Meet Our Faculty
Faculty – Animation
In 1996 her career started as a traditional animator at Warner Bros Feature Animation most notably working on Brad Bird’s critically acclaimed “The Iron Giant’ in 1998. She transitioned to CG in 2001 at Rhythm and Hues studios where she worked her way up to a supervisory role over a period spanning twelve years. She was involved in an array of different feature films in varied styles and her credits included “The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe”, “Night at the Museum” and “The Golden Compass” which received an Academy Award for VFX in 2008.
Over the past few years she has been helping productions develop their animation talent by mentoring junior animators to prepare them for the rigors of production work. She played a central role in growing the animation teams in Rhythm and Hues India and Malaysia facilities by training animators for production on many projects, including Ang Lee’s Award winning “Life of Pi” and Academy Award nominated “Snow White and the Huntsman” in 2013. Rhythm and Hues has been an industry pioneer in producing feature quality animation in Asia and Ruth has played a pivotal role in this effort. More recently she worked with Marza in Tokyo mentoring their animation team to prepare them for work on an English Language International release to be announced in 2014.
“ Working in Feature Film and as an animator over the past 15 years has been an amazing, collaborative and innovative experience within a rapidly changing and revolutionary field. I could not imagine a more rewarding path to follow as an artist. ”
Faculty – Animation
animator and has used that experience to help train many animation artists. She began her career as a traditional animator working for various studios including Disney, MTV, Lifetime, and Nickelodeon. In 2001 she moved into digital animation and in 2003 joined the team at Rhythm & Hues Studios, working on projects including The Chronicles of Narnia, Night at the Museum, Evan Almighty and Alvin & the Chipmunks. In addition to being a lead animator, CJ Sarachene has served as an animation supervisor on Land of the Lost and Hop.
Across her animation career CJ has had the great fortune of working with many high proﬁle Award winning Directors and artists including Ralph Bakshi, Emily Hubley, Bill Kroyer and Bill Westenhofer.
“Learning from and working alongside the cream of the crop in the animation industry has been a priceless and fulﬁlling experience. I feel compelled to continue the tradition by being a part of the education community and teaching what I’ve learned to the next generation.”
Faculty – Modeling
Brad is a graduate of Rice University in Houston, Texas and has a Master’s degree in Architecture from UCLA.
Faculty – Lighting
Seth’s career in visual effects began in 2001 during his last year at Cal State Long Beach, where he majored in Film & Electronic Arts. After completing an internship working on commercials and music videos at Strange Engine, a boutique digital effects house, he began a second internship at New Deal Studios, a miniature effects studio specializing in fabricating and filming miniatures for feature films, music videos and commercials. For the next 4 years Seth worked as a miniature effects technician on blockbuster films such as ‘The Chronicles of Riddick’, ‘The Day After Tomorrow’ and ‘National Treasure’.
In 2005, Seth transitioned again to digital effects and eventually landed a position in the 3D Tracking & Matchmove Dept. at Rhythm & Hues Studios. Soon after, Seth found a place in their Lighting Dept. where he spent the next 8 years working as a Lighting Artist and eventually Lead Lighting Artist on projects such as the Academy Award winning ‘The Golden Compass’ and the Academy Award nominated ‘Snow White and the Huntsman’. In 2013, Seth segued from live action visual effects to feature animation while working as a Lighting & Compositing Artist at Reel FX on their first animated feature length movie ‘Free Birds’.
As a Lead Lighting Artist, Seth was involved in working internationally with Lighting and Compositing Artists in Malaysia and India as well as training and mentoring Jr. Artists in Los Angeles, many of whom were preparing to work on their first feature film project.
“The world of Animation & Visual Effects moves and changes so quickly, one must keep a malleable mind, open to inspiration, in order to remain successful. However, throughout my career as both student and Digital Artist, the concepts of learning have always remained a constant. I enjoy the aesthetic and technical challenges new software and projects pose, and especially enjoy being surrounded by so many talented artists. I try to project my own appetite for learning onto those I am instructing.”
Faculty – Animation
Senthil was one of the pioneering animation instructors at Rhythm & Hues University (RHU) where he trained animation apprentices at Rhythm & Hues Studios facilities in Hyderabad, Mumbai, and Kuala Lumpur for projects, such as, Yogi Bear (2010) and Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel (2009).
Faculty – TechAnimation/CFX
For a decade stretching from 2003-2013, Shish ran the Education and Global Learning department at Rhythm & Hues Studios (R&H) worldwide to train creative and technical artists in the art and science of VFX for over 50 Hollywood feature-film projects. He was also on the TechAnimation/CFX team for Night at the Museum and the Character TD group at South Park Studios.
Shish has also taught as a Lecturer with the School of Film and Television (SFTV), Loyola Marymount University (LMU) in Los Angeles, and with the Master of Professional Writing Program (MPW), University of Southern California (USC).
Faculty – Image Media, Color Theory and Design
Keith grew up during the computer revolution and his intuitive knowledge has been exceptionally helpful in the foundation of the studio’s general purpose software.
Keith has a B.A. in Mathematics from the University of California, Los Angeles and an M.A. in Mathematics from the University of California, Berkeley.
Sue Lewak, Ph.D.
Chair of Literature and Media Studies/Faculty
Sue is a specialist in cinematic adaptation (adapting works of literature to film), with a particular interest in the relationship between visual effects and narrative. Some works of interest include: Fritz Lang’s 1927 silent film Metropolis; the experimental 2010 film Howl (based on Allen Ginsberg’s 1955/56 poem, “Howl”); Arthur C. Clarke’s 1968 novel, 2001: A Space Odyssey and Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey; Philip K. Dick’s 1968 novel, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, and Ridley Scott’s 1982/1987 film Blade Runner; Sherman Alexie’s 1993 short story, “The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven” and the 1998 film based on both this story and his adapted screenplay, Smoke Signals; Bernie Su’s 2012 transmedial YouTube/Twitter/Facebook/YA novel, Jane Austen adaptation, The Lizzie Bennett Diaries; Yann Martel’s 2001 novel, Life of Pi and Ang Lee’s 2012 film, Life of Pi; and Suzanne Collins’ novel, The Hunger Games (2008) and Gary Ross’ 2012 film, The Hunger Games.
He graduated with a B.S. in Computer Science Engineering from the prestigious Birla Institute of Technology and Sciences at Dubai, UAE (BITS, Pilani). Now with several years of experience in VFX, he brings a lot to the table. Compositing and Photography form his core-skills and he now regards that teaching them through various media enriches the whole experience of working in this industry.
Faculty- Creative Direction/Supervision and Global Production Management
Faculty- Rigging and Animation Set Up
While at R&H, Eriks helped establish the ground-breaking ‘Animation Development Group’ (AnimDev) to assist the collaboration between the animation and other involved departments. As a key member of the AnimDev group, Eriks designed and developed tools, rigs, workflows and education in an effort improve artists’ efficiency for tent-pole Hollywood projects such as Snow White and the Huntsman (2013), Hunger Games (2012), The A-Team (2010), Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian (2009), and The Incredible Hulk (2008), among many others.
Faculty- Production Management
Sam Clark has been involved with several global, post-production houses in a range of capacities and roles — Production Coordinator, CG Production Manager, On-Set Motion Capture Production Manager, and Visual Effects Data Manager. He has worked on a variety of Hollywood studio pipelines featuring proprietary and off-the-shelf tools for motion-picture and episodic-television projects. Sam was a member of the VFX post-production crew for the OSCAR®-winning motion picture, Life of Pi (2012).