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Gnomon Workshop releases 6 new DVDs
Magazine/News DVDs
Gnomon Workshop releases 6 new DVDs
luis104, added 2009-08-31 14:21:14 UTC 37,100 views  Rating:
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Kevin Mannens, Chris Nichols, Meats Meier and Mark Lefitz contribute exciting new DVDs

December 5th, 2005, HOLLYWOOD. The Gnomon Workshop has been busily creating DVDs, and is delighted to announce six new digital titles today, just in time for the holidays! They include ZBrush, V-ray, MEL, and digital environment workflow. This series of releases brings us new titles from Chris Nichols and artist Meats Meier, and introduces effects artists Kevin Mannens and Mark Lefitz to The Gnomon Workshop.

"These tltles further enhance the Gnomon Workshop library," says Gnomon Workshop Producer, Eric Hanson. "New offerings include robust technical titles on creative MEL scripting and interior lighting using V-Ray, as well as how to develop concept artwork into final 3D production models. The Gnomon Workshop continues to expand its catalogue, producing tools to help artists become more efficient and skilled in the visual effects field."

Mark Lefitz shows you how to transform a 2D concept by Feng Zhu into a 3D environment. In the process, he covers numerous facets of Maya, culminating by compositing the piece in Shake. Mark, currently a Lighting and Compositing Technical Director at Disney Feature Animation, left a career in Architecture to work on such projects as Bicentennial Man, Mission to Mars, Matrix Loaded, Chicken Little and numerous other projects during his decade-long career in the entertainment industry.

Technical Director Kevin Mannens joins the Gnomon Workshop with a suite of titles covering Maya's Embedded Language, or MEL. This thorough collection presents MEL Fundamentals, MEL for Character Animators, and MEL for Effects Artists. Kevin has trained clients at numerous effects companies, including Moving Picture Company, Double Negative, CFC, Cinesite and others. He is currently a Technical Director at Oriental Post in Thailand.

A name very familiar to the Gnomon Workshop audience, Meats Meier returns with a DVD that reveals the artist's workflow via the creation of his "Arm Upgrade" illustration. Meats, a resident artist at the Gnomon Workshop, maintains a successful career as an independent artist, recently designing the box art for both ZBrush and Alias Maya 7, in addition to numerous books, magazines and websites.

Christopher Nichols, Senior Lighting Technical Director at Sony Pictures Imageworks, presents his second Gnomon Workshop title on Global Illumination with V-Ray. This DVD explores GI lighting techniques for interiors spaces. Chris has credits on such movies as The Day After Tomorrow, I, Robot and Stealth.

DVD Descriptions:

ZBrush for Illustration
Arm Upgrade ZBrush Project with Meats Meier

This two-disc set follows ZBrush master Meats Meier through the process of creating his "Arm Upgrade" illustration, from concept to final print. Designed for the artist familiar with ZBrush and its tools, this lecture provides a rare glimpse into the workflow and techniques of this accomplished artist. As Meats creates his detailed imagery, he explains his wire style and the process of using materials, layers and easy light setups. This lecture demonstrates the ease and advantages of using ZBrush's 2.5D environment to create complex high-resolution imagery.

Digital Environment Workflow
From Concept Sketch to 3D Render with Mark Lefitz

In this two-disc set, Mark Lefitz creates a fully realized 3D model from an original concept painting by Feng Zhu. He discusses the analysis and setup of the shot, and demonstrates his techniques for efficiently creating a 3D environment using Maya's polygon and NURBS tool-kit. Mark explains scene blocking, using animated cameras and their attributes, and how to integrate an animated object in the scene. He manipulates Maya fluids to show how to achieve the desired 3D sky environment, and shows some of his techniques for using painted textures and properly applying UVs. With a painted map from the scene, Mark breaks down the various components and shows how to apply layers to Maya shaders for maximum effect. In Shake, Mark demonstrates the use of Depth, Normals and Occlusion passes, and how to manipulate them in the comp to achieve atmosphere and zblur. Lastly, he explains how to use ambient occlusion as a method for Global Illumination, and discusses the initial setup and optimization for this pass and its integration into the final comp.

Global Illumination: Interiors
V-ray Lighting Techniques with Christopher Nichols

Continuing from his first DVD, Global Illumination: Exteriors, Christopher Nichols explains how interior global illumination differs from exterior GI. Christopher focuses on the concept of digital sets and explores issues of interior lighting for GI, including the variety of light sources that can be used, as well as how space plays an important role in lighting. Christopher demonstrates the differences between regular light sources, environment light, IES lighting, area lights, and even how geometry and shaders can affect the lighting of a scene. Additionally, since bouncing light plays an important role in interior GI, this lecture looks at some special techniques such as using V-Ray's photon mapping and light cache. Christopher also explores the idea of baking lighting into textures, which is a useful technique for some situations. With Global Illumination: Interiors, you will see the rendering of an interior space in a whole new light.

MEL 101: Fundamentals
MEL Programming Techniques with Kevin Mannens

In this two-disc set on MEL, Kevin Mannens introduces the rich possibilities of Maya's Embedded Language. With over ten hours of lecture, Kevin creates a well-structured foundation for Maya's scripting language. Through an in-depth look at what goes on under Maya's hood, he leads you to a firm understanding of commands, syntax and procedures. Based on real-life production examples of MEL scripts, the second disc of this set delves right into advanced scripting methods. By carefully dissecting every line of code in an existing script, you will learn about each command, Kevin's scripting workflows, tricks and common pitfalls.

MEL for Character Animators
MEL Programming Techniques with Kevin Mannens

In MEL for Character Animators, Kevin Mannens develops a wide variety of scripting techniques designed to speed up your character animation workflow and make your pipeline more efficient. He explains all scripts in an in-depth and step-by-step manner, aimed at making advanced users more productive in their day-to-day tasks. With this DVD, technically oriented animators will become proficient in developing project specific tools that will shave days off each production.

MEL For Effects Artists
MEL Programming Techniques with Kevin Mannens

In MEL For Effects Artists, effects technical director Kevin Mannens offers an in-depth and hands-on dissertation on how to streamline and perfect your effects pipeline. This lecture demonstrates how to speed up your cloth workflow based on your production needs, streamline rigid body dynamics, workaround particle limitations, add functionality to Maya


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