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Gnomon Workshop Releases New Maya Training DVDS

The Gnomon Workshop offers two new Maya training DVDs: INTRODUCTION TO MAYA by Alex Alvarez gives new users a thorough walkthrough of Maya's user interface, architecture, object manipulation and scene management, and John Clark's UNDERWATER ENVIRONMENTS showcases his dynamic effects techniques for developing an animated effects shot. Clark is currently wave animation lead on Sony Pictures Animations SURFS UP.

"Over the past nine years Maya has come to dominate the 3D industry," stated Alex Alvarez, director of The Gnomon Workshop. "The film, games and broadcast industries heavily rely on Maya's flexibility and power, with the search for new talent never seeming to cease.

Learning Maya is a long and exciting journey, but one that must begin with a strong foundation. My INTRODUCTION TO MAYA DVD has been designed to share the workflow of an experienced user, with the intention of accelerating the learning curve for new users. One of Maya's many strengths is that there is always more than one way to approach a task, something that can challenge those new to the software. In this lecture I explain and demonstrate my workflow for managing the user interface, hierarchies, manipulation, scenes, projects and preferences.

"John Clark, on the other hand, has produced an exceptional DVD targeted towards more experienced Maya artists. His UNDERWATER ENVIRONMENTS lecture breaks down the myriad elements necessary to the successful execution of an underwater animated sequence. From schools of fish and bubbles, to floating debris and a rippling water surface, this DVD is an essential learning aid to those interested in Maya dynamics."DVD Descriptions:


Over the past many years, Maya has become the leading 3D application used in the film, broadcast and game industries. Hailed for its diverse toolset, Maya excels due to its integration, flexibility and performance in regards to modeling, texturing, lighting, rendering, animation, rigging and effects. Designed for the individual new to Maya, this DVD contains more than five hours of lecture. The essential UI (user interface) is discussed, focusing on the work-- flow of an experienced user. Learn how to efficiently create, manipulate and organize hierarchies, objects, components and cameras. Many concepts are introduced including the use of Polygons versus NURBS, tesselation, antialiasing, UV Layout, projects, preferences and MEL scripts. Customization of the UI is also addressed in order to dramatically improve efficiency and workflow.


In this DVD, Clark presents the process of creating an underwater effects shot, thoroughly explaining each step of the process from inception to completion. Starting with an ocean bottom and a camera move, John shows how to create underwater atmospheric conditions such as floating particulate matter, photoreal bubbles, water fog and caustic light rippling down through a wavy sea surface. John then uses Maya's Dynamics system to build additional elements into the shot, demonstrating their use within the shot environment. He shows how to use springs and goals to create an anchor and dynamic rope dropping to the sea floor, as well as how to use particle instancing with goals to create dynamic schools of fish. John then walks you through the final steps to create flowing sea grass and billowing sand when the sea bottom is disturbed. By the end of this DVD you will not only have a completed shot ready for fine-tuning and compositing, you will also have the ability to create your own fantastic underwater shots.

Since 2000, The Gnomon Workshop ( has provided artists and students with the educational resources they need to succeed as artists in the entertainment industries. Whether they're interested in design, modeling, effects, animation, storytelling or matte painting, these DVDs provide a valuable educational resource for students around the world. The Gnomon Workshop is the sister company of The Gnomon School of Visual Effects, which provides professional caliber visual effects instruction to students and professionals in Los Angeles.