The Gnomon Workshop



Welcome to The Gnomon Workshop, the industry leader in professional training for artists in the entertainment industry.   

Founded by Alex Alvarez in 2000, The Gnomon Workshop launched as a means to share professional techniques with artists unable to attend the on-campus courses offered at Gnomon – School of Visual Effects, Games + Animation in Los Angeles, California.


The Gnomon Workshop’s mission is – and always has been – to provide the highest caliber training that both educates and inspires, to help artists achieve their personal goals. Over the past 16 years, The Gnomon Workshop library has grown to offer instruction from hundreds of professional artists covering a diverse range of tools, software, and media. Whether you’re looking for design tutorials, want to improve your drawing, learn sculpture techniques, expand your painting abilities, or gain new modeling, texturing, animation, effects and compositing skills, the library has an extensive collection of content to suit artists of all disciplines. All tutorials are by top industry talents who are primed to educate the next generation of artists.


Users range from high-school students who are first discovering career opportunities in the entertainment industry, through to seasoned professionals with decades of experience. Studio licenses are also available to enable entire teams to keep their skills in top shape.


Gnomon – School of Visual Effects, Games + Animation and The Gnomon Workshop facilities comprise of over 30,000 square feet of classrooms, studios, lounges, labs, offices and production space. Together, the companies have educated many of the world’s best digital artists through a variety of educational options, including full-time two- and three-year programs, specialized courses for high school students, over 100 individual courses for professional enrichment, plus The Gnomon Workshop training library.



     “As the demand for artists increases and the quality of visuals in games and film continues to mature, education is the foundation for our industry's future.”
      – Founder, Artist, and Instructor, Alex Alvarez  



With over 300 titles, The Gnomon Workshop library covers a myriad of subjects and techniques. Choose from lessons in design, drawing, painting, modeling, texturing, rigging, effects, and animation to create your desired path and learn at a pace that suits you. The Gnomon Workshop aims to supplement and guide artists’ journeys.


Most users of The Gnomon Workshop have a specific interest in mind. Some approach the content knowing that they want to improve their skills as a character, vehicle, product or set designer while others are interested in the cutting-edge 3D software techniques used in the video game, broadcast and film VFX industries. When an artist’s project demands change from week to week, often requiring new skills, R&D time is a luxury that not all can find readily available. The ability to log-in to the library, find an appropriate title and learn proven production techniques gives any artist an invaluable edge. For this reason, many studios, libraries, and schools subscribe to The Gnomon Workshop to create a valuable resource for staff and students alike.


The Gnomon Workshop library offers tutorials by many of the industries most respected and admired designers. Any artist will be inspired and illuminated by the techniques and guidance of Syd Mead (Production Designer, Bladerunner), Ryan Church (Art Director, Star Wars: Episodes 2 and 3), Scott Robertson (Concept Designer, Minority Report) and Dylan Cole (Production Designer, Avatar). There is only one Syd Mead, James Clyne, and Neville Page – and they all share their techniques here at The Gnomon Workshop.   


The entertainment industry numerous creative, inspiring and rewarding careers for those who are passionate and dedicated to design. Want to design vehicles? Harald Belker designed the Batmobile for Batman and Robin and the red Lexus in Minority Report. Want to design creatures? Carlos Huante designed aliens and creatures for such films as Men in Black, Van Helsing and Hellboy. Are characters your thing? Iain McCaig designed Darth Maul and the many looks of Princess Amidala in the Star Wars prequels. The list goes on and on. For years, the techniques of such artists were kept secret, available to the select few who had the opportunity to work alongside them. But over the past 16 years, The Gnomon Workshop has been privileged to have access to their time, energy and commitment to education.   


3D computer graphics and animation software have come to dominate the industries of gaming and visual effects. From Avatar and How to Train Your Dragon, to Destiny and World of Warcraft, artists are responsible for creating the stunning visuals that consumers demand, and they do so using a host of cutting-edge tools. Programs such as Maya, 3ds Max, MARI, V-Ray, and ZBrush make the games that we play and the movies we watch visually richer and more believable with every new release. The challenge for artists is in staying up-to-date with the newest technologies as computers continue to get faster and software packages consistently evolve.


The Gnomon Workshop library represents the entire pipeline of animation and effects production. Camera tracking, live-action integration, character rigging and animation, hard-surface modeling, photorealistic texturing, digital sets, matte painting – you’ll find tutorials for every step of the process. Instructors include artists who have worked for such studios as Industrial Light and Magic, Digital Domain, Blizzard Entertainment, Naughty Dog and more.   


  We hope you enjoy The Gnomon Workshop library.

We are constantly working with production artists in the development of new training to address new workflows, tools, and techniques. Contact us if there is something you would like to see added to the library.
And remember: the only things that separate you from the artists you admire are time, patience, passion, and practice!