Professor, BAS Faculty Director
West Building, W114C
Todd Bagaason is a Professor and BAS Faculty Director in the Design department at Lake Washington Institute of Technology (LWTech). Prior to LWTech, Bagaason worked as a Level Designer and Animator for Symbollogik (Fidelity), he taught at the Art Institute of Seattle as a Digital Art and Design Instructor, he also taught at Experience America as a Game Design Instructor and at Bellevue College as a Digital Media Arts Instructor. Bagaason holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Multimedia from the University of Oregon and a Masters of Fine Arts in Animation and Visual Effects from Academy of Art University.
Professor, Department Chair
West Building, W114C
Larry Paolicelli is an associate professor and the Department Chair for the Digital Gaming & Interactive Media program at LWTech. He started his professional career as an industrial designer at Design West Inc., a product design consultancy with clients such as General Motors, Ford, Bausch + Lomb, AT&T, and others. He’s worked on a diverse portfolio of products ranging from car interiors and boats to consumer products like binoculars and early cell phones. He also worked at McDonnell Douglas as an interior designer on the MD-11 wide body aircraft and also was a conceptual designer for the California Museum of Science and Industry's interactive exhibits centered on environmental education.
Larry got his start in digital production at a start-up called Kronos Digital as a project director/senior animator for the Spiderman Cartoon series' 3D CG backgrounds as well as a producer working on his first PlayStation1 game. He became the director of art production at Activision Studios, helping to ship over 20 titles with properties like Spiderman, Battlezone, X-Men and the Tony Hawk Pro Skater series. After work, Larry taught 3D at Art Center College of Design and for Silicon Graphics’ Silicon Studios training facility. He’s worked at Electronic Arts as an art development director for the Medal of Honor franchise and at Brainzoo Studios, as an executive producer and final compositor/lighter at a small 3D animation consultancy that does visual effects, game cinematics and commercials for clients such as Epic Games, Disney, Lucas Arts, Sony, and more. Larry then moved to the Pacific Northwest where he joined Monolith/WB Games going from an art lead to an executive producer, helping ship 3 AAA titles on Xbox, PlayStation and PC for their F.E.A.R., Batman, and Lord of the Rings franchises.
Most recently, Larry formed Blackpowder Games, an indie start-up with other leads from Monolith, where we shipped an FPS on the Steam platform and a VR prototype for Oculus. Overall, Larry has 30 years of experience as a designer, game developer and production executive with 23 years of it in the game industry. He has a BS in Industrial Design from Art Center College of Design and studied computer science at Cal State Long Beach and Arizona State University.
Technology Center, T414D
Phil Trumbo is a tenured faculty member in the Gaming program and teaches Design and Digital Gaming classes. He is an Emmy Award-winning art director and illustrator with over 30 years of experience creating entertaining and imaginative visuals for games, web, TV, film, print, collectible cards, toys and apparel. Phil’s specialties include Art Direction, Game Art, Illustration, Concept Art, Graphic Design, Storyboards, Original I.P. Development, Pre-Viz & Editing. Phil has worked at all levels of participation from artist, animator, art director, designer, animation director, fx editor to creative director. His current and past clients include: Electronic Arts, Microsoft, Pop Cap, Pixar, Activision, Buena Vista Games, Vivendi Universal Games, Warner Bros., Mattel, THQ, NBC, ABC, CBS, Nickelodeon, MTV, Proctor and Gamble, General Mills and more….
An experienced creative visualist in film, TV and interactive media, Phil provided creative and artistic direction to nearly 100 high-profile games, with retail sales of over a billion dollars. Many of his notable successes come from adapting prestigious film and television properties into highly successful games, including: Pirates of the Caribbean™, Chronicles of Narnia™, Lord of the Rings™, Harry Potter ™”, Shrek™, “Spiderman™, The Sims™, Star Wars™, Lego™, Finding Nemo™, “X-Men™ and Ice Age™.
Phil won an Emmy Award for directing the opening title sequence for CBS's Pee Wee's Playhouse and directed the stop-motion dinosaur family for that ground-breaking show. In addition, he created network TV shows, logos, and visual effects for films.
Phil exhibited and lectured at the American Film Institute, Antioch University-London, Game Developers Conference, Siggraff, UNICEF-Paris, University of Brighton-U.K, and the University of Washington. He taught art and animation at Digipen Institute of Technology and Virginia Commonwealth University.
He has a BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University, and studied Classical Animation, Storyboard & Anatomy at the American Animation Institute, Hollywood, CA.
Oscar Baechler is a CG generalist, classical realist, photographer, technical animator, open source advocate, and community organizer. His first job out of college was running an entire pipeline in 2D and 3D for the game studio Prophetic Sky, and has since worked for clients including Allen Institute, Coindexter's, Pluto VR, UBC, US Seafoods, Wiley, and Pearson. His work has been featured in ImagineFX, SIGGRAPH, and art galleries around Seattle.
Oscar created and runs SEABUG (the Seattle Blender User Group) and BLDC (Ballard Life Drawing Co-op), and has presented on art and computer graphics at conferences including SIGGRAPH, LinuxFest Northwest, the Blender Conference, OSCON, Usenix LISA, SeaGL, SIX, WACC and others. When he isn't teaching or freelancing, he can be found drawing with his two children.
Xury Greer is a generalist and technical artist with a focus on stylized 3D characters. He has been involved in digital media production for over 16 years. He got his start as an indie film director, participating in 48-hour film competitions, and creating training videos for businesses in the Greater Seattle Area.
Xury graduated with highest honors from LWTech’s BAS in Digital Gaming and Interactive Media. He is excited to return to the college as an adjunct professor to share what he knows about creating 3D characters, rigging, animation, and technical workflows.
Xury loves to share his knowledge and has been teaching since 2009. He has been a guest teacher at Mount Si High School, and taught courses for Washington Network for Innovative Careers, DigiPen’s ProjectFUN, and of course LWTech!
Alongside Oscar Baechler, Xury is a co-organizer of the Seattle Blender User Group (SeaBUG) and author of ‘Blender 3D by Example 2nd Edition’. Xury also co-founded the start-up game studio ‘Well-Rounded Games’, he is hopeful that the studio will ship their first title ‘Rotund: A Well-Rounded Gentleman’ before the end of 2021!
Karin LaPadula is an adjunct Game faculty member at LWTech. She is a 3D environment artist and concept artist, who was on the art teams of 6 AAA games, including Elder Scrolls Online, Mechwarrior4, Forza2, Godfather2, Flight Simulator, and Combat Flight Simulator. She has also designed and created 3D environments and characters for virtual reality at Microsoft.
She has taught classes at the Art Institutes of San Francisco and Seattle part time while working in industry. Those classes include Photoshop, 3D environment modeling and materials, materials and lighting, color theory, and architecture and modeling. She’s fluent in the game and virtual reality industry’s standard 3D art creation tools: Maya, ZBrush, Substance Painter, Unity, and Photoshop.
She has a B.A in Art from Cornish College of the Arts; and a Masters in Education from City University of Seattle, with a focus on fostering creativity; and a B.S. from University of MD in Marketing.
Through Escapist Imagery, her freelance business, she works on projects such as zombie game world-building, crash site 3D simulations, the building of virtual art galleries, and concept art.
Creativity is her passion. She seeks to inspire students to foster their own creativity, teach them to use the art tools and technical problem-solve, and provide critique and guidance in helping students build an accomplished portfolio.
Chun Lu is an adjunct Game faculty member at LWTech. She is a 3D generalist, sculptor, teacher, and entrepreneur. Her most recent experience is to startup a VR/AR content and game company which successfully released multiple VR/AR games such as inVokeR, Nightmare Grotto, Santa Sling and a set of MR medical training applications. Her other previous game industrial experience has been involving Xbox 360 Research and development, teaching at game school, and work as a 3D artist in developing characters, environments, special effects and character rigging and animation in multiple shipped games from RPG, MMORPG, third person shooting, and first-person survival horror on multiple platforms such as mobile, Xbox, PS, PC, etc.
She has developed and taught many courses at Digipen Institute of Technology such as Game art production pipeline, Hard surface and organic surface modeling and texturing, 3D environmental design, Digital sculpt and Game art theory, etc. She is a Maya Certified Instructor since 2008. Other tools that Chun uses in her daily production and teaching careers are ZBrush, Unity, Substance Painter, Marvelous Designer, and Photoshop, etc.
Lu graduated from University of Missouri with BS degree in Environmental Design with Minor in Fine Art, MA degree in Design Communication.
During the years as a game art instructor, Chun Lu has constantly strived to better facilitate students’ ability to conceptualize their creative ideas. She believes that students need to build their confidence in taking challenges both in technical difficulty and artistic creativity, and therefore become self-motivated learners.
Jeff Luke is a new addition to the Gaming program at LWTech. He has over 10 years of Game Industry experience working on many award winning titles such as the Drawn to Life and Scribblenauts series. Jeff's specialties include Game Direction, Game Design, Storyboarding, Original IP Development, Business Development, and Game Production. He has created games for multiple clients including: Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, Warner Brothers, THQ, Disney, and more.
Jeff has also helped guide students from many different walks of life through various programs including the Experience America Game Development program, which brings students from different parts of the world to the United States to learn about our culture and to train with industry vets. Additionally, Jeff was a regular panelist for game jams at USC, as well as their yearly Senior showcase which brought incredible talent from all parts of the Entertainment Industry to provide feedback
Currently, Jeff is helping guide Independent Developers through the ID@Xbox Program at Microsoft. This is a program designed to allow Indie Developers to bring their titles to Xbox One and future platforms.
Jason has over 19 years of professional game development experience as a game artist and had the opportunity to work on varying aspects of game art development, from digital ink and paint to animation and environment art. Working in proprietary game engines and off the shelf engines like Unreal and Unity, he has learned to quickly adapt workflows and continually learn and grow. He endeavors to bring a resourceful attitude toward teaching and encourages an open and creative problem solving approach to art creation.
Jason’s journey as a professional artist began at a technical college studying Advertising Design in 1992 at Arizona Automotive Industry School of Advertising Design in Glendale Arizona. Photoshop and Illustrator were the primary digital tools focused on and are tools that he still uses almost daily.
Ty Underwood is a game designer, industrial designer, UX designer, developer, artist, and activist. They have worked on a variety of projects, designing the wooden desktop workstation Volta V, developing design and UX for multiplayer user generated content platform Reworld, and working on the musical signal processing system Imitone. At LWTech, they teach courses in game design, interactive media, and graphic design.
Ty co-founded and runs Comradery, a cooperatively owned digital content platform for artists and activists. They have given talks and were an invited panelist at Games for Change, The Video Game Studies Scholarly Interest Group, and The South Seattle College Labor Conference. They were invited to speak on education at GDC 2020. Ty most enjoys working in a variety of cross-disciplinary media and learning new ways to create art with technology.
Mon-Fri, 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Mon-Thurs, 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Friday, Closed to the public
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