I attended Gnomon Live over the weekend for the second time and it did not disappoint. For those of you who may not know, it′s a 3 day (well, 2 and a half) program for artists in the game and film industries. Many presenters are former students of the Gnomon School of Visual Effects, Games + Animation in Los Angeles, often working or having worked for some very well known studios and are keen to share their knowledge on many aspects of both industries.
I had high expectations from the previous year and for the first half, I kept thinking that it just didn′t feel the same for some reason. All that changed when I sat in on a presentation by Neville Page (nevillepage.com), who I found to be not only impressive, but more than willing to share what he knew and his process along with a healthy dose of twisted humour. His approach is very design–focused, which I could somewhat relate to. He took us through his creature design process for films like Avatar and the Star Trek series in concepting, getting ideas out quickly, 3D scanning, 3D printing, makeup tests and more.
From then onwards, it was creature characters pretty much the rest of the time (my favourite). Tran Ma was another standout for me; a character and environment artist who with her partner, created a short film as a pilot for an online series they were in the process of (hopefully) getting approved. Amazingly pretty much the whole thing was created by just the two of them! It was great to see her process (some of which was re–affirming as I do certain things a similar way) and the meticulous detail she put into every single one of her characters. Tran prides herself on being a texture artist, but she also took care of the concepting, sculpting, retopology, animation and even created many of the beautiful environment props, down to modelling the tiniest detail. The film by the way is called The Ningyo and I sure hope it gets turned into a series. All the creatures in the trailer for their short film vimeo.com/138919789 are Tran′s amazing handiwork.
There′s plenty more I could rave on about, but the information shared and the people you meet in a relaxed atmosphere (including the presenters) are super valuble and inspiring. I′d say it′s probably the most relevant convention in Melbourne for Artists in games and film.