Image: AEC Magazine
Similar to virtual production in film, a commercial real-time 3D artist harnesses the skills found in one or more areas of the traditional production pipeline but executed in a real-time environment such as a game engine. The basic skill sets are the same, but the medium is different (real-time vs. non-real-time). They are often referred to as content creators.
Commercial virtual production covers many industries and is used for various purposes, including:
These creators often collaborate with other artists, designers, and programmers to realize a broader vision, known as virtual production.
The Weather Channel uses virtual production to display information about the weather, which the reporter can interact with.
Virtual production is analogous to traditional production. The main difference is that renders occur in real-time. Real-time is paving new, improved workflows for the film industry and bridging some gaps in the traditional production pipeline, allowing real-world and digital platforms to converge. It’s been adopted as a tool by filmmakers and content creators to visualize what they’d usually only be able to view in post-production at the pre-production and production stages.
Virtual Production Mentor, Deepak’s virtual fashion show for GCDS as part of Milan Fashion Week.
Real-time artists focus on content or asset creation in a real-time environment such as a game engine, often working on a project from concept to completion. They are also responsible for maintaining visuals in both quality and optimization — from entire environments down to small 3D props, known as assets.
Role & responsibilities of a real-time artist in virtual production for commercial industries:
When starting in this competitive field, you’ll need to focus on learning technical tools and be proficient in a game engine such as Unreal or Unity, which often also involves some coding.
Employers may look for the following skills in a commercial real-time 3D artist:
When starting in this competitive field, you’ll need to focus on learning a real-time game engine, but the importance of art fundamentals cannot be underestimated. However, because Real-time Artists often take on a more generalist role, plenty of other software is worth learning too.
Real-time artists may need knowledge of a combination of the following software:
The national average salary of a Real-time 3D Artist is $62,053 annually in the United States. (Source: Glassdoor)
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3 months - 40 (minimum)hrs weekly
A 12-week virtual production intensive for media professionals and studios looking to up-skill their teams and foster the next generation of real-time artists.
3 months - 20hrs weekly
Go from installing the Unreal Engine to creating a fully playable character within it. This short course helps beginners wanting to work in film or games get the hang of working with the engine and surrounding pipelines including basic rigging, animation and motion capture.