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, Quadspinner Gaea, Quixel Bridge, RealityCapture, DaVinci Resolve

Start date

Jan 8, 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: 12 weeks

Foundations 2: Core Worldbuilding Principles

Discover what it takes to build a believable virtual world. You'll start by learning different methods of creating landscapes within Unreal Engine, and QuadSpinner Gaea before moving on to advanced texture blending, auto materials, and water systems. Next, you'll look at all lighting, VFX, and the post process volume to bring your scene to life. Finally, you'll work to set up a basic camera shot to take your scene to a final film quality render.

  • How to create landscapes using Gaea & Unreal Engine
  • Advanced texturing & lighting
  • Optimizing your scenes for render
  • Camera set-up & rendering film-quality cinematics

Portfolio project: A cinematic ready real-time environment scene.

  1. Scene Blockout and Project Management
  2. Creating a Landscape
  3. Advanced Landscapes & Blending Materials
  4. Lighting Systems in Unreal Engine
  5. Planning & Layout
  6. Foundations & Photogrammetry
  7. Detailing Your World
  8. Good Practices & Polishing
  9. Lighting & Atmosphere
  10. Adding Life, & Optimization Workflows
  11. Rendering with Movie Render Queue
  12. Color Grading & Delivery with Davinci Resolve
Term 2: 12 weeks

Foundations 3: Professional Real-time Storytelling

This part of the virtual production course will help you understand how to work with cameras, rigs, lights, and digital humans to create a compelling scene for your portfolio. These skills are essential not only for new content creators but also traditional filmmakers wanting to transition their existing skills to the virtual production environment.

  • How to use cameras and lighting in Unreal Engine
  • Real-time and virtual production pipelines
  • Using digital humans in your sequence
  • Converting traditional film techniques to the digital space

Portfolio project: A short film-quality sequence.

  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 20
  7. Interior Previs Blockout
  8. Interior Polish
  9. Exterior Night/Dusk Lighting and Polish
  10. Vehicle Scene Previs Blockout
  11. In Camera VFX
  12. Virtual Production Interviews
Term 3: 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 1 year.

Pathway illustration for Virtual Production (Full pathway)

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 Essentials Certificate 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.


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.


General animation rigging is covered in the Foundations of Real-Time 3D and Virtual Production course and basic compositing concepts are covered in the virtual production term within this course. 

Visual effects is a large subject, so besides the water and clouds covered in this course, those seeking a deeper understanding of VFX are encouraged to explore our VFX courses

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.

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