl Dong


RIT – Main Campus

Plan Codes