Gnomon School of Visual Effects: Getting in the Entertainment Industry as a CG Artist

Render by Gnomon student Michael Cacciamani

Nerd Reactor went to check out Gnomon School of Visual Effects, an art school dedicated to helping out students graduate and get in the film and video game industry using high-end computer graphics. This school is the real deal if you want to get a job working at the top entertainment companies like Blizzard, EA, or ILM. We recently went to their student art gallery exhibit and chatted with founder Alex Alvarez and the Gnomon students.

The artwork that stood out in the student gallery for our fellow NR writer, Narvin, was the artwork by Jia Le Zhang called City of Kowloon (above). Kowloon is known as the slums of China, but Jia has taken it upon himself to visualize what it would look like if it was set in the future (think Star Wars meets Blade Runner).

Above is the futuristic Honda vehicle 3D render by Jia, taken from a concept by Franco Corral. Just by looking at this, you can tell Jia’s into cars. It’s not a surprise since he use to be an industrial designer for cars. You can tell by the image that he wanted more freedom in his creativity, so what better way then to render a futuristic car. Check out more at Jia Le Zhang’s site.

The next artist we’re going to feature is Ky Bui. His artwork really stood out for me because of the style he has for his concepts. Plus, I’m a guy who prefers the visual style of conceptual art design compared to 3D rendered images. These artworks are inspired by the lead concept artist at Aaron Sims Company, Jerad Merantz. You can check out the rest of Ky’s art at

Founder/CEO/President of Gnomon School of Visual Effects

Now the Gnomon School of Visual Effects wouldn’t be possible without the founder and CEO/President, Alex Alvarez. He is a person that you can say was ahead of his time. Technology now is easy to come by, but back then, he was there when computer graphics software was rare. Alex, with the help of his furniture buddies, decided that a real art school needed to be made to help starving 3D artists find a job.

It started with one classroom, then soon expanded as more students flocked in. To stimulate the students’ creativity, Alex designed each of the classrooms with a unique and relaxed feel.

Unlike other art schools, Gnomon School of Visual Effects’s main focus is on actually helping graduate students find a job in the entertainment industry. This is made possible thanks to the teachers and supporters with backgrounds from companies like Blizzard (StarCraft), SCE Studios Santa Monica (God of War), Naughty Dog (Uncharted) and more. The school helps students network in the entertainment industry because it’s not only about what you know, but who you know. Now you have graduates with a 90% placement rate in the entertainment industry. They have moved on to work on movies like Avatar, Halo: Reach, Alice in Wonderland, The A-Team, Uncharted 2, World of Warcraft, StarCraft 2, Medal of Honor, Star Trek, Diablo 3, Dead Space, Flower, Transformers 2, and a whole lot more.

To get into the school, you’re going to need a good portfolio with a passion to create. If you’re struggling to get in, they have a semester course to help aid you in the right direction.

Check out the Gnomon School of Visual Effects site to find out more on how to kick-ass in the industry.

Check out the rest of the student gallery below.

Render by Brandon Cha

Sculpture by Diana Roberts

Render by Diana Zeng

Artwork by Samuel Perez

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