Learn From the Masters
(AKA The Team)
At CG Masters, we believe that a great training program is more than just courses; it’s experienced and passionate instructors paired 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 list of our carefully selected CG Masters and our amazing administrative team. Each master has been battle-hardened in production for ten years or more which allows them to bring far more than just technical skills to the classroom. They can give valuable insight into what it is like to do this type of work in a real studio.They know, because they’ve done it before at studios like Industrial Light & Magic, Sony Pictures Imageworks, The Moving Picture Company, Digital Domain, Double Negative, Method, DHX and much more.
DIRECTOR OF EDUCATION
Nicholas Boughen - Director of Education, Lighting and Shading Instructor
Nicholas Boughen has been a pioneer of the Vancouver visual effects community since 1995 when he began working with digital visual effects. As a veteran part-time instructor, he is the recipient of multiple Notices of Special Recognition as a “University instructor who has had a major impact on the academic life or goals of a student“. An Emmy and Gemini nominated digital artist and a VFX Supervisor for many years, Mr. Boughen began his digital career after 18 years in live theatre where he worked as a Technical Director, Facility Manager and Lighting & Scenic designer. This is where he taught himself to use early 3D software for his design work. When the digital media industry came to Vancouver, he made the natural transition to digital as a CG Generalist in television movies and TV series which were the bread and butter of the local industry in the early days. His feature film career began in 2002 when Rainmaker VFX (Now Method Studios Vancouver) landed the city’s first full feature. He spent the next 10 years establishing great teams and technological systems designed to handle the increasingly difficult demands of film and television visual effects.
Having completed 28 films, 4 television series and over a hundred commercials, Mr. Boughen is renowned as one of the world’s foremost experts in the art and science of computer generated lighting and shading; a field loaded with misperception and pseudophysics, widely considered to be a “black art” among many CG artists. Skilled lighting and shading artists are extremely rare and highly sought after. Mr. Boughen has been laboring for years in an attempt to fill this gap by publishing books, lecturing across north and central America and by teaching college and university classes on the subject outside of his professional career as a digital visual effects artist and supervisor. 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, Karate and Bojutsu.
Graeme Baitz - Compositing Instructor
Compositing Supervisor, 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 compositing supervisor on the TV series Once Upon a Time. He has also worked as a senior compositor on feature films 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?….”
Kyeyong Peck - Modeling & 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.
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.
Andrew Lowell - Dynamic FX Instructor
Andrew Lowell’s career in the arts started in music recording/mixing and also branched into video editing, compositing, and 3D FX; Eventually breaking into the VFX industry in Los Angeles. Thereafter his career has spanned several countries, and major studios such as Rhythm and Hues, CIS Vancouver, Animal Logic, and Digital Domain. Andrew’s professional growth in the field was fuelled by keeping his skill set diverse; continually taking on the most challenging projects and innovative shotwork.
For Andrew, production and education complement each other. He’s been training students and professionals in 3D graphics for 14 years. Accomplishments include teaching generalist courses in Los Angeles | One of the first Autodesk certified trainers | A book on Houdini’s Music and Motion capabilities / Lectures to processionals at the LA Sidefx office | International Houdini FX training in India, Mexico, Denmark, Holland, Serbia, LA, Sydney, Poland, Moscow, Vancouver, Montreal, Sweden | Several online FX courses for FXPHD | Dedicated Houdini FX classes in Vancouver.
Andrew constantly pushes Houdini’s music and sound processing/synthesis abilities. Also Houdini’s music visualization capabilities. Personal work involves procedurally generated music composition and two way musical interaction with graphics and fluid simulation.
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 12 years and has been part of the CG Masters faculty since 2015. 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.
IMDB Credits – Animation Director
IMDB Credits – Animation Supervisor
Shelley Rothenburger - Observational Drawing
Shelley was born and raised in Thunder Bay, Ontario and now resides in Vancouver B.C. 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 of Ontario in Toronto in 1996 and a solo exhibition at the Nickel Museum in Calgary in 2000. She has also participated in an invitational exhibition in an annual fundraiser for the arts in Salt Lake City, Utah. Her work is represented in the West Vancouver District Art Collection, 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, giving lectures and doing demonstrations and workshops. She is an artist model and court room artist and she has served on art gallery committee board of directors and as a jury member. She has co-founded and organized 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.
Ryan Crocker - Photography
Ryan has been a photographer for 18 years, turning professional 12 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 technology, 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 Hebb - Modeling & Texturing Instructor
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.
Patrick Heinicke - Animation Instructor
Animator, Bardel Entertainment
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, in 1993, he graduated from Sheridan College and began working as a classical animator. He freelanced for six years, working in Canada and Japan on several television projects including 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 returned to the industry to work on such projects as Max Steel, Monster High and The Adventures of Puss in Boots. He is currently animating at Bardel Enertainment .
In his free time, Patrick likes reading fantasy novels and practising tai chi.
Peter Bowmar - Dynamic FX Instructor
FX Technical Supervisor – Double Negative
When Peter Bowmar saw an obscure film in 1977, his love of Super 8mm filmmaking took on new meaning as he saw the possibility of pursuing a career of animating things and then blowing them up. 14 years later he got a Film undergrad degree, and new appreciation for the craft. His love of travel contributed to him living in Toronto, Singapore, Los Angeles, Bournemouth and London, England before returning home with a Master’s degree to Vancouver, Canada, where he now resides. During those travels he has worked at Ryerson University, Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Side Effects Software, Rhythm and Hues, Framestore, Method Studios and most recently, DNEG Vancouver where he is a FX Technical Supervisor. He is married and has 2 daughters, who are both being slowly but persistently nerdified. Oh, in case it’s not clear, the obscure 1977 film was the original Star Wars.
Russell Smith - Rigging & 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?
Danny Lee - Compositing Instructor
Compositor – CoSA VFX
Danny Lee has been inspiring new artists at CG Masters since 2014. He is a Senior Compositor and has been working as a compositor in visual effects since 2003. He is in high demand and continues to work across many studios in the region including ScanLine VFX, Digital Domain, ILM, Double Negative and MPC. In 2013, Danny had the opportunity to work as a compositor at Weta Digital on The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. He most recent credits include Avengers: Infinity War, Ready Player One, Tomb Raider, Thor: Ragnarok, Spider-man: Homecoming, The Fate of the Furious, Power Rangers and Start Trek: Beyond.