Jeff Brewer

BIO FOR JEFF BREWER               CCA  RHINO AND ID MODELMAKING INSTRUCTOR                     2/5/2016


I’ve been building models professionally for around 25 years.  Starting with architectural models at various shops in San Francisco and Menlo Park, then working in toy development at Galoob Toys in S. San Francisco (later to become part of Hasbro).  Working in the toy area expanded my scope to include awareness of the manufacturing process and familiarity with different materials and techniques.   While at Galoob, I was becoming more aware of the film special effects industry, mostly through seeing what ILM had done in the Star Wars movies, and in my free time I built a Star Wars vehicle from scratch that won first place in the Marin Fair Model & Creatures exhibit which was judged by people from the ILM modelshop.

In 1990, I was hired on to the production company making Tim Burton’s “The Nightmare Before Christmas” puppet animated movie in SF. Over a year and a half, I moved from character face painting, to machine shop armature work, to making props in the model shop, and learned an awful lot in the process.  After a break, that was followed by work on “James and the Giant Peach” with the same company.

In 1994, ILM finally hired me, seeing that I now had some film experience.  That began an eight year run in the ILM modelshop, and the opportunity to work with some amazing people and see some amazing things being filmed.  I ended that run with 12 film credits.

As computer generated special effects gradually became the norm in the film industry, work in the ILM modelshop slowly declined and eventually the shop closed completely.  I began doing freelance model making work for Hasbro, Leapfrog, and some independent product designers, and also began more seriously studying Rhino 3D, which we used at ILM for lasercutting.  As 3D printing became commonplace, I found myself doing more Rhino modeling for 3D printing for these clients, and during some off time at Image Movers Digital, I spent a good deal of time learning to model in Maya, which I continue to use when appropriate.

I really enjoy having one foot in the traditional/physical models world, and the other foot firmly in the 3D digital and rapid prototyping world. When I heard of a need for instructors in modelmaking at CCA, I jumped at the chance.  Teaching first modelmaking for ID majors, and then adding Intro to Rhino classes is a challenge I’m very much enjoying.  And every new semester I’m again impressed with how hungry and talented the students here are.

Senior Lecturer, Industrial Design

Studied, University of North Texas