The Making of 'Gathering'

Creature Illustration Workflow with Alex Alvarez

Chapter List


Gathering is a personal project by Alex Alvarez, created as a large scale detailed illustration for print. Using Maya, ZBrush, Bodypaint, Onyx, Shave, Mental Ray and Photoshop, this lecture gives an in-depth, although fairly non-technical, overview of the creation process. Suitable for viewers of all levels, Alex shares his techniques for layout, modeling, sculpting, texturing, shading, lighting, rendering and compositing the various elements. From the character to the terrain, cliff, plants, trees, skulls, candles, fur and atmospheric effects, each section explains the tools and strategies Alex employed to efficiently produce the image. Rendered at 6000x3750 pixels, suitable for a 30"x40" canvas print to be displayed at Gnomon, The Making of Gathering represents an excellent opportunity to watch an experienced artist share his workflow.

Duration: 152 minutes

Format: HD 1280x800

Alex Alvarez

Founder / Director The Gnomon Workshop and Gnomon School of Visual Effects

Alex is founder and director of The Gnomon Workshop and of the Gnomon School of Visual Effects in Hollywood. Having dedicated the last decade to educating students and professional artists around the world, Alex has helped change the face of computer graphics and design education. He has been published in industry magazines, websites and books – plus he has taught courses at several major trade conferences. Alex is president of the Los Angeles Maya Users Group and sits on the Advisory Boards for and CGsociety. He continues to work on personal and professional projects, recently as a creature development artist on the James Cameron film Avatar. Prior to Gnomon, Alex worked for Alias|Wavefront as a consultant and trainer for studios in the Los Angeles area. Alex is an alumnus of the Art Center College of Design and the University of Pennsylvania.

  • " Whenever I need to breathe life into my characters, Alex Alvarez is where I go. Whether it be to collaborate on concepts with him directly or to watch his tutorials, I am always confident in accessibility to great information. Not only has his technical prowess pulled me out of many holes, but his character sense has given rise to some wonderful moments on some major motion pictures (Avatar and Star Trek). These new tutorials encapsulate what I gush about. Crazy and creative character design coupled with empowering technical know how. "

    - Neville Page
    Character / Concept Designer