Learn virtual cinematography and production online

Create film-quality environments and scenes in Unreal Engine with specialized mentorship from a different real-time expert each term.

Start your journey towards becoming a real-time 3D technical artist with CG Spectrum's Real-time course. Tell compelling stories, and create a film-quality cinematic using your new world building, lighting, and camera skills. 

Why study virtual production at CG Spectrum:

  • Unreal Academic Partner & Unreal Authorized Training Center
  • Mentorship from industry pros
  • Job-focused career training and 100% online
  • Private 1-on-1 or small group classes (max 4 students)


CG Spectrum–one of the Top 50 Best Creative Media & Entertainment Art Schools in the World–has partnered with Epic Games and industry professionals to develop a job-focused study pathway to ensure you are well-positioned to enter the real-time 3D and virtual production field and make a productive contribution from day one on the job.

Gain speed and confidence with Unreal Engine, learn cutting edge real-time 3d techniques, and create a high-quality scene for your professional portfolio to show prospective employers.



Study duration

36 weeks


20 hrs weekly

Skill level



Real-time 3D Foundations course or portfolio submission


Weekly online classes, feedback and support


Unreal Engine, Quixel Bridge, DaVinci Resolve

Start date

May 6, 2024

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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 an exciting career as a realtime 3d technical artist. Learn virtual production techniques and build practical job skills studios are looking for.

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

Note: The Real-Time 3D Essentials Certificate (or equivalent experience) is a prerequisite for this course.
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

Dive right into the full study pathway and be industry ready in 18 months.

Pathway illustration for Career Track (18 months)

Get direct access to seasoned developers and real-time artists with years of experience

To be the best, learn from the best. Real-time 3d and virtual production classes are taught by industry professionals who have worked with top studios. You'll receive expert guidance from a new mentor each term!

Study Options

Small Class

The most affordable way to learn from top industry mentors in a fun, collaborative environment, while still getting plenty of personalized feedback.

  • Max. 4 students per course
  • Affordable high-quality education
  • Network while you learn
Study Options

1-on-1 Private

Progress faster and enjoy more flexiblity with private mentorship. Ideal for busy schedules, career-changers, or artists upgrading skills or changing specialties.

  • Maximum level of mentor interaction
  • Greater flexibility to schedule classes
  • Customized learning experience


$1,185 USD

(9 x payments)

Save 10%

Per Term
$3,200 USD

(3 x payments)

$1,750 USD

(9 x payments)

Save 10%

Per Term
$4,725 USD

(3 x payments)

Frequently asked questions

Realtime 3D & Virtual Production Course FAQs

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

If you want to skip the foundations of real-time 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

You will also need a computer that meets the minimum specifications (see next question).


Students can sign up for an educational license for Unreal Engine and a student license of Gaea will be provided. 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, GaeaQuixel Bridge, RealityCapture, and DaVinci Resolve.

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 story telling 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 Essentials Term 1 ("Essentials to 3D"), using Maya, and again in Real-time 3D Foundations Term 1 ("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. There is one lesson on Niagara in Foundations Term 1 ("Core Real-time 3D Principles"), however, the Real-time 3D Specialization course covers it in much more detail, dedicating a full term to it (six weeks).

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 Worldbuilding") 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 another compositing course.

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

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

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

For those interested in architectural development, visit our 3D Visualization course pages.

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.

This 9-month course is designed to prepare you for a career as a real-time technical artist. It also includes personalized career services and 1-on-1 time with our Career Development Manager which can help when applying for junior level jobs such as:

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

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