The liquidbuddha Team, Nick Johnson, Goa Lobaugh, Casey Pyke

Who We Are

Goa Lobaugh

founder / director / resident mystic  .. since 2001

Goa is the studio head and visionary artist.  He’s the gatekeeper for new projects, manages the daily operations and holds the rudder of research and development.

Goa Lobaugh

Inspired by sci-fi epics and anime classics, Goa founded the studio to fulfill a childhood dream of digital animation. Jumping out of the corporate world and into the fires of creativity, he has led the team at liquidbuddha since the beginning in 2001.

Goa holds a Bachelors degree from the University of Arizona in Information Systems Management.  He came to the creative party bringing a decade of corporate management and consulting experience with tech leaders such as America Online. Goa is also a student of indigenous wisdom, mystery schools, and sacred geometry. Goa is an aviator, world traveler, mystic, technologist, avid enthusiast of new-energy technology and also plays the didgeridoo.

Members of the liquidbuddha.studios legacy…

Casey Pyke

animator  / compositor / story technician / puppeteer   (member from 2008-2011)

Casey Pyke was a lead animator and head of the character and creature animation department at liquidbuddha.  Growing up in Sisters, Oregon, he later attended Southern Oregon University where he earned a dual degree in Art and Video Production. There, he produced a number of short films that won recognition within the community and in film festivals. Casey’s senior project, Alley Dog, ( won an honorable mention at the Ashland Independent Film Festival 2010 and was nominated for Best of Festival in the Animazing Film Festival 2011 in L.A.

Casey caught liquidbuddha.studios’s attention in his third year of college and has worked as a compositor and lead animator.  In his free time, he does computer animation, enjoys the outdoors, and co-writes and produces Smart Puppets with his wife. (

Nick Johnson

animator / compositor / programmer / free-cycler   (member from 2008-2011)

Nick Johnson was a lead animator,  head of Modeling and MEL-Dev departments, and was also responsible for keying green screen footage, 3D modeling, texturing, and compositing.

Nick received a Bachelor of Science degree in computer animation from Full Sail University in Winter Park, Florida.  Late 2008, he found his way to liquidbuddha.studios as a maya generalist.

Nick remarks “I’ve had the opportunity to explore the power of MEL scripting when I helped create custom tools, UI, and to import large data tables to map 3D systems and geometries.”  Yeah, it’s a natural gift, and we’re lucky to have activated this latent genius at liquidbuddha.studios!

In his free time, Nick enjoys sketching and creating characters using zbrush.

Jorge Hernandez Ruiz

color correction engineer / compositor / inspiring teammate   (member in 2011)

Jorge Hernandez Ruiz

Jorge joined liquidbuddha for a critical phase of Thrive production, bringing a diverse and refined skill-set to our Ashland studio at the perfect moment.  He recently won an Emmy nomination for an independent documentary project, adapted for television, called Presumed Guilty. Jorge has a deep and eclectic animation background with companies such as RockStar Games.  It seems that all the projects he touch win acclaim, and we appreciate his joyous vibrations on Thrive.  Jorge is back living in Australia now, and we plan to call on Jorge regularly.

Shanti Rae Lobaugh

Goa’s muse / creatrix of fun / musing since 2001

Our lineup would be woefully incomplete without a special mention to one of the strongest and most influential supporters of the creative team here at liquidbuddha.  In addition to keeping her husband Goa sane during off hours, Shanti is constantly being asked to review works in progress, sketches, ideas, anything and everything we’re working on. She’s truly a silent hero, helping us to stay true to our intentions, giving us critical feedback and support at every step.  We just adore her!
When not being our caped crusader, she spends her days as a holistic transformational therapist in Santa Cruz, CA.

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