"Reflection" is my animated graduate thesis film. The film is 6 minutes and 30 seconds long. The concept for the story was developed with a focus on character driven animation, acting and performance. I wanted to challenge myself animating a character type that I was not familiar with, something that I could not relate to on a personal level. I chose to animate a mother of 2 kids who is about 40 years old. I wanted her to go through a wide range of emotions throughout the film. I wanted it to be a silent film, so I could bring out all the thoughts and emotions running in her head through acting and really work on my animation skills.

To begin with, the mother realizes through a series of events that she is letting life slip away caught in the act of caring for her family. She is no longer cheerful, beautiful and the heart throb she used to be. As the story developed over time, I realized my character was evolving too. The story simply had to change and become more complex to allow for the exploration of the complex character of the mother.

The film has both 3D and 2D animation elements to it. A majority portion of the 3D production process was done in Autodesk Maya. The 2D parts were hand drawn animations done in TV Paint.

This paper outlines my film, from ideation to a finished product and the wonderful roller coaster ride that is part of the film making process.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Computer animation--Themes, motives; Computer animation--Technique; Animated films--Themes, motives; Animation (Cinematography); Mothers--Drama

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Imaging Arts (MFA)

Department, Program, or Center

School of Film and Animation (CIAS)


Brian Larson

Advisor/Committee Member

Mark J Reisch

Advisor/Committee Member

Tom Gasek


Physical copy available from RIT's Wallace Library at TR897.7 .C426 2014


RIT – Main Campus

Plan Codes