Megabrain Masterclass Series2023-06-22T11:40:07-07:00

Megabrain Masterclass Series

Presented by:

The Megabrain Masterclass is a format that was brought originally to us by our VES Member and former Germany Board Member Oliver Markowski. The event was held onsite three times (Megabrain 1-3) in Munich and other cities in Germany.

When Oliver Markowski retired from the Board, Agon Ushaku took over the Megabrains format so it could continue on.

The pandemic led to moving the Megabrains to an online event that was then extended to a VES worldwide event. This virtual accessibility allowed Agon to bring in speakers from around the globe.

Since Agon has been in the industry for a long time, it allows for his many connections, which he uses to find good series themes and speakers that create state-of-the-art content for the Visual Effects Society.

His motivation for this series is “I grew up in the era of 3D and VFX before the internet, where it was difficult to access tutorials or even basic books to improve my skills. My family consists of teachers and I am also a lecturer of 2D/3D design and 3D modeling and animation at the University of Applied Sciences in Stuttgart. Sharing knowledge is ingrained in me. I think VES Megabrain masterclasses are a wonderful way to enhance our artists’ skills and inspire each other with our creative visions.”

If you are interested in presenting at an upcoming Megabrain session, you can reach out to Agon at

Series Curator:

Hello! My Name is Agon Ushaku and I’m a VES Member 6242. I’ve been a Board Member of the Germany Section since 2019 and from January 2023, I’m the CO Chairman. My main responsibility is designing, organizing, promoting and hosting the Megabrain Masterclasses.

As Head of CAD Management at Unexpected GmbH in Stuttgart, I am responsible for industrial visualization and the studio’s 3D data management pipeline. In this role, I’m in charge of setting standards for CGI lighting/shading, implementation of real-time technologies, and the development of applications and various other CGI solutions. I am also active as a creative Producer for CGI/Animation and an independent Visual Computing advisor for 3D and animation companies. Furthermore, I am also a Lecturer for 2D/3D Design and Modelling at University of Applied Sciences in Stuttgart. I was twice a Speaker at FMX, Jury expert for Animago Award and independent EMIL expert evaluator for EU funding XR/MR research Projects

View Past Webinars

Series 7

Session 1/3

Anne Lupas
3D Fashion Expert | Co-Founder STUDIO LUPAS

Anne has been working for many years in the field of 3D virtualization of fashion, and orginally comes from architecture. She has experience in creating digital clothing, managing projects, training and leading others. In 2019 she founded her own company, together with her partner Sophie Lupas, to share her knowledge and experience with others through presentations, training, articles and personalized sessions. The goal is to bring clarity into the complex topic of virtual fashion.

Session 2/3

Marc Dubrois
Head of Pipeline – Film | Superprod Animation

Formerly an Artist, Supervisor, and then CG Sup for Feature films, Commercials, and VFX Movies for more than ten years, Marc worked in several French companies such as Attitude Studio, Mac Guff Ligne, Duran Duboi, and Digital District. During those ten years, he was always interested in development and has learned with talented developers how to make tools for himself and his departments. After that, he moved to the development side to make tools and pipelines full-time. He had the opportunity to work for companies like Fix Studio, Mikros Animation as Pipeline Sup, Head of RnD, and now Superprod where he took up the challenge with his colleagues to create a new USD based Pipeline from scratch.

Session 3/3

Jeremy Vickery
Founder & CEO | Lighting Mentor Inc.

Jeremy has worked as a Lighting Artist for the past 25 years in film, television and games. His projects include The Incredibles, Cars, Ratatouille, Wall-E, Brace, InsideOut, Westworld, Fallout, Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey, Uncharted: Lost Legacy, and Days Gone. Jeremy also worked as a freelance illustrator for clients such as LEGO, Disney, Ubisoft, Sony, Mattel, and more. He now runs an art mentoring business training people in cinematic lighting and color.

Series 6


Session 1/3

Matthias Buehler
Founder & CTO | vrbn Solutions

After graduating from ETH Zurich (MSc Arch ETH), Matthias has worked in landscape architecture, architectural visualization and then has been part of the CityEngine development team for almost 5 years. He has a profound knowledge of 3D Modeling, Rendering, Visualization, Digital Sets and VFX in general. He has been the CityEngine Tech Support Lead, has hosted countless international presentations, workshops and training. In the field of 3D Urban Design, 3D Geodesign, 3D Facility Management and Master Planning, he has designed key workflows and pipelines. He was responsible for CityEngine services, consulting, training, procedural city modeling, custom CGA rule development and advanced visualization.

Session 2/3

Simon Spielmann
R&D Engineer | Filmakademie Baden Wurttemberg

Simon Spielmann is part of the R&D Department at the Animationsinstitut with focus on software development, real-time graphics and XR. In 2009, he graduated from Bauhaus-University Weimar as Media Scientist and Mathematician, He started his career as a freelance software developer in 2006, three years later he joined the research team at Animationsinstitut. Today, Simon is the Principal Engineer at Filmakademie Baden-Wurttemberg. He is also responsible for the scientific counselling and supervision of the Technical Director Course at the Animationsinstitut.

Session 3/3

Tony Atherton
FX Supervisor | The Mill

My name is Tony Atherton. I’ve been working in Visual FX for 13 years. Over my career I’ve the pleasure to work on films in blockbuster franchises such as Harry Potter, Narnia and The Avengers. I’ve worked on long form jobs for companies such as Netflix and Apple TV, as well as working on adverts for companies such as Amazon, Coca Cola, and John Lewis. I work at The Mill in London and I’ve been running the FX department there for the last 4 and a half years.

Series 5

Session 1/3

Ben Radcliffe
Media & Entertainment Solutions Engineer | Unity Technologies

As a Senior Technical Specialist, Ben works with Unity’s creator communities and influencers to advance the art and science of storytelling and digital transformation through the use of real-time 3D technology. Ben has over 20 years of experience leading international production teams, creating location-based entertainment, animation, and visual effects for companies such as Disney, Lucasfilm, and Industrial Light + Magic, as well as transportation design and visualization for Gulfstream and Bombardier.

Session 2/3

Jonas Kluger
Founder | “das element”

Starting out as an artist and moving to work as a VFX Editor and Pipeline TD for feature films like Marvel’s The Avengers, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and Transformers: The Last Knight, Jonas knows both the creative and also technical side to the VFX Industry. For years he has been building tools to make the artists life easier. With his focus on the technical side but the passion for the creative, he started to implement machine learning into todays VFX pipelines. He is the founder and creator of the VFX library software ‘das element’. It is powered by machine learning and supports visual effects studios with the tagging and organizing process of assets libraries.

Session 3/3

Kevin Campbell
Pipline Supervisor | DNeg

Kevin is a Pipeline Supervisor at DNeg. Over the last twenty years he’s previously worked at Cinesite and Rising Sun Pictures in London, Adelaide, and Montreal. During this time he’s on feature animation, visual effects, and episodic TV projects such as Gladiator, V for Vendetta, X-Men: Days of Futures Past, Lost in Space, and Riverdance. Kevin is interested in designing flexible pipelines that work for a wide variety of projects, from tens of shots for episodic TV, to two thousand shots in an animated feature film. He is also interested in the challenges of working across multiple sites and time zones. He has a PhD in Mathematics from Warwick University, and has recently been a mentor for the VES, and a career coach for DNeg.

Series 4

Session 1/3

Sandy Karpman
Camera & Staging | Pixar Animation Studios

Sandra Karpman has over 30 years of experience in the film industry. She spent 18 years at Industrial Light + Magic, starting in the FX animation department working on such films as Who Framed Roger Rabbit and Willow, then transferred to the newly established Computer Graphics Department. She brought her production experience to the new department, building workflows and pipelines to produce multiple shots for films such as Back to the Future II & III, Die Hard II, The Mask, Flubber, Hook, Star Wars Episode 1 & 2, Terminator 2, and Twister. Sandra joined Pixar 18 years ago to work on The Incredibles as the Effects Supervisor and currently works in Camera & Staging department which creates the camera view for each shot in every Pixar film.

Session 2/3

Mike Kuhn
3D Specialist & Lecturer

During his study as Industrial Designer, Mike Kuhn came in touch with 3D software for the first time. Followed by an employment as an Application Engineer for 3ds Max at Discreet, a division of Autodesk, he fell in love with the procedural ways of creating content. Even though the Substance plugin was introduced in 3ds Max already around 15 years ago it took some more years until the average user was finally able to use this powerful tool. The cool thing about Substance Designer is that it is not only for creating textures, but also to create procedural art.

Session 3/3

Ilan Gabai
Lead FX TD | Blue Sky Studios

Ilan Gabai is a Senior FX Artist at Blue Sky Studios, and most recently was the FX show lead on the 2019 release Spies in Disguise. He has been a member of the FX team at Blue Sky for over ten years, and during his time at the studio, has worked on Rio, Ice Age: Continental Drift, Epic, Rio 2, The Peanuts Movie, Ice Age: Collision Course, Ferdinand, and look development for Nimona (2022). Ilan is interested in solving problems that bridge the gap between physically accurate simulations and expressive animated effects, and enjoys exploring these challenges using hand drawn and procedural techniques. He holds a BFA in Computer Animation from Pratt-Institute, and has a VES Award nomination for Outstanding Effects Simulations in an Animated Feature for his work on The Peanuts Movie.