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Mr Thomas Paul Thesen

Job: Senior Lecturer

School/department: Leicester Media School

Address: De Montfort University, The Gateway, Leicester, LE1 9BH

T: N/A



Personal profile

For over twenty years, Thomas Paul Thesen’s career has been about learning and understanding the complexities of art, animation, and image-making, both in still illustration, drawing and photography, and the moving image. He has worked in the industry as a character animator and visual development artist for companies like Pixar, DreamWorks, and Sprite Animation Studios and worked for and on the features Ratatouille, Shrek 2, Bee-Movie, Puss in Boots and others. In his academic career he has taught for many years at universities across Asia (NTU Tisch Asia, Hongik University, SCAD Hong Kong, NTU Singapore), the United States (SCAD Atlanta/Georgia), and the United Kingdom (Sheffield Hallam, DMU). 

Publications and outputs

'Reviewing and updating the 12 Principles of Animation', in Animation, an Interdisciplinary Journal; SAGE Publishing, 2020, Vol. 15(3), p.276-296

Research interests/expertise

  • Composition for narrative animation
  • Character Design for narrative animation
  • Religion, philosophy and aesthetics in Chinese animation
  • Revolutionary aspects in Chinese animation
  • Animation history
  • Illustration (narrative)

Areas of teaching

  • Character and background design
  • Storyboarding and cinematic language
  • Writing for animation
  • 2D character animation
  • Acting for animation
  • Animation history
  • Animation concept
  • Animation for Children
  • Composition for animation


MFA Experimental Animation, California Institute of the Arts, Los Angeles
BA (equivalent) Illustration (University of Applied Sciences, Hamburg/Germany)

Courses taught

ANIM1002: Story to Storyboard; ANIM2004: Visual Communication 2; ANIM3004: Major Project 2