About School

For over twenty years, Gnomon has educated many of the world’s best digital artists. Called “the MIT of visual effects” by Fast Company magazine, Gnomon offers a variety of educational options to help students reach their goals in the entertainment industry, with both degree and vocational certificate programs, specialized courses for high school students and over 100 individual courses for professional enrichment. Visual effects artists launched Gnomon with the support of the entertainment industry to help meet the demand for well-trained creative talent in the growing field of digital entertainment. Our graduates are professionals working on the latest blockbuster films and games, and have positions at film and video game studios around the world.

General Info

Facilities

The Gnomon campus is 35,000 square-feet of computer labs and classrooms located in the Television Center Building in Hollywood, CA. All Gnomon computer labs house the latest in state-of-the-art workstations. The production level Windows workstations are periodically upgraded and serviced to meet the demands of modern production practices. Gnomon’s curriculum and facilities constantly evolve to reflect any new demands that may arise from the entertainment industry. • 9 Computer Labs • 1 Virtual Reality Lab • 180 Workstations • 4 Drawing Classrooms • 1 Green Screen Stage • 1 Library • 5 Student Lounges • 1 Store • 1 Gallery

Staff

As the tools and technology used in the film and games industries change so frequently, we believe it is important to learn from teachers who truly understand workplace challenges. Gnomon’s technical instructors are working professionals who are well-versed in the most up-to-date software, hardware and techniques used in VFX and game production, ensuring that our curriculum moves in tandem with the industry. Gnomon provides instructors access to school’s extensive library of Gnomon Workshop tutorials and delivers regular professional development on subjects ranging from classroom management to anti-bias training.

Employment Rates

With a current placement rate of 97 percent, Gnomon graduates are professionals working on the latest blockbuster films and games, and have positions at film and video game studios around the world.

Student Showcase

Take a look at some of the traditional and digital artwork Gnomon students produce during their education.

Jan-Allen Cauton

My career goal is to become a character artist for games and eventually work my way up to being an art director.

Dan Lipson

I want to push the look of CG art in new directions, beyond mimicry, exploring the inherent nature of the medium.

Kyle Sarvas

My career goals are to become the best Environment Artist I can be while working at a game, VR, AR, or real-time VFX studio.

Sean Gardner

My goal is to work happily. Whether it be a Modeler, Texture Artist, or Lighter at a Studio big or small, I want to make cool stuff.

Elliot Waters

I'm aiming to start my career as a look development/surfacing artist. 5-10 years later i'd love to art direct and then tell my own stories.

Mike Zhang - Lighting TD, Sony Pictures Imageworks

Not only does Gnomon train you with state-of-the-art tools but more importantly, they train you in the art and fundamentals of creating visually stunning imagery. In an industry where the tools and software are constantly changing, I feel like that is the key reason Gnomon rises above all other schools.

Courses

Gnomon strives to emulate a production environment within its classrooms by utilizing instructors who are working professionals at film and game studios. To prepare students for the collaborative nature of a career in visual effects, Gnomon’s courses parallel the inner workings of effects studios. The school’s technical curricula take students through the completion of collaborative and individual projects. Student develop their creative concepts into fully realized production assets, utilizing methods and workflows used every day in the entertainment industry.

Intro to Maya

This course focuses on the foundation of 3D computer graphics using Autodesk Maya. Students are introduced to the Maya interface and philosophy, as well as 3D modeling, texturing, lighting, rendering, and animation.

Texturing and Shading 1

This course builds on the techniques learned in Introduction to 3D with Maya. Through weekly lectures and out of class assignments, students develop textures and shaders using Autodesk Maya, Chaos Group’s VRay, and Adobe Photoshop.

Lighting and Rendering 1

This course builds on the principles learned in Introduction to 3D in Maya. Students will learn to create artistic and cinematic lighting setups with Autodesk’s Maya and Chaos Group’s VRay.

Character Modeling and Sculpting

This course teaches students to build balanced bipedal characters, merging the traditional art of sculpting with digital modeling techniques. Autodesk Maya, in conjunction with Pixologic’s ZBrush, is used to create appealing and functional characters in 3D.

Houdini 2

This course builds on the principles learned in Houdini 1. Through lectures and homework assignments, students learn to develop introductory simulations using SideFX’s Houdini.

Advanced Digital Sculpting

This course focuses on using advanced hard surface sculpting techniques in Pixologic’s ZBrush to create models for film, games, and 3D printing.

Props and Weapons for Games

This course presents the fundamentals for creating artistically creative prop models optimized for real-time engines. Priority is placed on gaining an in-depth understanding of normal maps and how important they are throughout the entire process.

Game Creation 1

This course is designed to give students an introductory understanding of working with game content in the Unreal Engine 4 toolset.

Visual Effects for Games 1

In this course, students will create visual effects by learning the fundamental concepts of real-time particle animation and material manipulation for implementation in a games medium.

Look Development

This course builds on the principles learned in multiple intermediate courses, such as Lighting and Rendering and Texturing and Shading. Students will learn the tools and techniques necessary for look development with Autodesk’s Maya, Chaos Group’s VRay, and The Foundry’s Nuke and Mari.


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