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Gnomon Workshop Releases Church Training DVDs

The Gnomon Workshop has released five new training DVDs by Ryan Church, one of the industry's leading concept designers and a conceptual art supervisor for STAR WARS EPISODE III. On each DVD, Church masterfully executes a digital painting, while sharing his insights into his own creative and technical process. The focus of these lectures is not on software, but on the fundamentals of design, composition, lighting, material indication, storytelling and workflow.

"Ryan Church is an amazing artist and designer, whose work is beautiful, technically bold and truly inspiring," states Alex Alvarez, founder of the Gnomon Workshop and the Gnomon School of Visual Effects. "The chance to learn from such a master is a rare opportunity, and we feel privileged to be releasing these DVDs."

"While working together at Skywalker Ranch, I've always wanted to see a live painting demo by my friend Ryan Church," explains concept artist Feng Zhu. "However, since we were so busy, we never found the time for it. Now with these DVDs, I can finally see how he works. They have taught me so much about digital painting. Ryan's lectures are very precise and informative. It was amazing to see him paint these gorgeous pieces, all within the time span of only two hours! The subject matter on the DVDs is fun to watch, and each offers a wide range of different techniques. Ryan's level of experience is extremely high, but he breaks down the stages into easy to follow steps. After watching these DVDs, I just had to try out digital painting for myself. I've never really painted too much in the past, but now, it's becoming my favorite thing to do. These DVDs made me discover a whole new way to approach concept design."

Gnomon Workshop DVDs are priced at $69 and can be purchased online at Academic pricing is available. Each title includes 120 minutes of instruction, lecture notes and bonus material.

DVD descriptions:

* The Techniques of Ryan Church, Volume 1: Rendering Matte VehiclesThe skills required to dramatically, accurately and quickly depict aircraft and spacecraft are of immense value to any concept designer. In this demonstration, a digital illustration is created from start to finish and is accompanied by insightful commentary on such subjects as digital sketching, aircraft and ship design and a wide variety of rendering techniques. The demo documents the entire process as one of the industry's top concept artists starts with a rough sketch and takes the viewer through to the final aircraft painting.

* The Techniques of Ryan Church, Volume 2: Rendering Shiny VehiclesIn this DVD, one of the industry's top concept designers will take you step-by-step through the creation of a digital painting of lacquered vehicles speeding above city rooftops. Church demonstrates techniques essential in the creation of dynamic and colorful vehicle renderings, dealing specifically with such concepts as vehicle design, environment, material indication and speed. The demonstration covers all aspects of the process, from design inception to advanced painting techniques for completing the final image. The challenges of indicating reflections, glare, lens effects and motion blur in a portrait of a fast-moving vehicle are dealt with in detail.

* The Techniques of Ryan Church, Volume 3: Rendering Hi-Tech ArchitectureChurch's demo takes the viewer step-by-step through the creation of a digital illustration of a design for a moody futuristic cityscape, from blank-page through to final rendering. Topics illustrated range from shot layout and composition to the use of color and atmosphere to create drama and establish scale. Using industry standard programs, the techniques Church demonstrates in the creation of a dynamic, convincing, and colorful digital painting are essential for any concept artist to have. The DVD covers all aspects of the process, from design inception, research and cinematography, through to advanced and effective techniques for completing the finished digital painting.

* The Techniques of Ryan Church, Volume 4: Rendering Low-Tech ArchitectureIn this lecture, one of the industry's top concept designers takes you step-by-step through the creation of a dramatic digital rendering showcasing historically based architecture in a dramatic battle scene. Shown are all the steps involved in the creation of a finished illustration from a blank canvas, as the painting is executed in real-time. Special attention is given to the fundamentals of composition with theatrical yet realistic lighting and techniques for the creation of a cinematic illustration.

* The Techniques of Ryan Church, Volume 5: Rendering Architectural InteriorsArchitectural interiors pose special challenges for the illustrator or concept artist. This lesson takes the viewer on a two hour demo showing techniques used to address such complex issues as perspective sketch painting, shot composition, lighting and cinematography, and architectural design. One of the industry's top designers will take you step-by-step through the creation of a digital illustration of an interior architectural scene, from initial rough sketch through to final rendering.

The digital painting DVDs assume a basic working knowledge of 2D software such as Corel Painter or Adobe Photoshop.

Church's clients and employers include Walt Disney Imagineering, Universal Studios, Industrial Light & Magic and Lucasfilm. Church is not only concept design supervisor for STAR WARS EPISODE III, but also a senior art director at ILM, where his roles include designing and illustrating vehicles, droids, architectures and environments and art directing final shots and assets. He has taught advanced entertainment design at Art Center. He majored in transportation design with a minor in entertainment design at the Art Center College of Design. The Gnomon Workshop is an outgrowth of the Gnomon School of Visual Effects, a professional institute specializing in training for the high-end visual effects community. For more information on the Gnomon School, visit