"Cuddlefish" is an animated graduate thesis film about a young girl who befriends a giant squid. The story contains themes of rejection, hopefulness, and forgiveness. The film's protagonist, a young girl, ambles alone down a busy boardwalk at dusk. She meets a giant squid who is also in need of companionship, and they become friends. However, it's difficult to be friends with a squid. The film was produced primarily in Autodesk Maya with post-production done in Adobe After Effects and Adobe Premiere. The film has a runtime of three and a half minutes. The protagonist and antagonist of the film, along with the environments, were modelled and rendered three dimensionally in Maya. The secondary characters of passersby and a cat were drawn two dimensionally and rigged in Maya in a "paper cutout" style. Opening and closing titles were added in Adobe After Effects. Also, an underwater overlay effect was done in Adobe After Effects. Music and sound FX were added in Adobe Premiere. The production of "Cuddlefish" stretched out over 5 years, with the majority of that time being spent in pre-production developing the characters and their story in an attempt to achieve emotional depth while still maintaining brevity. This paper will be a record of the process of making "Cuddlefish" and the lessons learned along the way.
Library of Congress Subject Headings
Computer animation--Themes, motives; Computer animation--Technique; Animation (Cinematography); Animated films--Themes, motives; Squids--Drama; Friendship--Drama
Department, Program, or Center
School of Film and Animation (CIAS)
Gamin, Rebekah, "Cuddlefish" (2013). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
RIT – Main Campus