Connecting You With Industry Professionals

MGD students glean invaluable experience from faculty that represent top studios from around the world.

Damien EvansDamien Evans

Senior Environment Artist at Sony/Naughty Dog

Damien is currently a Senior Environment Artist at Sony/Naughty Dog. The last few games he has shipped are God of War 4, Uncharted 4, Death Stranding, Mafia 3, and The Last of Us 2. Damien has been in the gaming industry since 1996, where he started as a QA tester. He eventually returned to school, graduated from the Art Institute OC, and started teaching 13 years ago. His classes range from portfolio creation for jobs, asset creation, world/level building, and creating successful environments from start to finish. Damien enjoys imparting knowledge that has taken him over a decade to learn. To be a successful artist in any capacity, learning is never mastered.

Ricky RennaRicky Renna

Animator at Blizzard, MFA

Ricky is an animator originally from south Italy, and a graduate of both Ringling College of Art & Design (BFA) and The School of Visual Arts (MFA). He discovered his passion for animation growing up playing lots of video games and watching all the classics on TV. He's worked at prominent studios such as Insomniac Games, Reel FX, Blue Sky Studios and Blizzard. His animator credits include The Peanuts Movie, Ice Age 5, Ferdinand, Spies in Disguise, Nimona, Back to the Outback, and Overwatch 2.

Zhao WangZhao Wang

Senior Houdini FX artist at Dreamworks Animation, MFA

Zhao Wang is a senior Houdini FX artist at DreamWorks animation. Before Dreamworks, he worked at Blizzard, MPC, and many more notable game and animation studios. Focused on VFX, Zhao Wang is a master of creating visually stunning graphics. Having worked on games like Gears of War, Assassin's Creed Origins, Warcraft III Reforged, and more, Zhao Wang is a true magician of the digital world.

Michael ClaytonMichael Clayton

Senior Graphic Designer, Full Professor at UIW, MFA

Michael Clayton has taught Foundation Design, Interactive Design, User Interface Design, and Motion Graphics at UIW since 2001. His current research topics include Interface Design for Video Games, Interactive Prototyping, Motion Design, Visual Note Taking (Sketchnoting) and Graphic Recording.

Mr. Clayton has presented at the UCDA Education Summit, TechEd California, AIGA San Antonio, the Internation Sketchnote Camps in Hamburg and Lisbon, VizThink Berlin, and to other professional and community groups around the world.

He has co-authored three editions of Visual Design Fundamentals: A Digital Approach for Charles River Media/Cengage Learning (2003, 2006, 2008). He has also contributed content to five other books.

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Adam WatkinsAdam Watkins

Professor at UIW, Director of 3D Animation and Game Design, MFA

Watkins has been teaching 3D animation and game design techniques for over 20 years. He is the author of over ten books including current industry best sellers Getting Started in 3D with Maya and Creating Games with Unity as well as over 100 articles on animation and game creation techniques.

Watkins has served as Chief Technology Officer, Creative Director or Studio Manager for a variety of studios including the Justice Media Lab and VISIBLE Studios at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. He is currently the owner and CCO of the 3D studios Spoon Designs, LLC and Augmented Ideas, LLC.

Watkins currently serves as the department coordinator for 3D Animation and Game Design.

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Jingian LiJingtian Li

Associate Professor at UIW, Director of MGD, MFA

Jingtian Li is an Associate Professor at the University of the Incarnate Word specializing in 3D generalization, programming, and indie game development. As a full time educator, he has a broad interest in every corner of game development, from programming to art. He has written articles that are regularly featured in the 3D World Magazine, and he has published full stack game development books such as Creating Games with Unreal Engine, Substance Painter, and Maya: Models, Textures, Animation and Blueprint. Jingtian also participate in XR projects professionally.

Email Jingtian Li