Lost Boys Studios
Canada's School of Visual Effects
Thanks to our long history as leaders in visual effects production, our active industry participation, and our track record of producing the top fresh talent the Lost Boys brand is well known worldwide within the visual effects industry. Our reputation opens doors and builds connections. Through our networks, the VFX Industry will take an active role in your career development. We often have recruiters contacting us to ask when the next class is graduating and if we have any alumni available for work. Studios will often hire several Lost Boys at once, as employers know our student work together well as a team and have the knowledge to succeed. Lost Boys is selective in applicants and intentionally creates smaller class sizes in order to facilitate strong inter-peer bonds and collaborative work habits. We develop strong personal relationships that last far beyond graduation. All our graduates make us proud and we care about each and every one of them. It is important to us that all our students succeed.
Our Founder, Mark Bénard has held the title, Education & Technology Chair and Ria Bénard the Secretary for the Visual Effects Society – Vancouver Section Board. Through the Visual Effects Society they have hosted many industry events at our Studio, including VES Artist Spotlights, Houdini User Groups, VES Board Meetings, and Workshops. Mark and Ria also arrange industry events such as the annual Visual Effects, Animation & Game Development Career Fair and VES Celebration of Animation & Visual Effects(CAVE). They additionally serve on the Screen Based Media – Education Advisory Committee to help advise the provincial government on matters relating to the healthy sustained growth of our sector. Lost Boys is proud to host and maintain VFXVancouver.com, Vancouver’s primary job board for the visual effects and animation sector. Ganz Ramalingam, our Compositing Program Lead, operates and maintains lostboys-vfx.com, an online knowledge repository for all things visual effects and animation. Patrick Schuler, our FX TD Program Lead, teaches workshops, gives artist talks for the Houdini user group. We look forward to exposing the students to more industry events allowing them to meet professionals and make industry connections as well as strengthen our own.
We have two decades of experience actively participating in the development of our industry. We listen to the current needs. We anticipate the future demands. The outcome has been the creation of the worlds top craft programs to give you your best shot at achieving your dreams of working in feature film visual effects. Our Program Advisory Committee’s (PAC) for our programs, include some of the top minds in their area of expertise and are met with regularly to help design and shape the curriculum to keep our programs current with industry needs. Our Alumni are also another valuable resource. We are proud of our alumni and stay closely connected to them, resulting in valuable ongoing ties to industry and feedback to help us evolve the program. They have recently begun a monthly Lost Boys Meet-up held at our school to present cutting edge techniques and tools which is open to all alumni and active students.
Students learn real-world problems solving skills and challenge themselves in new ways. Each project reveals a new craft relevant challenge to overcome under the guidance of an experienced mentor. Unlike most educational methods that are only learning by listening, watching and memorizing, with learning by doing students learn to have greater understanding and better retention of the knowledge. As an added benefit, the flexibility of this style of learning allows students coming from different levels of experience to always stay challenged. Through carefully designed demonstrations and courses students are shown all the fundamental skills required in the industry and apply/prove those skills through valuable portfolio projects which smoothly increase in complexity as the program progresses. We embrace an open floor plan, encouraging students from both programs to communicate and collaborate on projects. Our schedule is fluid, allowing us the flexibility to add in a last minute guest speaker or studio tour. One of the major advantages of project work is that students feel better prepared for employment in a studio. They are encouraged to find new solutions to problems they encounter on the different projects thereby continuously learning. This is imperative in an every evolving technology driven field. Learning doesn’t end in the classroom, it is a life long adventure! Tell me and I’ll forget. Show me and I’ll remember. Involve me and I’ll understand! – Confucius
Our programs are intensive shorter duration programs designed to immerse you in Visual Effects. We are different by design. Our emphasis is on teaching you a craft, not just software. Teaching primarily using projects which simulate tasks they would be given in the industry. Students are provided a shot or a sequence of shots to complete within a realistic production deadline working under the guidance of an experienced mentor. Our programs are designed for those who know what they want to study and want to transition into a career as quickly as possible while still receiving a superior education. To compliment our projects students are provided with fundamental courses as well as lectures and demonstrations from guest instructors and speakers. As this teaching method is intensive and has hours similar to that of many studios, the program duration is roughly equivalent to 2-4 year programs at other schools. This helps to prepare student to transition into studios with ease.
Founded in 1996, Mark Benard entered into a partnership with Sir Richard Branson's world class Virgin Digital Studios to service the expanding Vancouver visual effects market. Lost Boys soon became an internationally renowned visual effects and animation studio providing award winning content to films, commercials, television series, music videos, and game cinematics. More can be seen under our History section. We differ from traditional educational institutions with our hands-on, project based curriculum and studio-like classroom environment. Our hours of instruction closer reflect the future studio culture, with additional evening time to work on projects. Our higher than average full time instructor to student ratio nurtures a strong learning relationship between students and staff. This often results in a close knit group of friends who develop team work skills, while recognizing and supporting each others strengths. Our instruction areas are set up much the same as you might find in any studio, with your own workspace and production class Linux workstation, and your own set of keys and access codes. There are also several common areas including a theater (for large screenings), a student lounge (for smaller groups), and a large rooftop deck for fresh air and summer barbeques. For a better idea of our inspirational environment visit our Virtual Studio Tour section.
Francois is a Senior Lighter with 20 years of experience working with visual effects and computer graphics.
His experience includes working at various recognized studios such as Sony Pictures Imageworks, Method Studios, Weta Digital, Digital Domain, Animal Logic and Ubisoft, just to name a few.
Your portfolio should be a demo reel showing your skills. You can also include 8 – 10 pieces of your best work in any medium, and can include photography, drawing, comic or graphic design, painting, sculpture, website design, and/or digital imagery. The Lighting program requires 4-6 portfolio pieces. * It is recommended that students who are accepted into the lighting program own a DSLR Camera to bring to class.
*It is recommended that applicants to the Effects Technical Director (FXTD) Program and the Lighting TD (Katana) also have a basic operational understanding of at least one 3D software package. (Houdini, Maya, Max, Cinema 4D, or Blender, etc…)
*Students interested in the Advanced Compositing program should have some photo or video editing experience or have basic understanding of compositing softwares such as After Effects or Nuke. Students that have no previous Nuke experience can always check out some training videos at the Online VFX Learning Portal so they can feel better prepared.
Mark began his career in 2001 as a compositor in London for MPC. After several years he moved to the MPC Vancouver studio where they were lucky enough to have him as the Head of Compositing. Since then Mark has moved on to become VFX Supervisor at Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) Vancouver. Throughout his career, he has gained countless credit and vast experience on a various number of popular movies, which include Man of Steel, Life of Pi, Dark Shadows, Sucker Punch, Watchmen, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and many, many more. With over a decade of Visual Effects experience we are very fortunate to have him as a member of our committee.
“Lost Boys was a clear choice for me when I had to choose a serious school for teaching about what an effects artist should really know in order to step directly into the feature film VFX industry.
An exclusive teaching on Houdini with a famous Houdini guru such as Andrew Lowell, has to be considered pure gold in the most active city (Vancouver) of visual effects in the world.
I’ve considered other schools in different areas of the world prior my final decision to register to Lost Boys in Vancouver. I found this school the perfect combination of quality of the teaching, length of the course, size of the classes and job placement assistance.
The contained size of the school and the classes is big advantage. The human touch and the friendly environment that grows into the school helps a lot to get more into the mood of how the VFX industry is made. Vancouver is a not a huge city and the degree of separation of the VFX people are really small. It’s important to know each other, sharing knowledge and consider ourself as part of a team a not just as a standalone artists.
Giving up to my job in Italy and moving into the other side of the world to start fresh a school is something that can be trustfully considered to be crazy thing. Instead I found solid ground in this new adventure with classmates, teachers and passionate people that gave me the tools and the help I was looking for to make my step into the Vancouver VFX Film industry.”
“Ten years ago I was making Star Wars videos with my friends in my backyard, prior to attending Lost Boys I had even done a few more through high school. Experimenting with filming to post production to editing and sound in the most basic manners, it was always a one man show.
Today I work at Industrial Light and Magic with an amazing team of people working to further make history in visual effects.
Lost Boys is the one and only place I could ever see myself going to now that I’ve made it through and landed successful jobs. With each one having been a stepping stone leading to something greater, Lost Boys has proven to be that “first step into a larger world” Obi-Wan speaks of. In my time there I realized more and more that Lost Boys is more than just a school, to some it’s a home, or a home away from home. And the FX TD program is more than a course, it’s literally everything you could ask for and more in the way of a ticket to work in post. Same goes for the compositing program.
A huge thanks to Lost Boys and it’s lovely staff for being such loving hosts and amazing people!”
“Lost Boys was my only choice when I applied to Canadian VFX schools. Former educator work experience allows me to differentiate what schools offer that really matters to grads from merely marketing and hype, which is the reason Lost Boys attracted me.
Being in the FX TD program was my most memorable and rewarding experience. Our Jedi Master Andrew prepared us thoroughly for not only the ability to complete production shots, but also more importantly, career professionalism to thrive in a studio. How often do you get a brochure of studio do’s and don’ts from school career counseling?
The FX TD program is designed to simulate a studio environment so much that later I never felt unfamiliar with studio schedule or culture. Besides countless studio tours, we had recruiter visits and industry mentor portfolio reviews. In the end I was able to land an offer at my dream studio. I can’t thank Andrew, Ria, and Mark enough for their help.”
“The Lost Boys FX TD Program was an easy decision for me. Its FX focused Houdini program was exactly what I was looking for. The course is unique and really well put together by Andrew, who besides being a Houdini Master is also a fantastic teacher.
It was not just about learning the software but learning about how to think and observe like an FX TD and hone your problem solving skills.
The class sizes are small, which is a huge advantage and gets you a lot of personal attention.The environment is really friendly and supportive, which is important to have when you are working on very challenging projects. The project based learning structure mimics a professional studio environment and has been really helpful.
Going to Lost Boys is one of the best decisions of my life and I have really fond memories of the school. I got way more out of the program than I had expected. I would highly recommend it to anybody wanting to get into VFX and animation.”
“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.” – The Litany Against Fear – Frank Herbert, Dune
“Before coming to Lost Boys, I was living in Hawaii and worked in Communications. However, all of my free time was consumed with learning about visual effects. I loved it. But like most people, I was afraid of change. Afraid of the unknown. Afraid of failing and afraid to turn a hobby into a career. After all, it would mean starting over. But, I kept coming back to a short passage from a book that I read many years ago. That passage from Dune played on a loop in my head. Committed and unafraid, I decided to do some research on schools. Lost Boys kept percolating to the top of the list as one of the best schools in the business.
Going to Lost Boys changed my life. The FX TD program delivered everything it promised. Through hard work and perseverance, along with the support of staff and fellow students, I gained a solid and focused foundation of professional FX skills and an introduction to the working realities of the visual effects industry. Because class sizes are managed, you get to know everyone. Not just in your class or discipline, but alums and new students as well. Those connections become the glue that bonds people for a lifetime. I became we because of Lost Boys.”
“I am a 2014 graduate from the first batch of the EFFECTS TECHNICAL (FX TD) DIRECTOR Program at Lost Boys Studios. Being the only international student lacking basic knowledge about CG I risked to apply for Lost Boys. But, it was worth the risk. The specialized programs at the school are very well structured and has provided for a strong base to build my career as an FX Artist.
The staff at the school is very knowledgeable and very helpful. The most important thing is that you receive one on one attention which helps a lot in terms of understanding and getting the hang of concepts, which in many of the schools is hard to come by.
The teachers are involved as much as the students in the projects, and tackle problems along with them, which leads to good development in thinking process and at the same time bridges the communication gap between the students and the teachers, which makes for a comfortable learning environment.
Another great thing about the program is that it isn’t confined to the four walls of the studio. Gathering references for projects outside in the real world is also a unique part of the program.
Industry visits to various studios around the city gave us a great exposure to the professional working environment and also gave us an idea of the various exciting career opportunities after graduation.
Being at Lost Boys was one of the best decision I made and one of the most fulfilling experiences of my life. The knowledge I have gained is immense and also had the opportunity to meet some very talented students across the globe.”
“My journey with the Lost Boys | School of Visual Effects was a great experience. Lost Boys boosted my confidence and gave me very useful practical approaches and experience of what I use to read before joining the FX program.
The project based curriculum simulated real world production experience better preparing me for my transition to a working professional.
The staff is highly experienced and supportive at any time in any type of difficulty. Every single minute in the premises counts, the studio was fruitful in many different ways whether it with friends or with the faculty. Special thanks to Mark, Ria, Ganz and our mentor Andrew for helping us in every possible way they could.
I am really happy and proud of my decision of joining Lost Boys. Some memories are worthy to remember; for me Lost Boys is one of them.”
“Having the opportunity to study at Lost Boys Studios was the best professional choice I’ve made in my life. Great school, professional, excellent instructors, really good structure, amazing and a very focused program. Everything I needed I could get at Lost Boys. It was such a real experience, projects were based on VFX works from studios around the world, technical lectures, latest techniques, and really good career advice. At the end of the program all my classmates and I had a really good demo reel. Lost Boys is a VFX School which really cares about its students. They make sure that they’re successful in their VFX career. I had such a great time and made huge improvement. Even before I finished the program I got a job in one of the world class VFX studios. And what a surprise I had when I was selected and awarded by The Rookies for an Internship! It is a very important VFX award. I had my demo reel reviewed by the best VFX artists in the world! I really feel prepared and confident to take any professional challenge in my career thanks to the support from Lost Boys Studios – School of Visual Effects.”
“Lost Boys Studios is a real hidden gem of a school. I loved every minute that I spent there and had one of the best experiences of my life studying with them. The lecturer and owners are all extremely talented people that really know how to pass on their knowledge effectively and patiently. I’ve studied at a lot of schools over the years, trying to expand my knowledge and Lost Boys was by far the best. I really loved and appreciated the simple things like how much effort, time, and money they put back into the school. There is a real sense of pride amongst the staff as well as the students. If you are looking to take your career further while having one of the best experiences of your life doing it, then this is the right place to be.”
“I did not have any background in Visual Effects nor any idea on how to use Nuke software when I started. What brought me to Lost Boys was a poor experience at VFS. The good thing that came out of that is that I now knew what it was that I was looking for and I found all of those things at Lost Boys. From the first time I spoke to them, to the tour, to the classes and graduation and now being an alumnus everything that they said they were and did was exactly that and beyond. Getting into Lost Boys is easy ONLY if you are a passionate and hardworking person who is exited to be in this industry. Simply having cash will not get you in like it does with other schools. They care about their students and want to make sure that everyone there really wants it and will work hard together. Going to Lost Boys: They offered a small class and when I started it was exactly that, this benefited us and our teacher; we all got the attention and help that we needed and were able to really get to know each other and work together. Our class had people with a high skill set and people like me who were brand new, with a wide age range and people from all around the globe. Every project that we did we built together from scratch: Mark behind the camera, Ria doing her magic with special effects makeup and creative wardrobing to us students acting for our shots. You really get that hands on experience and knowledge of the entire process. A lot of lectures also get recorded (audio & video) so we can go back and follow step by step while working. We had a lot of lab time but when we needed help from Ganz he always made the time even if it meant staying after hours. Also the studio is awesome: its a fun environment and very much like the studios you’d work at. It is crazy how much we learned in 10 months. But it is a specialized program so you focus on that one thing instead of an intro to a million different things like some other schools. Graduating and getting work: All of us got a practicum and jobs before graduation; half of our class couldn’t be at the graduation because they moved to Montreal for work because Lost Boys has connections everywhere and working anywhere in the world isn’t far out of reach with their help. I myself got a job a month into my practicum (it is usually 2 months) at the studio that I originally wanted to go to and have worked there for 10 months. I really can’t give them enough credit; they aren’t just the best VFX school in my eyes, they are also a family. I am very happy and grateful to be a part of it. If you’re thinking about joining this crazy fun world of VFX I highly recommend this school; give them a call and go visit and you’ll see for yourself.”
“I can confidently say that choosing to apply to Lost Boys was one of the best decisions I have made in my life. They have brilliant instructors, passionate students, and an astonishing environment. Not only that, they have a well thought-out program too, including a practicum will definitely help you to start in this industry, and a project called “Invisible Effects”, which is fun to work on and will make your demo reel look unique, plus group work to collaborate with the FX TD class. I had a 3D background before entering the school, so I was worried that I might end up listening to lessons about things I already knew. But soon, I figured out that was just an imaginary fear. The instructors accept challenges and encourage you to do so. While in school, I was able to push my limit as far as I wanted. I was surprised that they could let me do that while also taking care of other inexperienced students. I believe this was possible because of the small size of the class and staff there all really cared about each of us. By spending time at Lost Boys, I gained not only experience using Nuke but also many irreplaceable connections. It was truly a joy to be part of this school.”
“Lost Boys is different than other schools. They make sure every single student has a strong demo reel by the end of the program that will almost guarantee them a job in the industry. Studying at Lost Boys was for me an excellent experience and a great choice. After just under two years in the industry I can confidently say that studying at Lost Boys was the best decision I could have made when I came to Canada. My experience at Lost Boys couldn’t have been better. I was hired right out of school and I made a lot of friends who are now working in the industry too. The environment at the school and the staff made my time there truly enjoyable. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who wants to specialize in compositing.”
“Foundry has seen a rapid growth in the demand for trained Katana artists over the last 18 months as more studios deploy Katana. Schedules are getting shorter, projects are getting more complex, quality demands are as high as ever and budgets are shrinking. Smart pipelines tools that leverage artist and TD talent through automation and efficient workflow like Katana are the solution to those challenge. We are thrilled that Lost Boys | School of Visual Effects is developing a Katana based Lighting TD program in consultation with major vfx and animation studios. We have high hopes for what this program will offer both the students and the companies that hire them.”
“The Lost Boys | School of Visual Effects, FX TD Program has been one of the greatest experiences of my life. I met many great staff members and classmates. There were a lot of techniques and knowledge that seemed impossible to understand at first, but with the help of Lost Boys, learning the FX TD craft became a really enjoyable time and it continued to excite me every time that I got to learn more.
I really feel like Lost Boys is one big awesome family that will help each other to pass through the obstacles and achieve their dreams.”
Every year, we’re always keen on seeing who graduates from Lost Boys. Because of their smaller class sizes and rigorous selection process, graduates from Lost Boys tend to be of higher calibre. They have a reputation for not only producing quality graduates, but those who are passionate about the industry and have a firmer understanding of the work environment, so they are professional and hard-working right out of the gate. We’ve hired several graduates in the past, along with alumni already working in the industry, and we’re seeing success with their practicum program as well.
Mark Bénard and I have worked together many times over the past 15 years, so when an opportunity came to speak to the students at Lost Boys I was there. The school’s in a great location, the students were very tight and co operative, and seemed like a social group. I think my talk at Lost Boys was the longest I ever did, the student’s asked intelligent questions so I was happy to spend the entire day with them. They understood all of the basic and most advanced concepts and had great artistic flare in their work, by far one of the best groups I’ve spoken to.
It’s totally inspirational to see you and your team in action, alongside the students and the quality of work they are producing. You have a knack for developing artistic judgement in your students which is what distinguishes them professionally and helps them make contributions to the industry. After touring the classroom and viewing the student work it was hard to believe that they had only been working with Houdini from one month to less than a year– the quality of their work is technically excellent while remaining uniquely expressive. It’s very rare to come across a program where the level of all the students’ work is of a Senior quality.
For students whose first language is not English, below are the minimum scores required from any one of the following tests in English proficiency. We may also require a telephone or in-person interview. Other English test not listed may be considered, please contact us for more information.
* If you feel that you meet the speaking and listening requirements but have not updated your testing, you can request a telephone or skype evaluation with the administration staff. It is in your best interest to ensure you understand what is being explained and get the most out of the program.
50+ Feature Film Credits as a 2D Artist including Intersteller, Ex Machina, Man of Steel, and the Harry Potter Series. Oliver is currently the 2D Supervisor at Double Negative Vancouver and looks after their teams creating cutting edge visual effects productions.
After 18 years as an award-winning editor Dennis entered film VFX as a Digital Artist/Compositor. His credits include Titanic, Star Wars Episode II, I-Robot, Alice In Wonderland, The Amazing Spiderman and more. With more than 40 years experience in TV and film, his focus now is to share his knowledge with the next generation of VFX artists.
Carlos brings an incredible energy to Compositing. Passionate about his craft, he is a natural mentor, inspiring the students to achieve ever higher levels of quality. Rising up through the ranks to Compositor, Carlos’ career has lead him through top tier VFX Studios; Double Negative, Industrial Light & Magic, and currently Scanline VFX.
New is well known for her high standards in Roto & Paint. She began her career in a demanding stereo conversion job at Generate, moving on to work with Scanline on Heart of the Sea, Divergent, Godzilla, and Game of Thrones Temporarily returning to teach full time and develop our Roto/BGPrep curriculum at Lost Boys. Now New has returned to the Industry to oversee Roto/BGPrep and provide Compositing on feature film VFX productions at Method Studios.
Chris van Dyck is a Vancouver-based VFX and Compositing supervisor in the commercial, film, and television industry. With over 12 years of experience, he has worked at some of the top studios around the world: WETA Digital, Industrial Light & Magic, MPC, Method, Rising Sun Pictures, Animal Logic, The Embassy and Prime Focus. Chris has held various roles, including Senior Stereo Compositor, Lead Compositor, Compositing Supervisor, VFX Supervisor, Instructor and Consultant. Some of his most notable credits include: The Hobbit Trilogy, Warcraft, Thor 2, Life of Pi, Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon, Tron: Legacy, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Ironman and Frank Miller’s: 300. He is currently excited to grow a small and talented crew to consistently and professionally deliver the highest quality in VFX.
After achieving his Bachelor of Commerce, David shifted gears and followed his dream to work in the Visual Effects Industry. Upon graduation David began his career as a Roto/Paint Artist at MPC and quickly rose to the rank of Compositor. Upon shifting to Double Negative London, David contributed to Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Terminator Genisys, and Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2. Returned to MPC Vancouver for Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales and then recently found at Scanline Vancouver.
A pioneer of Vancouver’s Visual Effects Industry with 20+ years of experience making film and TV to a whole new level of awesome. Along with shaping the direction of the school, Mark Bénard provides instruction, supervision and personal mentoring in the Visual Effects Compositing & Effects Technical Director Programs. He can also be commonly found designing and filming our unique and creative background footage for student projects along with his talented wife Ria Bénard.
Ria administers school operations, program delivery, and industry relations. She also plays a large part in designing our creatively inspiring student projects shoots and applying awesome special effects make-up!
A former Communication Specialist, Activities Coordinator, and Counselor, Romana brings a wide variety of skills and knowledge to Lost Boys. She is often the person answering your questions via phone or email. She enjoys music, food, travel, martial arts, and sharing about her home country of Croatia.
He is the lead instructor for the Advanced Visual Effects Compositing Program and a Certified Nuke X Instructor.
Andrew is both highly experienced as an FX artist on feature films, and as an instructor teaching FX and 3D graphics.
Sean is as an FX artist and 3D Supervisor with over 20 years experience working on feature films.
As CG Supervisor, Sean supervised the computer graphics on the feature film The Huntsman with 700+ shots in the new Double Negative Vancouver studio. His experience also includes Senior Technical Director at Monster by Mistake in Toronto, and then to Weta in New Zealand as Senior FX Artist on the Lord of the Rings trilogy. He has also worked at Jim Henson Creature Shop as Senior FX Artist, CG Supervisor and VFX Supervisor and Technical Head of 3D at CIS London, (now Method, then Rainmaker UK), where he designed the shot pipeline and wrote many core tools. Having been a very large part of three pipeline projects in the past. He very proficient in all aspects of visual effects and visual effects management, and has a strong knowledge of Side Effect’s Houdini.
Andrew Zeller is the Compositing Instructor’s Assistant, and a Compositor/ Roto Paint Artist whose work can be seen in 11 feature films and 1 television series.
A skilled VFX Generalist with a keen interest in FX work and Houdini, Jerónimo was hand-picked in Denmark by Lead Instructor Andrew Lowell to assist students in Vancouver at Lost Boys.
Steven brings 13 years of experience training for the Visual Effects Industry.
14 years of experience working primarily with Sony Pictures Imageworks and Industrial Light & Magic(ILM).
Greg brings with him 20 years of experience developing curriculum in this industry, and 10 dealing with extremely technical material. Greg has extensive knowledge of Nuke, Katana & Houdini. He is also Autodesk ACE/ACI (Certified Evaluator and Instructor) in Maya.
Francois is a senior Lighter with 20 years of experience working with visual effects and computer graphics. His experience includes working at various recognized studios such as Sony Pictures Imageworks, Method Studios, Weta Digital, Animal Logic and Ubisoft, just to name a few.
Niall is a senior visual effects professional with 16 years of experience in TV and film. For the last decade he has focused specifically on the discipline of FX simulation, which continues to fascinate him with its ever-evolving technology and heady cocktail of creative and technical challenges. Niall spent 9 years honing his FX skills at the Moving Picture Company in London and Vancouver, before moving to Method Studios, where he heads the FX Dept, is an FX Lead, and still gets to run a few shots!
Kim is currently the President and CEO of Side Effects Software, a company he co-founded in 1987. Side Effects Software is a world-leading innovator of advanced 3D animation and special effects Houdini® software. In the early days of Side Effects and prior, Kim was both a programmer and animator, working on hundreds of commercials and industrial animations and was the executive producer of the TV series Monster By Mistake.
In his role as President of Side Effects, Kim gets to visit companies and schools around the world that use Houdini, and he gets to have a first-hand look at best practices for teaching and using Houdini for FX. Kim has been awarded the Technical Achievement and the Scientific and Engineering Awards from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for his work in developing 3D software, and the J. Wesley Graham Medal in Computing and Innovation from the University of Waterloo.
Kim is a board member of SIRT (Screen Industries Research and Training Centre) in Toronto. He is also a VES member and the chair of VES Toronto Section.
Daniel started his career 14 years ago in Sydney, Australia as an Assistant Producer for a TV production company. This allowed him access to post production companies and a chance work with these incredibly talented wizards operating these big expensive machines, which sparked his interest in post production. After completing film school in Sydney, Daniel had a long winding road to vfx; assistant editor in a boutique post house, tape operator in Sydney’s largest post facility, and finally, becoming one of their in house editors. Having always been drawn to design and motion graphics, he was afforded the opportunity to learn Autodesk Smoke and Flame. After 9 years in Australia he began a whirlwind tour of the world, working in London, Dubai and Copenhagen before finally setting back in Canada. Since his return he has had the opportunity to work on some amazing and creatively fulfilling projects such as Tron, Battleship, Whitehouse Down, The Thing, RIPD and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Christina was planning to study fine art in college in Calgary but decided to enter the digital realm in Vancouver. After completing a diploma with honours in Visual Art & Design at Vancouver Film School, she decided to continue her studies at Lost Boys. Her dream of working at Zoic Studios on her favourite TV shows came true after graduation. As of January 2017, she is a member of Zoic’s Roto/Paint team.