Become a real-time 3D artist for film and games

Take your creative journey as a filmmaker and visual storyteller to the next level with our advanced real-time 3D course. Gain speed and confidence with Unreal Engine and Niagra to create film-quality cinematics that you can add to your portfolio.

Why study virtual production with us:

  • We are an Unreal Academic Partner and Unreal Authorized Training Center
  • Receive technical, creative, and career-related mentorship from industry pros
  • 100% online
  • Private 1-on-1 or small group classes (max 4 students)

With guidance from experts, you'll build on your foundational world-building, lighting, and camera skills to blend live-action with CG and tell compelling digital stories through your 3D environments and scenes. 


Industry Certificate


9 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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Why study with us

Learn virtual production and real-time 3d technical art from industry pros

Our expert-led courses prepare you for a dynamic career as a realtime 3d technical artist. Learn virtual production tools and techniques while you build practical job skills.

Flexible Scheduling

Plan your studies around your work and family commitments

Industry Mentors

Learn from mentors who have worked in the film and games industry

Job-Ready Skills

Build practical, relevant job skills that studios are looking for

Payment Plans

Options to help you pursue your passion and start working sooner


Intensive real-time 3D technical art career training with an industry focus

Term 1: 6 weeks

Camera Tracking

Dive into the world of immersive filmmaking with our specialized class on Camera Tracking within Unreal Engine 5. This course is tailored for filmmakers and visual effects artists looking to blend live-action footage with CG elements seamlessly. You'll learn how to utilize UE5's robust camera tracking tools to anchor virtual objects to real-world spaces, enabling the creation of stunning visual effects that interact naturally with live-action scenes. By mastering these techniques, you'll elevate your filmmaking process, opening up new possibilities for storytelling and visual creativity.

  • Understanding the basics of camera tracking and its importance in VFX and virtual production.
  • Setting up customizable virtual cameras to deal with live capturing environments.
  • Practical applications of camera tracking in Unreal Engine 5 for film, television, and immersive media projects.
  • Assembling customized premade characters from various sources to build up shots.
  1. Cine-Cameras and Offline Workflow
  2. Utility Blueprints for Virtual Cameras
  3. Utility Blueprints for Camera Recording
  4. Tracked Camera and Take Recorder Workflows
  5. Digital Humans
  6. Character Setup for Virtual Production
Term 2: 6 weeks

Real-time Previsualization

Explore the transformative power of real-time previsualization with Unreal Engine 5 in our immersive course designed for filmmakers, animators, and visual storytellers. This course offers a deep dive into the tools and techniques for leveraging UE5's unparalleled rendering capabilities to visualize scenes, set designs, and character actions in real-time, revolutionizing the pre-production process. Through hands-on learning, you'll discover how to streamline workflows, enhance collaboration, and bring creative visions to life with instant feedback, setting a new standard for efficiency and creativity in the industry.

  • Fundamentals of Unreal Engine 5's interface and tools specifically tailored for previsualization.
  • Techniques for creating and manipulating dynamic lighting, camera movements, and scene setups in real-time.
  • Strategies for effective collaboration within teams, using UE5's live editing features.
  • Best practices for integrating UE5 previsualization workflows into traditional film and animation production pipelines.
  1. Interior Pre-vis Blockout
  2. Vehicle Chase PT1
  3. Vehicle Chase PT2
  4. Exterior Night Scene
  5. In-Camera VFX
  6. Virtual Production Interviews
Term 3: 6 weeks

Materials and Proceduralism

Unlock the secrets of creating visually stunning and efficient materials in Unreal Engine 5 with our focused class on Materials and Proceduralism. Learn how to harness the power of UE5's material editor and procedural techniques to craft dynamic, realistic surfaces and effects that respond to game environments and player interactions. This course will empower you to elevate the visual fidelity of your projects while optimizing performance, making your game worlds more immersive and interactive than ever before.

  • Mastery of Unreal Engine 5's material system for the creation of complex, lifelike surfaces.
  • Techniques for developing procedural materials that adapt dynamically to game conditions.
  • Strategies for leveraging material functions and blueprints to automate and enhance visual detail.
  • Optimization tips for ensuring high-quality visuals with minimal performance impact.
  1. Career Path of a Technical Artist
  2. Basic Math Functions Part I
  3. Basic Math Functions Part II
  4. Material Parameters and Functions
  5. Rendering and Post-Processing Materials
  6. Substrate Overview
Term 4: 6 weeks


Dive into the world of real-time visual effects with our comprehensive course on Niagara in Unreal Engine 5. Master the cutting-edge techniques to create stunning visual effects, from intricate particle systems to dynamic simulations, all within the powerful Unreal Engine ecosystem. Elevate your VFX skills and bring your creative visions to life, setting a new standard for interactive and immersive environments.

  • Fundamental principles of Niagara VFX system in Unreal Engine 5.
  • Techniques for creating and manipulating particle systems for realistic visual effects.
  • Strategies for integrating visual effects with game logic and environmental interactions.
  • Advanced simulations with Niagara, including fluid dynamics and particle collisions.
  • Best practices for optimizing visual effects for performance without compromising quality.
  1. Embergen Overview
  2. Flames and Smoke
  3. Cinematic Bullet Impacts
  4. Electricity Powerup
  5. Chaos Destruction
  6. VFX Polish and Rendering
Term 5: 12 weeks

Mentored Studio: Real-time 3D

This final term is dedicated to getting you job-ready! With your mentor’s guidance, you’ll polish your best work for your portfolio and learn how to develop your competitive edge, market yourself, and make the best possible impression in front of employers. You'll also receive additional 1-on-1 career support, portfolio reviews, and industry insights from CG Spectrum's Career Coach.

  • How to polish your portfolio to impress employers
  • Interview and negotiation strategies
  • Effective networking and self-promotion
  • Accessing the hidden job market 
  1. Career Pathways
  2. Industry Overview
  3. Portfolio Upgrade
  4. Networking and Online Presence
  5. Resume and Cover Letter
  6. Job Hunting
  7. Freelance Work
  8. Interviews and Pitching
  9. Personal Projects and Challenges
  10. Working in a Studio
  11. Contracts and Negotiations
  12. Personal Roadblocks
Course structure

Your pathway to the industry

The 9-month Specialization Course is the second half of our Career Track, preparing you for your first day in the industry. Your future awaits!

Pathway illustration for Specialization 9 Month Course

Get direct access to artists experienced in real-time 3D and virtual production

Our real-time 3D and virtual production courses are taught by industry professionals who have worked with top studios. Receive expert guidance from a new mentor each term!

Student Showcase

See what our students are creating!

With a focus on portfolio preparation, we help students build their competitive edge with high quality work that gets noticed. 


Studios that hire our students

Our commitment to job-outcomes and focus on career development has helped graduates find work at studios all over the world.
Frequently asked questions

Real-time 3D Specialization FAQs

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

This course requires the successful completion of the Real-time 3D Foundations career track or a portfolio submission demonstrating professional experience and an accompanying reel/resume.

If you want to skip the Foundations course, you must show that you have a fundamental understanding of how Unreal Engine works and how to work with characters and animation within a real-time environment. You need to provide a portfolio of work that demonstrates an understanding of the topics taught in the course.

These include:

  • Importing static meshes, skeletal meshes, and animations
  • Retargeting between different skeleton types
  • Sequencer animation blending and graph editor experience
  • Level, character, and animation blueprint experience
  • Basic Control Rig understanding

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).


Students will be required to use Unreal Engine (free to download and use) and purchase a license for EmberGen (education discounts are available).

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


Students will need a dedicated graphics card and a computer that meets the minimum requirements for Unreal Engine and EmberGen.

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

No, we do not currently plan to support physical hands-on training. Our focus is more on storytelling through Unreal Engine.

It can be if it's specifically using Unreal Engine to build a more immersive experience.

3D animation is explored within Real-time 3D Foundations Term 1 ("Essentials to 3D"), using Maya, and again in Term 2 ("Core Real-time 3D Principles"), using Unreal Engine, including general 3D animation rigging principles.  For those who want to learn animation in more detail, we recommend exploring our 3D animation courses.

Real-time 3D students will also study elements of visual effects using Niagara, Unreal Engine's next-generation VFX system. This specialization course dedicates a full term (Term 4) to it.

FX is a broad discipline, so besides the fire and power-ups covered in this course, those seeking a deeper understanding of FX and simulation are encouraged to explore our FX courses.

Basic post-production concepts are included within Foundations Term 2 ("Professional World Building") course, however, to continue understanding professional compositing workflows using Nuke we offer compositing courses that can be explored further. 

Matchmoving is not part of the virtual production curriculum but is introduced in our Digital Compositing Foundations course.

Contact the student admissions team about possibly accommodating this within the course.

This real-time 3D course would provide excellent technical knowledge required for the architectural presentation of characters, lighting, camerawork, and rendering.

It doesn't specifically focus on the architectural industry, so topics related to the design, layout, and material matching standards required for architectural visualizations might be missed.

For those interested in architectural development, explore 3D Visualization courses.

Skilled real-time artists are in demand across the film and game industries and beyond. Read more about the role of a real-time 3D technical artist and how real-time workflows are being adopted by a wide range of industries.

On completion of the Real-time 3D Specialization course, you will have greater confidence in your technical and creative abilities and a polished portfolio to show prospective employers.

You will also have access to our career coach and personalized career services (including interview preparation, CV/resume assistance, and portfolio reviews), which can help when applying for junior-level jobs such as:

The CG Spectrum community is another great resource. Through graduates and mentors already working in the industry, you can network and learn about relevant job vacancies. 

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