Learn to create virtual worlds 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

24 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

Jun 10, 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 Real-time 3D Principles

In this subject you'll start with the fundamentals of Unreal Engine, learning how to set up animated characters in the engine, along with a wide variety of features, plus rigging and motion basics. Developing a good foundation in this area is essential for moving on to the more advanced Real-Time 3D topics where you'll apply your new skills to creating a film-quality cinematic shot.

  • How to use a wide range of Unreal Engine features
  • Basic animation and rigging skills
  • Working with motion capture
  • An overview of real-time and virtual production pipelines
  1. Intro to Unreal and White-boxing
  2. Modeling in Unreal and File Management
  3. Basics with Materials
  4. Intro to Niagara
  5. Exporting and Importing Meshes and Animation
  6. Intro to Sequencer Animation
  7. Animating with Control Rig
  8. Metahuman and Interactive Characters
  9. Facial Performance Capture
  10. Introduction to Rigging
  11. Character Rigging Basics
  12. Unreal Control Rig
Term 2: 12 weeks

Foundations 3: Professional Worldbuilding

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
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


Choose your class size

$1,185 USD

(9 x payments)

Save 10%

Per Term
$3,200 USD

(2 x payments)

$1,750 USD

(9 x payments)

Save 10%

Per Term
$4,725 USD

(2 x payments)

Frequently asked questions

Realtime 3D & Virtual Production Course FAQs

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


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 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