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Registration Open for Summer Term at Gnomon School

Registration for summer term 2005 at the Gnomon School, which runs from June 27 through Sept. 11, is in full swing. You can register online at, in person, via mail or by fax. Office hours are Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm. You can also call (323) 466-6663 to make an appointment.

Gnomon has added five new courses that echo the advances and changes in the industry:

* Cloth will be taught by Mark de Sousa. Dynamic clothing and fabric have expanded their role in vfx and feature animation. This class focuses on the modeling and simulation of costumes using the Maya Cloth module. Students learn the basics of the Maya cloth solver, clothe a character, and create simulations. This class also covers workflows for setting up scenes that require dynamic cloth. Prerequisite: A solid understanding of Maya.

* Shader Writing with RenderMan. Instructor: Saty Raghavachary. This class deals with shader writing techniques using the RenderMan Shading Language (RSL). It also covers examples of Slim templates which offer an MTOR-specific way to generate powerful shaders using a visual connect-the-blocks approach. Additional topics include writing shadeop functions and procedural RIB generation plug-ins.

* MEL Programming Applications will also be taught by Raghavachary. This class focuses on creating real-world MEL programs, with emphasis on program design and advanced concepts such as file handling, string processing and UI programming. In addition, the class also covers the basics of writing C++ plug-ins using the powerful Maya API. Prerequisites: Working knowledge of Maya.

* Applying Character Techniques in Animation. Instructor: Lino Di Salvo This class covers advanced techniques in character animation. This class focuses on producing at least two demo-reel-quality animation scenes through nailing down the subtleties of animation, including facial animation; working on giving characters proper weight; and good acting in animation. Exercises include Heavy Lift - showing weight, clear staging and trimming; Dialog Acting Test - finding the most entertaining way to deliver dialog.

Students animate, starting from a blocking pass all the way through final animation. Using a production-type environment, students pitch/sell their idea via the blocking pass. Everything an animator does should have purpose and matters, down to the smallest gesture. Exercises focus on making visual and tactual contact with objects and other techniques that will help "sell" the scene.

Lectures will feature guest speakers. This course is designed for working pros who need a refresher and students who have already completed Character Animation I and II. Software is Alias Maya V.6.0. Prerequisites are Character Animation 1 & II.

* Gesture Drawing. Instructor: Ron Husband. As a complement to Figure Drawing, this course focuses exclusively on gesture as applied to animation. It centers on drawing from the live model, both nude and costumed, in a variety of character and story-suggestive poses. Through drawing quickly and spontaneously, the student learns to be more creative, inventive and versatile. The central importance of acting is constantly stressed, training the student to feel, as well as see, the gesture.

The summer term offers the following new instructors:

* Andy Chen, who will be teaching Dynamics 2. Chen is an effects animator at DreamWorks Feature Animation working on OVER THE HEDGE. He began as a technical director doing lighting and effects work for STARSHIP TROOPERS. His film credits include: CONTACT, ARMAGEDDON, FINAL FANTASY, EIGHT LEGGED FREAKS, SCORPION KING, THE MATRIX sequels, X-MEN 2, THE CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK, SHARK TALE and Madagascar. Game credits: MEDAL OF HONOR: RISING SUN.

* Jack Cheng, instructor for Character Skinning, is technical animator at Sony Pictures Imageworks. He has seven years of broad industry experience covering video games, print, TV productions, commercials and feature films. Past credits include: Lead rigger for ad campaign Nike Gamebreaker, HP Change and GE at Digital Domain.

* Igor-Alban Chevalier aka The Black Frog, conceptual illustrator/sculptor/art director will be teaching Production Design 2. Igors credits include: A SOUND OF THUNDER, FEARDOTCOM, CYBER GEISHAS, NOAH'S ARK, HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER'S STONE, 5 CHILDREN AND IT, ZEPPELIN, THE HAPPY METEOR, THE BROTHERHOOD OF THE WOLF, GROONBABOUL THE MOONMONGERS, FLINTSTONES 2 and ARABIAN NIGHTS. The charismatic Chevalier attended the Applied Arts School in Nimes, France, for Architecture, Design, Illustration and Advertising. He also studied at The International Comic Book School of St Luc, Brussels.

* Mark de Sousa cloth lead (and instructor) at Sony Pictures Imageworks is currently on OPEN SEASON. His film credits include: SPIDER-MAN 2, THE POLAR EXPRESS, STUART LITTLE II, HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER'S STONE, THE HOLLOW MAN, INSURRECTION, T-REX: BACK TO THE CRETACEOUS, TITANIC, FIRESTORM, VOLCANO and JINGLE ALL THE WAY. Formerly at Mobility Inc. and VIFX, he came to effects from the world of civil engineering. He is an alum of the Digital Animation Program at Centennial College, Toronto; Liberal Arts, Glendale Community College, Glendale, AZ; Drafting and CADD, ITT Tech, Phoenix.

* Ron Husband is a character animator at Disney Television Animation and will be teaching Gesture Drawing. He was formerly with Walt Disney Studios, Sydney, Australia; Walt Disney Pictures, Burbank; Warner Bros.; Walt Disney Imagineering. His credits include: TREASURE PLANET, GNOMEO AND JULIET, FRAIDY CAT, ABOMINABLE SNOWMAN THEME PARK ATTRACTION, LITTLE MERMAID 3, ATLANTIS, FANTASIA 2000, HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME, POCAHONTAS, THE LION KING, ALADDIN, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, RESCUERS DOWN UNDER, LITTLE MERMAID, OLIVER & COMPANY, GREAT MOUSE DETECTIVE, THE BLACK CAULDRON, FOX AND THE HOUND, PETE'S DRAGON and THE RESCUERS. He has taught at Walt Disney studios in Burbank and Sydney; Xavier University, New Orleans; Black Film Makers Hall of Fame. Ron holds a BA from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas; Illustration Classes, Art Center College of Art and Design.

* Eric Serrano, background artist at Spark Unlimited, will be teaching Environment Creation for Games. He has worked on four different consoles, helped ship six completed titles and has been a part of teams of anywhere from six to 80 persons. His titles include: MEDAL OF HONOR: FRONTLINE, CALL OF DUTY: FINEST HOUR, THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH, KNOCK OUT KINGS 2001. He has a BA from Cogswell College in Computer and Video Imaging, with a focus on digital set design.

Gnomon School of Visual Effects is a professional institute specializing in training for visual effects for film, television and games. Located in the heart of Hollywood, it offers a full curriculum for individuals wanting careers in 3D, professionals in need of specialized training and custom training for production studios. Founded by Alex Alvarez in 1997, Gnomon is located at 1015 North Cahuenga Blvd., Suite 5430i, Hollywood, California, 90038.