Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

An education in gaming: Gnomon School of Visual Effects

7:00 PM on 02.28.2010 // Ben Perlee

Any one of us with an artistic bone in their body has always dreamed of being somehow involved in the creation of videogames. After all, for every fantastically designed game, film or piece of work, there has to be a designer making sure that something inspires it to its full potential.

Enter the Gnomon School of Visual Effects. Founded in 1997, this school was originally designed to feed the visual needs of movie studios in the Hollywood area. Of course, the last twelve years have seen a transformation and a shift from films to videogames as the technology has become closer to indistinguishable. Add in a staff of professors who currently work in the real world, such as Kevin Griffith, alumnus and Environment Creator for Blizzard, and Rich Diamant, Lead Character Artist for Naughty Dog. To have them be your teachers, well, that's already taking steps toward an awesome career.

It's obvious to see that Gnomon is quite the place to be. With a 98 percent job landing rate on this campus alone, it is clear that there is something going right here. Follow the jump for a quick profile of the school, and the man in charge of making it happen.

I was lucky enough to chat with the co-founder of the Gnomon School, Alex Alvarez. A man well entrenched in artistic design for films and more, he has even been profiled on Last Call with Carson Daly. When he started the company in 1997, his vision was to create a vocational school for people who were genuinely interested in having artistic jobs in the tech side of films and games. In the twelve years since Gnomon launched, two-year programs, graduate degrees, games, and Industrial Light and Magic have all become paramount areas of study.

The school is very successful, with a 98 percent hire rate upon graduation. Part of that success is the employees. Says Alvarez: “Gnomon is a place where we have 25 people, and each person is a specialist in that area,” where he goes on to cite alumni who worked on Avatar and Star Trek, himself included.



So where do burgeoning game designers fit ins? First, there is the staff who currently work in the industry. They themselves act as networking opportunities for fresh-faced students. Since the school is so career-oriented, having the ability to know people who are on the cutting edge of design, and proving through classes that you have those skills, means students can learn the very specific abilities they need for a job. With 30-50 instructors, there are plenty of opportunities to network in nearly any field of study the concerning technological arts. “Our teachers have hired a huge number of our students,” he says.

Even better, the games industry has become even more important to the school. Alvarez says “The games industry has evolved to match the film industry in visuals...or at least close to it.” With plenty of game studios in the Los Angeles area, there are many opportunities to network and connect with future job prospects.



However, those looking for a degree in computer science need not apply. Gnomon is an art school, with some very interesting approaches to game and film design. At Gnomon, art skills are considered paramount to study. Basic artistic skills are taught before later computer tech is introduced. Many students come in with practice in ceramics or photography, and they continue in those fields as they earn their degree. These design skills lay the foundation for later work that can be applied to a career. Even this artistic vision applies to how the school itself functions, for Alvarez treats Gnomon like a creatively driven place. “Some schools,” he says, “have become large corporations.”

It's interesting to see how one can go from not knowing a thing to being a designer for a brand-new videogame. Gnomon seems to offer a great opportunity for people thinking about entering the next phase of their life, and making games an element of that. While schools like DigiPen and Full Sail have established themselves as places to be if you want to be a game designer, it is awesome to find a new resource for those who want to create their own masterpiece visions.

Photo Gallery: (7 images)
Click to zoom - browse by swipe, or use arrow keys



Ben Perlee,
 Follow Blog + disclosure

This blog submitted to our editor via our Community Blogs, and then it made it to the home page! You can follow community members and vote up their blogs - support each other so we can promote a more diverse and deep content mix on our home page.





 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding *.disqus.com to your whitelists.

 Quickposts
Status updates from C-bloggers

TheBlondeBass avatarTheBlondeBass
The ultimate waifu has been decided scientifically. There is no need to participate in the waifu wars any longer. (I won't tell you who it is until I make my own post of course)
ThePlotHoles avatarThePlotHoles
After being a Dtoid member for more than five years, finally wrote my first real blog post. Thoughts appreciated! http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/ThePlotHoles/-fire-watch-out-moving-past-our-sensitivity-for-spoilers-340096.phtml
Mike Martin avatarMike Martin
Spent all weekend sick. Missed this show. Ive been wanting to see some Death Magnetic live too. Oh well. Next time. Mainly this song.
Jinx 01 avatarJinx 01
Looks like Titanfall is getting a TV show... not sure why but okay I guess lol. Link in comments.
TysonOfTime avatarTysonOfTime
I'm starting to get really excited for the approach of the new FE games! I'm going to revisit Awakening. Are any of the DLCs worth it at all? (AKA what's the deal with the Future Past DLC?)
Niero Desu avatarNiero Desu
Gametrailers 2002-2016 :(
ikiryou avatarikiryou
When the waifu addiction gets out of control
Jed Whitaker avatarJed Whitaker
It is my father fuckin' birthday. I'm 29 today, now and forever. Everyone knows you stop ageing at 29.
JohnSmith123 avatarJohnSmith123
Street Fighter 5 is coming out soon umm Dibs
SeymourDuncan17 avatarSeymourDuncan17
Too lazy to put all my favorite Pokemon/Personas/Demons in one image, but Shadow Chie is yet another favorite of mine. DOMINATRIX BANANA HEEEEEEAD! :3
True Green Sphere avatarTrue Green Sphere
I like it when comments suddenly spark new blog ideas in your mind.
Larxinostic avatarLarxinostic
PSA to the collective Waifu / Pokemon / SMT War combatants. [img]http://i.imgur.com/b4nZwbQ.png[/img]
Nekrosys avatarNekrosys
Downloading Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth. It feels a little weird to be installing a game on the Vita that isn't porn, if I'm being perfectly honest.
Dreamweaver avatarDreamweaver
There's gonna be enough copies of both Fire Emblem: Birthright and Fire Emblem: Conquest that I shouldn't really feel the need to preorder them at Best Buy, right? I want to get both versions (I buy physical only) and I'm worried they won't have enough.
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
I see your "favorite Pokemon" and "favorite demon" and raise you a "favorite full party"!
The Dyslexic Laywer avatarThe Dyslexic Laywer
Man they really blue balled me hard with that Ip Man vs Mike Tyson fight.
Parismio avatarParismio
Well, I did it. I pre-ordered Fire Emblem Fates. Guess who I'm siding with?:
LynxAmali avatarLynxAmali
First Electric Playground and Reviews on the Run, now GameTrailers. Some people just want to watch the world burn. If you excuse me, I'm going to go cry and weep in a corner.
GoofierBrute avatarGoofierBrute
GameTrailers just announced on Facebook they're shutting down. It's a damn shame, since I rather liked them, despite not agreeing with a lot of what they've said. Best of luck to everyone who worked there.
JohnSmith123 avatarJohnSmith123
That's a really short campaign Destiny has isn't it? Wow lol
more quickposts


Contest!


Seriously

Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme


Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo



Back to Top


We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -