A 3D animation about the friendship between a bird, from the outer world, and a slave, of the mines. When the toxic gases of the mines become a threat to the bird's life, the slave makes it his duty to release the bird from the mines. However, the bird's arrival has not gone unnoticed as the slave masters known as the Overlord are close behind...

Online Release Date: June 2012
Currently being shown at festivals.

Watch the trailer for Caged:

Caged (Trailer) from Ravi Maheru on Vimeo.

For this film, I wanted to explore the themes of friendship, greed and insecurity without the use of dialogue. I wanted to place an emphasis on the expressions of each character as a result.

An important scene that I had in mind since the beginning

The title of the film fits each character of the animation, including the villain who is caged within its own insecurities about itself.


This was my final student film at the end of the my final year. Having made Sentry and Beyond during my second year I wanted to end my time at the course with a bigger film. I had a year (2 semesters) to work on this and since I wanted to make a 3D animation I knew that I would be working really close to the deadline of May.

The first half of development was dedicated to the pre-production where I created at least 3 animatics, several script revisions and a sketchbook full of character concept art. I had also made a start on modelling the characters.

With the second semester starting and the deadline getting dangerously closer, I made massive leaps in the development when I modelled, textured and rigged each character within the first month of the semester. Animating the film didn't take as long as I expected it to take, which took me 21 days to complete in a rough state.

A work in progress of the modelling of Bird

During it's production phase I went with the philosophy of animating the characters to block environments and to only begin work on the environment after the animation is finished. This gave me the benefit of only having to create what appears on screen since the camera's were all animated and set.

At the same time, I was also working on the credits as a separate animation as I wanted to put just as much effort in the credits as I had in the rest of the films. One reason behind this is that the credits played an important role in the storyline since it gave a brief look into what the two main characters do after the end of the film.

End scene in block form whilst in the "animation" phase

End scene with environments and lighting added
After March 15th I began work on the modelling, texturing of the environment aswell as lighting each scene and adding additional background animations. My method of creating Caged paid off as I completed the film a week before the final presentation and deadline.

My student degree show booth for Caged. To the right(in the dark) is the life size cut out

Festival screenings:

  1. The Cut 2011 (Mosely, UK) - July 9th, July 10th, July 16th and July 17th 2011
  2. Bridgnorth Animation Festival (Bridgnorth, UK) - August 27th 2011
  3. Short on Walls  (Wolverhampton, UK) - October 13th 2011
  4. FLIP Festival 2011 (Wolverhampton, UK) - October 29th 2011
  • Won an award at FLIP festival 2011 for "Best of Festival -Audience Choice"
  • Came 2nd place in the Public Vote award at the Bridgnorth Animation Festival (August 27th 2011)