Great Training has to be about People
Next Training Session Starts May 01, 2017
At CG Masters, we believe great training is about people, not courses. The right people. Our goal every term is to put the right instructors into a room with the right students. If you’ve seen our student work, you will recognize the magic that can happen when we do this.
Below is a carefully selected list of industry CG Masters and our amazing administrative team. Each master has been battle-hardened in production for ten years or more and bring to the classroom far more than tool skills and technique. They teach what it is to do their job in a studio. And they know, because they do it every day at studios like Industrial Light & Magic, Sony Pictures Imageworks, The Moving Picture Company, Digital Domain, Double Negative, Method, DHX and many more.
NICHOLAS BOUGHEN – CO-FOUNDER | DIRECTOR OF EDUCATION | LIGHTING AND SHADING INSTRUCTOR
- With a background as a scenic and lighting designer for the stage, he naturally gravitated towards Computer Generated lighting and shading. His books garnered speaking invitations across North and Central America. Mr. Boughen, a certified instructor, has been teaching Digital Arts since 2001 at various institutions and conferences and came to the conclusion that current teaching methods in this field need a big overhaul. Based on his years of experience training digital artists on the job to produce professional quality pictures, he and the faculty have developed a skills-oriented training structure that addresses issues with insufficient, fragmented or incomplete training commonly found at nearly all colleges, universities and private training institutes. He has gathered a wonderful faculty of industry veterans and leaders to help realize the vision of a new kind of training that is based on genuine job skills and on-the-job training methodologies rather than on the theoretical process-based methods of most schools worldwide. His goal is to create the best visual effects school in the world by running against the tide of popular but ineffective training methods and relying on his real-world training and production experience in the business of visual effects.
- Mr. Boughen lives in Deep Cove with his wife/partner Vickie and their two children. In is spare time, he is a rabid private pilot. He currently holds a first degree black belt from the World Traditional Taekwondo Union and practices SKF Kickboxing and Karate.
PETER BOWMAR – DYNAMICS INSTRUCTOR | FX Development Supervisor, Double Negative
Peter Bowmar is a native Vancouverite and currently FX Development Supervisor at Double Negative. His main role is develping and maintaining studio-wide Houdini toolsets for FX and Lighting, and occasionally directly helping specific shows with development support. As a lad, Peter and his Dad and/or friends made stop motion Super 8 films, usually involving Lego, explosions and blood, not always in the same film. At the age of 10, Star Wars altered his life forever. This led to spaceships being added to the aforementioned Super 8 films, and lots of TIE fighters scribbled on notebooks. Cable TV volunteering led to a professional night cameraman role for Kelowna station CHBC, which taught him a deep and scarring fear of mistakes, as those made on live TV are seen by hundreds of thousands. Working on film sets in the late 80s and during his Ryerson Film degree days convinced him that he hated being on set. Fortunately the transition to digital effects conveniently happened to save him. An Amiga, Imagine and a Video Toaster launched him into freelance FX work in Toronto. His career took an unexpected turn when he went to Singapore to help set up the first film and animation school in that country. Being given $5 million to spend presented the chance to learn and teach all major high-end software packages, and Softimage 3D became the next package after obsessing on LightWave. During this time, he tried to learn Prisms (the predecessor to Houdini) but quickly gave up when he was introduced to an Alpha .8 version of Houdini. He left Singapore for Side Effects Software’s Los Angeles office, where he spent many years documenting, supporting and developing training for Houdini. He found occasional time to do some freelance work on shows such as The Cell, Master of Disguise and Minority Report. Peter then worked at Rhythm and Hues on such projects as Flight of the Phoenix, Electra, and Superman Returns. After his US work visa ran out, he and his family moved to England, where he spent a year completing his Masters degree in Animation at Bournemouth University.Another production stint followed, this time at Framestore-CFC in London, where he worked on the Academy Award winning “Golden Compass” as well as “Prince Caspian” and “Wanted.” While he and his wife both loved living in London, the opportunity to return home to Vancouver proved too tempting, and he returned in 2008.
GRAEME BAITZ – COMPOSITING INSTRUCTOR | Lead Compositor, Zoic Studios
Graeme, an Emmy nominated senior compositor, graduated from Simon Fraser University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Interactive Arts. His visual effects career started at Method Studios as a rotoscope artist before quickly moving up to a lead rotoscope artist and eventually moving into a compositing role. It was there that he first met CG Masters Founder Nicholas Boughen where they worked together on such titles as Night at the Museum, Blades of Glory, Invictus, Marmaduke and Salt.
Graeme currently works at Zoic Studios as a senior feature film compositor and occasionally as a lead compositor on television titles. As a lead compositor, Graeme has been nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Special Visual Effects in Falling Skies and attended the 65th annual Emmy Awards in 2013.
He is passionate about exploring the world through hiking, kayaking, scuba diving, and traveling to far away places.
Nick says of Graeme “Why is he always so calm?….”
JACOB CLARKE – HOUDINI DYNAMICS INSTRUCTOR | Lead FX TD, Sony Pictures Imageworks
Jacob is a spectacularly talented and smart Dynamics FX TD, best known for his work on Superman Returns, Clash of the Titans, Battleship and The Golden Compass. He started his career in 2004 by moving to Los Angeles to pursue a career in film. His first film, Superman Returns, earned an Oscar nomination for Visual Effects. After working on a number of films in LA and contributing to the Best Animated Feature Oscar film, Happy Feet, Jacob decided to move to London England to explore the dynamic industry. Here he worked at Framestore for four years. At Framestore Jacob was able to help develop the FX pipeline, and work on a half dozen feature films, and commercials. In 2010, Jacob moved to Vancouver to a small independent visual FX company Image Engine. Once again, helping to set up the Houdini FX pipeline for the studio, here he lead FX teams to finish off some dynamite FX shows, including Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Battleship, and Lone Survivor. Currently Jacob is now splitting his time between working at Sony Vancouver and teaching at CG Masters.
RYAN CROCKER – PHOTOGRAPHY INSTRUCTOR | CGM Programs Coordinator
Ryan has been a photographer for 15 years, turning professional 7 years ago. His work has been featured in magazines such as Tribute and Profiles Of Success. His primary focus is on portraiture, but dabbles in landscape and fine art. With the continuing evolution of technolgy, he has also begun to work in corporate video and multimedia publishing for smartphones and tablets, utilizing the latest advances in both DSLR video and software that only a few years ago would have been out of reach for many. He has worked in the visual effects industry as a rotoscope artist for the films Cowboys & Aliens and Battleship. He also works in the entertainment field as an actor and voice over artist, his original loves. A graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, he is a director in residence at First Impressions Theatre in North Vancouver.
JAMES G. HEBB – MODELING/TEXTURING INSTRUCTOR | Owner The Embassy VFX
Mr. Hebb is one of the founders of The Embassy VFX www.theembassyvfx.com in Vancouver Canada. The Embassy has been responsible for many world class visual effects including stunning work on Iron Man, District 9 (Academy Award nominated), Cowboys and Aliens, Battle L.A., Battleship and numerous other films and high end commercials. Mr. Hebb began as a digital artist in the early days and is one of the pioneers of modern digital visual effects work. He adds decades of experience and expertise to our advisory system, helping ensure CG Masters always stays up to date with current industry needs, methods and technologies. We are extremely pleased to welcome an artist and business owner of this calibre to our advisory board.
PATRICK HEINICKE- ANIMATION INSTRUCTOR | Senior Animator, DHX Media
Patrick was chastised by his kindergarten teacher for drawing the same dinosaur over and over… and over. So it was no surprise when, twenty-ish years later, he graduated from Sheridan College and began working as a classical animator. He freelanced for six years, working in Canada and Japan on such television projects as Nilus the Sandman and Aeon Flux, and the feature film Werner: Das muss kesseln!!!
Patrick began teaching in 1996 and earned a Provincial Instructor’s Diploma the following year. He taught animation full time for nine years while continuing to freelance as an animator, designer and illustrator. From 2011 to 2012 Patrick returned to being a student, completing the Digital Animation Program at Capilano University. After graduating (again), he joined Nerd Corps Entertainment (now DHX Media) to work on shows including Max Steel and Monster High. Patrick is currently a lead animator at DHX Media.
In his free time, Patrick likes reading fantasy novels and practising tai chi.
JUNG HUN KIM – RIGGING/SCRIPTING INSTRUCTOR | Senior Cloth FX TD Sony Pictures Imageworks
Currently a senior Cloth FX Artist and TD at Sony Pictures Imageworks, Mr. Kim has been working in visual effects for over 13 years. Recent credits include Angry birds, World of Warcraft, Ender's Game, Jack the Giant Slayer and Ender's Game. During his broad career, Mr. Kim has worked as a lighting artist, roto artist, character finaler, rigger and currently as a cloth FX artist and Technical Director. We are extremely pleased to have Mr. Kim's huge experience on our team.
DANNY LEE - COMPOSITING INSTRUCTOR | Senior Compositor, Various Studios
Danny Lee is a Senior Compositor. As such he is in demand and works across many studios in the region including, but not limited to, ILM, Double Negative and MPC. He is known for his work on Django, District 9, The Hobbit and Thor among many others
KYEYONG PECK - MODELING AND TEXTURING INSTRUCTOR | Senior CG Generalist, Method Studios
Mr. Peck is a senior modeler currently at Method Studios Vancouver. In his 13 years in the industry he has worked at numerous studios as a lighting, texturing and modeling specialist. In addition, he has several years of experience teaching his craft. His calm and good nature in the class room make him a fun and approachable instructor and we like that a lot. We have worked with Mr. Peck in the past on feature film projects and are absolutely delighted and honored to have this bright, talented artist teaching our modeling and texturing class.
SHANE POETTCKER - ANIMATION INSTRUCTOR | Animation Director, DHX Media
Mr. Poettcker is an Animation Director at DHX Media (formerly Nerd Corps Entertainment) where he has been animating for ten years. Among his credits are Storm Hawks, The League of Super Evil, Hot Wheels: Battle Force 5, Rated A for Awesome, Monster High and Max Steel. He has been a director on Endangered Species and Nickelodeon's Blaze and the Monster Machines. He credits his passion for animation to watching the same 4-hour VHS tape of recorded cartoons over and over again through much of his childhood. Don't try this at home.
SHELLEY ROTHENBURGER - DRAWING INSTRUCTOR : M.F.A.
Shelley was born and raised in Thunder Bay, Ontario. She began formal studies in art in 1989 at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay and graduated with an Honours Bachelor of Fine Art in 1995 majoring in Painting. She continued her art education in 1997 upon entering Graduate School at the University of Alberta in Edmonton and completed her formal studies with a Master of Fine Art degree in painting in 2000. She has had multiple solo, juried and group exhibitions nation wide, most noted being a juried exhibition at the Art Gallery on Ontario in Toronto in 1996 and a solo exhibition at the Nickel Museum in Calgary in 2000. Her work is represented in the University of Alberta Master of Fine Art Collection and The Alberta Foundation for the Arts Collection. And also, in private regional, national and international collections. Her professional experience includes teaching, doing demonstrations and workshops, giving lectures, serving as a jury member, serving on art gallery committees and board of directors, co-founding and organizing an annual art collective event, and exhibition design for various galleries. Shelley has been awarded the Alberta Foundation for the Arts Graduate Scholarship Award, The Mary Louis Imrie Graduate Student Award, three Lakehead University Juried Exhibition Awards and several provincial Exhibition Assistance Grants. The CG Masters are honored to have her on the faculty. Students who don't think they know how to draw will depart her class corrected. »
RUSSELL SMITH - RIGGING AND SCRIPTING INSTRUCTOR | CG Supervisor, Bron Studios
Russell started out his career in the last days of the Neovisuals software in the 80's before a big bad US company bought it and turned it into... nothing. Finding solace in PRISMS by Side Effects, the next five years were a blur of Toronto, London, New York and Toronto again working in visual effects. A two month gig in Los Angeles turned into almost 16 years, the largest part of which was at the Walt Disney Company in Feature Animation. What does Disney pride itself with? Character work. So the effects side was left behind for the beginning of developing rigs for 3D characters capable of everything from realistic to Tex Avery style animation and more. For now, it's back home and a return to visual effects. Might there be one day be animated feature movies made in Canada?
PROFESSIONAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE
Rick Stringfellow - Executive Art Director - Electronic Arts Canada
Dale Fay - Director / VFX Supervisor
James G. Hebb - Founder - The Embassy VFX
Peter Bowmar - FX Development Supervisor - Double Negative
John Gajdecki - VFX Supervisor
William Vaughan - Senior CG Generalist, Instructor, Owner Applehead Factory
Vickie Boughen - Co-Founder | Director of Operations
Vickie is most likely who you will first speak to when you are thinking seriously about studying digital animation and visual effects with us. She will answer your admission questions and help you complete your application process. Vickie has over two decades of experience in medical office management, property management and project/special event management, accounting, and office administration. She also has extensive experience dealing with government applications, confidential files, accounting practices, records archiving practices and project supervision. Her very strong interpersonal skills outfit her for interacting positively with students, parents and staff. There are few better suited for such a position. And she is just a lovely person too. We think we’ll keep her.
Nicholas Boughen - Co Founder | Director of Education
Mr. Boughen is responsible for the training of every individual who crosses the CG Masters’ threshold. He employs nearly four decades of entertainment industry experience in continuously developing and delivering this remarkable training program. As a Film Industry Visual Effects Supervisor, he spent many years developing effective production teams as well as technical and administration systems to ensure timely, quality delivery of visual effects. He carries a deep understanding of industry’s need for well-trained, professional commercial artists, not just people who have taken some courses to learn software tools. This understanding is what drove the development of a training system that is centred on real studio operational procedure, team production and best practices. You are unlikely to find a better versed expert in the arts, sciences and procedures of studio production.
Ryan Crocker - Programs Coordinator
Mr. Crocker is the first face you will see when you come to check out our visual effects school. He brings 25 years of customer service experience to his role as Programs Coordinator of CG Masters Academy. His professional experience as a photographer and visual effects artist give him the ideal balance of service orientation, practical knowledge and organizational skills. He’s a skilled multi-tasker. That’s good because he’s going to need it. He brings a skill set including accounting, scheduling, and communications to the front desk of our school. A positive attitude and a “can do” mentality will serve the students well. We are pleased to have Ryan also instructing our Photography class.