Melbourne Schedule 2017


Please note the above schedule is subject to change.


6:30 Introduction
Meet our international speakers. After a screening of our guests new show reels, Ian Failes of FX Blog will lead a conversation that will help us get to know the Gnomon crew a little more.

7:00 Grab a drink

7:30 Making of The Ningyo
How to make a live action film in your own living room’
Tran Ma and Miguel Ortega will take us through the entire process of making The Ningyo from pre-production through to final edit. They will discuss how the film was designed, the story-boarding process and how they created the characters, built the set, right down to the VFX.

8:00 Screening: The Ningyo

8:30 Ian Failes, Miguel Ortega and Tran Ma
Ian Failes will take us further into Tran and Miguel’s journey to create The Ningyo. We will explore the thinking behind their process, their career pathways that lead them to making the film, how they survived independent film making and discuss the challenges and opportunities that arose in making this tale of Faustian exploration and mythical creature hunting.



9:00 – 12:15 Neville Page Demo
A soup to nuts demonstration of how to design a plausible creature including discussion about the use of 3D printing in creature design.

12:15 – 1:15 Lunch

1:15 – 4:30 Alex Alvarez Demo
In this demonstration, Alex will share his workflow using Maya, ZBrush and Redshift to create an environment using an asset library created via Photogrammetry, Speedtree, WorldMachine and PaintEffects. He will share workflow tips for how to optimise library creation and utilisation in order to quickly block out and detail a natural environment. Along the way he will discuss the various stages of a scene’s creation including block-in, detailing, instancing, texturing/shading, lighting and rendering. Taking advantage of GPU rendering with Redshift, Alex will also discuss the iterative benefits to working in an efficient and organized manner using scripts and various custom shelves in Maya.


9:00 – 10:30 Brian Recktenwald Talk
‘Building Worlds for Games’
Brian will breakdown the process of building environments for games.  We will explore how he arrived at Naughty Dog and his environment art process from the design and concept stages through to art blocking, asset creation and scene assembly. We will also learn a little of what keeps him inspired and committed to developing his exceptional skills and ability.

10:45 – 12:15 Alex Nice Talk
‘From Matte Painting to Art Direction through VR’
From the history of traditional matte painting to the use of advanced technology, Alex will discuss how he has prepped himself and adapted to the ever changing entertainment art industry. This masterclass will discuss matte painting break downs in films such as Hugo, transitioning to shot design roles for films such as Sin City and Hunger Games and what is involved in his more recent art direction role through new technology such as VR.

12:15 – 1:15 Lunch

1:15 – 4:30 Josh Herman Demo
Josh will create an original character or creature from scratch with audience input. Taking the role of director the audience can steer the development of Josh’s creation in Z-Brush and photoshop demonstrating how content is created within the community engagement model at Cloud Imperium Games.

4:45 – 6:00 Australian Industry
After a look at the newest reels from EA Firemonkeys, Luma Pictures, Playside Studios, Method Studios, and Zero Latency,  Alwyn Hunt of The Rookies will lead a discussion with leaders from these local studios that will explore opportunities and challenges facing digital artists in the Australian industry. Find out what they are up to, where they are heading and who they are employing. Bring your questions and suggestions.

6:30 Drinks



9:00 – 12:15 Brian Recktenwald Demo
In this demo, Brian will take us from reference gathering and breakdown of assets to the actual creation of elements such as rocks and foliage, and then to the completion of a finished scene in Unreal.  He will demonstrate how he creates environments for games such as Uncharted 4 with techniques using photogrammetry, sculpting in Zbrush, and creating 3D concepts with V-Ray.

12:15 – 1:15 Lunch

1:15 – 4:30 Alex Nice Demo
Using all the tools in the CD generalist toolbox Alex will demonstrate how to use 3D in the creation of high quality concept art for film and games.


9:00 – 10:30 Josh Herman Talk
‘From car body repair in an auto body shop to character modelling at Cloud Imperium Games’
Josh started his career as a sculptor and modeller in the car repair industry and then transitioned from games to film and back to games again, via a stint at Gnomon. Transitioning from character modeler, to designer, through to character art director, Josh’s journey will explore the skills and experience needed to bring characters and creatures to life in these different roles in film and games.

10:45 – 11:30 Nicole Hendrix Talk
‘Finding the Sweet Spot’
As a creative producer and now marketing director Nicole’s roles have been to build teams and support and develop teams, to get the best creative outcome for projects across film, television and games.  In her role at Cloud Imperium that team now includes the community that funds and contributes to its creative development. Nicole will explore how she problem solves to keep projects in the sweet spot by recruiting the right people, helping artists to actualise their personal potential and brand, as well as helping them work within the greater team and overall project objectives.

11:30 – 12:15 Folios with Alex Alvarez
‘Folios that get your foot in the door’
Over the past 2 decades Alex has mentored hundreds of artists to positions in some of the world’s leading entertainment art studios across film and games. Gnomon has a 97% placement rate. Find out what Alex thinks makes a strong folio and can potentially get your foot in the door to your dream job.

12:15 – 1:15 Lunch

1:15 – 3:15 Tran Ma Demo
Tran will show the process of modeling and texturing a character for production. This includes sculpting in Mudbox. Creating animation friendly topology in Maya. Texturing in Mudbox and Mari as well as shot modeling in Chronosculpt.

3:30 – 5:30 Miguel Ortega Demo
Miguel will break down a series of shots from the Ningyo. Exploring how the shots were prevized, filmed, and then digitally extended in Maya and Vray. We will go through a series of cheats to optimise your shots for Indie productions that do not have the luxuries of huge render farms and manpower.

5:45 – 7:00 Neville Page Talk
‘Designing plausible and aesthetically interesting creatures’
Creatures and characters have become a staple in entertainment. With the evolution of technology allowing for incredibly high-quality results, audiences expect the final design to be unquestionably real. Neville will explore how he designs legendary characters and creatures by unpacking his methodology, design principles and techniques to offer you unique ways to improve your work.

7:00 Drinks