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CCS Adds New Faculty, Game Design Program

The College for Creative Studies (CCS) in Detroit is accelerating its animation and game design curriculum with the appointment of Eduardo Batres, Gary Schwartz and Ben Ridgway as associate professors in the Department of Animation and Digital Media.

Batres is an innovator and 18-year veteran in the field of digital effects, who began his career using tools from the old school of physical effects - making miniatures, rigs, puppets and using greenscreen. He worked at Disney Imagineering, Robert Short Prods., DreamQuest Images and Greg Jein, Inc. Credits include Oscar-winning makeup effects in BEETLEJUICE and the photography miniature of the Starship Enterprise, used throughout the eight seasons of STAR TREK, THE NEXT GENERATION. His work with state-of-the-art digital effects ranges from hit movies such as POWER RANGERS and SPACE JAM, to the Oscar-winning visual effects for BABE and TOTAL RECALL.

His work also includes titles, openings and commercials, such as the COCA-COLA POLAR BEARS and VIRTUAL AGASSI, and television shows, including Stephen Spielbergs AMAZING STORIES. Batres has worked with top talent on productions for Sony Pictures, Digital Domain, VIFX and Rhythm & Hues. Batres will lead the 3D animation courses at CCS. Prior to CCS, Batres taught at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts in North Adams, Massachusetts.

Schwartz is an award-winning animator, director, artist, filmmaker and instructor, who has taught throughout the U.S. and Europe, most recently at the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia (CalArts). Through his company, has produced, designed and directed animation via his studio, Single Frame Films, Schwartz for Disney, MTV, FOX Television, Klasky Csupo and PBS/Esparza-Katz Prods.

ANIMUS, a 16mm, color, 5-minute film Schwartz created for his masters thesis, is included in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Franklin Furnace, IOTA Center, CalArts and Gallaudet College for the Deaf. Schwartz has presented workshops at the Nashville Independent Film Festival, Festival of Cinema for the Deaf in Chicago, J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles Guild of Puppetry and Universal Studios as well as taught animation to inmates through a special program at California prisons. Schwartz will teach traditional character animation courses at CCS.

Ridgway leaves THQ (formerly Outrage Games) in Ann Arbor to develop CCSs new concentration in game design. Ridgway was the game designer and level and concept artist for the highly anticipated game ALTER ECHO at THQ. Prior to this, he was at Rockstar and THQ both in San Diego, where he helped design TEST DRIVE OFF ROAD 4, MIDNIGHT CLUB 2, ROAD RASH64 and MX2001 featuring Ricky Carmichael. Rigdway has received two Black Maria Directors Choice Awards for his black-and-white shorts, OLIVE SHOWER and XENOMYCOLOGY. Under Ridgways new game design curriculum will focus on the concept development, story, animation and modeling for gaming while emphasizing a superior level of art and design.

Eduardo Batres, Gary Schwartz and Ben Ridgway are welcome additions to the CCS Department of Animation and Digital Media, said Richard L. Rogers, president, CCS. They bring great expertise and creative diversity to the department. They bring the right blend of talent and real-world experience to inspire students to reach for the stars. The department is the strongest it has ever been.

CCS ( is a private, fully accredited, four-year college, offering degrees in animation and digital media, art education, communication design, crafts, fine arts, illustration, industrial design and photography. CCS is credited with having one of the worlds most recognized programs in transportation design and for placing more graduates in automotive design than any other school.

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Rick DeMott
Animation World Network
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