Take the first steps to becoming a real-time 3D artist for film and games

Learn 3D essentials with this beginner's real-time 3D course. Your industry mentor will introduce you to the core principles of 3D modeling, texturing, lighting, rigging, and animation using Unreal Engine, Maya, and Substance Painter.

Benefits of studying with us:
  • Unreal Academic Partner & Unreal Authorized Training Center
  • Mentorship from industry pros
  • Job-focused curriculum and 100% online
  • Private 1-on-1 or small group classes (max 4 students)

This course is the perfect launching pad into the expansive world of digital art and design. It equips you with the fundamental skills necessary for mastering the art of creating stunning 3D visuals.


Industry Certificate


3 months


20 hrs weekly

Skill level


Start date

August 5th, 2024
September 9th, 2024
October 7th, 2024

Delivery Mode

Weekly live online classes
Video lectures
Mentor feedback
Access to vibrant community

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An industry-approved curriculum to get you started in the world of real-time 3D

Term 1: 12 weeks

Foundations 1: Essentials of 3D

In this Essentials course, you'll start with the fundamentals of 3D, learning how to set up models, scenes, rigs, and animation, which will set the stage for all other 3D skills.  

*This short course is equivalent to the first term of the Real-Time 3D Foundations. If you continue your learning journey, you'll be eligible to join the Foundations course from Term 2 onwards.

  • 3D Modeling basics and geometry
  • Texturing and lighting techniques
  • Foundational animation principles
  • Rigging basics

*This short course is equivalent to the first term of the Real-Time 3D Foundations course, so if you choose to continue your studies, you'll start at Term 2!

  1. Introduction to 3D Space
  2. Modeling Projects and Pipeline
  3. Modeling Tools and Techniques
  4. Modeling Workflows
  5. Modeling for Real-time 3D
  6. Principles of UV Mapping
  7. Principles of Materials and Rendering
  8. Animation Principles
  9. Applied 3d Animation
  10. Animation Cycles
  11. Principles of Rigging
  12. Lighting and Rendering
Course Structure

Your pathway to the industry

This short course is equivalent to term one of the Foundations course. On completion of the Essentials course, if you decide to progress further with your studies, you'll enroll straight into term two of the corresponding Foundations course which means you'll already be one-third of the way through your studies! Continue your learning journey towards an exciting career in the industry by enrolling into the Foundations Career Track.

Pathway illustration for Essentials 3 Month Course

Get direct access to industry professionals with years of experience

Learn from passionate industry veterans with years of real-world experience at major film and game studios.

Frequently asked questions

Real-Time 3D Essentials course FAQs

Learn more about the prerequisites for this course and the real-time 3D careers you could explore in the future. For general questions about studying at CG Spectrum, visit the main FAQ page or contact us.

Age Minimum
he general minimum age to be able to enroll in our industry certificate courses is 16. We require parent or guardian consent during the enrollment process for applicants under 18.

Students under 16 will require a further assessment before they can officially enrol. This may include an interview with a course advisor and the creation of a study plan to ensure they have considered how they will manage a college-level workload.

English Proficiency
We expect our students to have a good understanding of written and spoken English. There’s no specific ’level'; however, you must be able to understand video tutorials in English (no subtitles) and speak with your mentor in English during your live Q&A session.

Computer Literacy
To be successful in this program, you will need basic computer skills and a computer that meets the minimum specifications (see next question). 
Some previous knowledge of 3D software would also be beneficial.

If you would like to prepare before starting the Real-time 3D Essentials, you could work on the following basic skills:

  • Polygonal modeling principles and workflows
  • UV unwrapping workflows 
  • Animation timeline and graph editing workflows
  • 3D Rendering workflows


Students can sign up for an educational license for Substance Painter and Autodesk Maya. You will also need to download Unreal Engine, which is free.

Instructions for how to obtain an educational license for the required software will be provided upon enrollment.


Students will need a dedicated graphics card, and a computer that meets the minimum requirements for Unreal EngineSubstance Painter, and Maya

Please note: as the software we use is regularly updated, please check the specs against the latest available version at the time of enroling.

This short course will get you started on your creative journey, but in a competitive industry, we advise continuing your studies with the full career track.

The real-time 3D career track includes the Real-time Foundations and Real-time Artist Specialization. It is designed to better prepare you for a job in the industry and help increase your employment opportunities.

The career track ensures you build strong foundational skills before moving on to more complex techniques and workflows. You will also dedicate time to career development and preparing a polished portfolio while you gain invaluable industry insights.

Some of the junior virtual production jobs you could pursue after completing the full study pathway include:

Discover more about these jobs, tips, and salary expectations on our careers page: