This course directs students engaged in research and planning for their thesis: a project involving production of a major animation project using Maya and a complementary paper. Thesis Research is the prerequisite for the graduate thesis production courses (Thesis I and II). Offering an overview of Maya 3D computer modeling and animation technology, extensive guided examination of some representative animation works, and class discussions of various topics in art theory and criticism, the course directs students to research and plan their own graduate thesis projects. Class discussions and individual meetings with the professor build student research skills for the initiation of the thesis paper and final animation project. Students must produce a term paper presenting their detailed, step-by-step plan for the developmental phases of their animation artwork. The paper’s goal is to anticipate technical challenges and solutions to be sought, resulting, effectively, in the blueprint for the graduate thesis animation production. This preliminary paper also serves as the outline of the graduate thesis paper. Students build some foundation work for the thesis project, such as storyboards and theme outlines.