Entertainment Design

A one year track of courses designed to help aspiring artists develop their portfolios for careers in the entertainment industry

  • One year of full-time study
  • Core foundation for aspiring 2D and 3D artists
  • Industry relevant curriculum and training
  • Invaluable networking and career guidance

What is Entertainment Design?

The films you watch, the TV shows you follow and the games you play are made by people who, for the most part, work at studios. Many people, with many specialties, collaborate on the production of what we define as entertainment. Within these studios are thousands of artists who draw, paint, sculpt, design and use specialized computer programs for 2D and 3D work such as Adobe Photoshop and Autodesk Maya.

Over the past decade, the entertainment industry has continued to grow with a steady demand for more qualified artists. As the entertainment industry matures and audiences demand an ever increasing level of realism, studios spend more money on qualified people. If you can draw, you have the potential to be one of those people. But potential needs to be developed into skill. Skill needs to be developed into a portfolio. A portfolio needs to be distributed through a network.

The growing entertainment industry represents an opportunity for artists unlike anything we have seen in the past hundred years. If you like to draw, believe that you have potential, and dream of one day working on the next Starcraft, Bioshock, Battlestar Gallactica, Lord of the Rings, Transformers or Wall-E, don’t let anyone tell you that it is not a real job. Because it most definitely is.

You are considering going to college. You want a career that will allow you to be creative, gainfully employed and offer you the opportunity to advance in the entertainment industry, ultimately providing you with financial security and stability. Is a degree granting college the answer? Does a degree represent the difference between success and failure? In most career paths it may. But in art, specifically art in the entertainment industries, it has little to do with a degree and more so with your talent. Your portfolio, your network, references, desire and drive are what gets you the job. You need an educational environment that will develop and hone those skills. Gnomon excels in doing that.

Gnomon does not offer a degree because to do so we would be required to also teach General Education classes such as English, History and Math. So does a degree matter? No. Does education matter? Most definitely! Colleges are geared towards educating students in a wide variety of subjects and then allowing students to focus on their area of interest down the road. If you already know what you want to do, why not focus on that career choice right off the bat? Is a vocational education that is solely focused on what you need to learn for a specific career even better? Yes! Gnomon is the best school in the world for an education in the arts of the visual effects, film, broadcast and games industries. No other school is as ethical, respected, well-connected to the industry and dedicated to your success.

The Gnomon Entertainment Design track is one year. Let’s clarify that four years of college represents having summers off so that you are actually attending eight ‘semesters’. Gnomon is four, although we call them ‘terms’. Therefore you will experience not one quarter, but a full half of the normal college course load. Where things get more complicated, and we recommend doing your research on this, most colleges will fill your course schedule with many classes that are valuable, yet irrelevant to what you really need to study with instructors who are not doing what you want to be doing. Do you want to study anatomy with a fine artist who does abstract gallery work, or someone who designs characters for a major game studio? Food for thought.

Once completing the four terms of the Entertainment Design track, interested students can apply for admission to our two year, eight term, accredited Digital Production for Entertainment program. Please visit the program page to learn more about what the industry refers to as the most accomplished program of its kind.

As you can see, your career path through Gnomon can consist of, in the end, twelve terms and three years of intensive education and portfolio development. This workload represents the equivalent education of both a bachelor's and master's degree. While you may not end up with a degree, you will end up with what matters most — the skills needed to get a job, thereby launching you into your new career.

Launched in 1998, the Gnomon CG Certificate Program has recently celebrated ten years of helping students enter the entertainment industry with graduates placed at most of Hollywood’s top studios. This program is designed to provide students with an in-depth technical and artistic understanding of the tools used in the visual effects, film, broadcast and gaming industries. Since its inception, Gnomon has adhered to a strict traditional drawing/design portfolio requirement for admission. It is for this reason that our placement rate is 100%*. It is also for this reason that Gnomon's criteria for admission is so high. Every term we reject applicants whose drawing skills show potential, however, are undeveloped. The Entertainment Design track offers an opportunity for students to develop their portfolios for admission. It suffices to say that we, and the industries that we serve, strongly believe that the best 3D artists have strong drawing and design skills.

*As required by national accreditation standards of the Council of Occupational Education.

Industry Approved Curriculum

Gnomon's Entertainment Design Track consists of twenty intensive drawing and design courses. Each class develops the student's knowledge, technique, and understanding of the creative process.

  • Term One

    • Photoshop for Digital Production
    • Figure Drawing
    • Overview of Visual Effects and Games
    • Perspective
    • Visual Communications 1
    • Art History 1
  • Term Two

    • Visual Communications 2
    • Anatomy
    • Costumed Figure Drawing
    • Graphic Design
    • Character Sculpture 1
    • Art History 2
  • Term Three

    • Zoological Drawing
    • Storyboarding
    • Character Design
    • Product Design
    • Color Theory and Light
    • Design History
  • Term Four

    • Digital Painting
    • Creature Design
    • Environment Design
    • Vehicle Design
    • Character Sculpture 2
    • Film History

*Sample curriculum, subject to change


Over more than a decade, Gnomon has collaborated with many of the industry's top talent. It is through these relationships that we guarantee the quality of our programs. Our Advisors consists of professional artists who have proven their commitment to helping aspiring artists enter the industry.

  • Jonathan Berube
    World of Warcraft, Diablo III, StarCraft: Ghost, Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams

  • Dylan Cole
    Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, Daredevil, I, Robot

  • David Levy
    Assassin's Creed, Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones, Turok, The Red Star

  • Fausto de Martini
    World of Warcraft, StarCraft II

  • Iain McCaig
    Star Wars: Episodes One, Two and Three, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Peter Pan

  • Jerry O'Flaherty
    Gears of War, Thundercats, Unreal Championship 2: The Liandri Conflict, Anachronox

  • Neville Page
    Cloverfield, Avatar, Star Trek, Watchmen, Hulk 2

  • Ben Procter
    Avatar, Transformers, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Matrix Revolutions, Superman Returns

  • Aaron Sims
    Terminator 3, AI, Constantine, Fantastic 4, The Golden Compass, I Am Legend

  • Feng Zhu
    Lucasfilm, Disney, Blur Studio, Electronic Arts, Microsoft, Warner Brothers

Is Gnomon Right for Me?

So you have aspirations to be a 2D or 3D artist in the film and games industry. You have some talent, but don’t know which path to take to improve the odds of your dream becoming a reality. The answer is Gnomon.

Gnomon's reputation in the film and games industry is unsurpassed. With over ten years of experience training students and professionals, Gnomon works with only the best artists and the top studios. Located in the center of Hollywood, the entertainment capital of the world, Gnomon knows what skills are required to start a career and be successful in the entertainment industry.

Our staff, instructors and graduates work with such studios as Activision/Blizzard, ILM, Weta, Electronic Arts, Pixar and Digital Domain. Our success is in helping people achieve their goals through our commitment to quality, creativity and in understanding the needs of the entertainment industry. You are about to make a life changing decision and Gnomon can help.


  • Tuition: $4,100 per term (4 terms over 1 year)
  • Total Cost: $16,400


To register, please contact our admissions department at 323-466-6663. The Entertainment Design track is available for students to begin every quarter.

Artwork samples are recommended — view our portfolio guidelines. Please send your samples one of the following ways:

  • Via email to Admissions: admissions@gnomonschool.com
  • In person during regular business hours, Monday - Friday, 9 am - 6 pm
  • By mail:
    Attention Admissions
    Gnomon School of Visual Effects
    1015 North Cahuenga Blvd,
    Hollywood CA, 90038


Artwork by instructor Charles Hu

"Gnomon's classes are well-rounded, their content well thought out and their recruiting and business practices beyond reproach." - Frank Gladstone, Dreamworks, SKG Animation

Artwork by Entertainment Design advisor Feng Zhu

"I found Gnomon to be one of the few, if not the only school, with a thorough understanding of the needs the industry has concerning the education of 3D artists." - Henrik Fett, Look Effects

Artwork by Entertainment Design advisor Iain McCaig

"I received a better education, critiques and support in the year I was at Gnomon than the four years at what is said to be an excellent art school”" - Tefft Smith II, Gnomon Alumni

Artwork by Entertainment Design advisor David Levy