Alex Alvarez

Gnomon School of VFX, Games & Animation



Alex is the founder and director of Gnomon, which includes the acclaimed Gnomon School in Hollywood, California, as well as The Gnomon Workshop, which provides professional online training for artists. He has been described by Fast Company Magazine as a visionary who has helped change the face of computer graphics education, having dedicated the past twenty years to educating students and professional artists around the world. Alex has been published in industry magazines, websites, and books and has taught at many international conferences. Aside from Gnomon, he continues to work professionally including as a creature development artist on such projects as James Cameron’s Avatar, JJ Abram’s Star Trek, Super 8, Green Lantern and Prometheus.

Constantly evolving his own techniques, he has developed an arsenal of skills that allow him to combine multiple programs such as Maya, ZBrush, Photoshop, V-Ray, World Machine, SpeedTree, amongst others, to create assets and terrains that are impressive in their portrayal of natural environments.  Alex is revered by his peers, who openly celebrate his exceptional talent, skill, and support for artist recognition. He is renowned for his generosity of spirit toward supporting and building an environment that maintains a commitment to artistic passion and excellence while promoting the invaluable role of content creators within the demanding constraints of the ever-expanding entertainment industry.


The Gnomon Workshop launched as a means to share professional techniques with artists unable to attend the on-campus courses offered at Gnomon – School of Visual Effects, Games + Animation in Los Angeles, California. It’s mission: to provide the highest calibre training that both educates and inspires, to help emerging and experienced artists, alike, achieve mastery of the advanced techniques and tools required for success in the industry.

Over the past 17 years, The Gnomon Workshop library has grown to offer instruction from hundreds of professional artists covering a diverse range of tools, software, and media and offers the most comprehensive set of Digital Production tutorials anywhere. The broad scope of the tutorials ranges from foundational understanding of software and concepts, all the way to the professional application of these tools and concepts used by artists working in the film and game industries. The Gnomon Workshop seeks out the most highly-regarded traditional and digital artists and technicians currently working in the entertainment and design industries. Instructors have shared their practices working at leading studios such as Pixar, ILM, Blizzard, and more.


Special effects artists launched Gnomon School with the support of the entertainment industry to help meet the demand for well-trained creative talent in the growing field of digital entertainment. Called “the MIT of visual effects” by Fast Company magazine, Gnomon School offers an unrivalled experience for students and boasts a 2016 employment rate of 100% and 93% for vocational programs. Graduates are professionals working on the latest blockbuster films and games and have positions at film and video game studios around the world.

The campus comprises of over 30,000 square feet of classrooms, studios, lounges, labs, offices and production space. Classrooms have been designed to cultivate creativity and learning by mimicking the environments of real production studios. The school offers a variety of educational options to help students reach their goals in the entertainment industry, with both degree and vocational certificate programs, specialized courses for high school students and over 100 individual courses for professional enrichment. The curriculum is distinguished by the innovative philosophical approach to technology. Though there may be ever more powerful software available to visual effects artists, the emphasis remains on the creative process rather than mere technical proficiency.

Together, the Gnomon School and Gnomon Workshop Library have educated many of the world’s best digital artists