Virtual Production: 3D Asset Creation and Workflows Using Unreal Engine and Maya
Format: Technical Intensive
This course will introduce the fundamentals of the 3D to Virtual Production pipeline, covering the basics of 3D asset creation to design aesthetically rich and virtual environments in Unreal Engine 5 (UE5). Participants will learn how to create 3D assets in Autodesk Maya (modeling, texturing, and animating), and then how to use these assets to build a dynamic scene in the Unreal Engine, utilizing custom-built models, physically-based materials, and lighting effects.
Along the way, participants will gain a visual and technical vocabulary that can be applied to a variety of practices utilizing a 3D to Virtual Production pipeline.
Led by 3D artist and NYU faculty Leah Roh, this flexible six-week online intensive will be taught in a series of lectures, demos, workshops, and assignments, and result in timely knowledge and know-how for content creators using or just digging into Unreal Engine.
By the end of the course, participants will complete a final project that includes an appetizing feast of tailored 3D models and textures from Autodesk Maya and Adobe Photoshop that render a realistic dining experience in Unreal Engine, and leave with a recipe of the 3D Asset Creation pipeline to build custom environments in UE5.
- Understand the technical aspects of 3D asset creation and optimization for game engine programs.
- Learn the basics of 3D modeling, animating, and texturing in Autodesk Maya.*
- Apply virtual lighting and rendering techniques to 3D objects in Unreal Engine.
- Hands-on experience building and optimizing 3D assets in Autodesk Maya to create realistic and responsive virtual environments in UE5 with physically-based materials and dynamic lighting.
Who Should Attend?
- Digital Fabricators - See your assets work in real-time
- Traditional 3D Animators - Learn to optimize and prepare assets for real-time
- Technical Directors - Gain insight to the technical artists pipeline
- UX Designers - Take your art into the 3rd dimension
- Storytellers - Create your own 3D assets
- 3D artists / designers - Learn to create dynamic scenes in Unreal Engine
- Immersive storytellers - Build experiential worlds
Week 1: Lecture and Demonstrations
- Introduction to the 3D <> Virtual Production Pipeline
- Creating 3D Models in Maya
- Texturing & UV Mapping Models in Maya and Photoshop
- Hands on Activity: Texture/UV Map Your 3D Asset and Import into UE5
Week 2: Lecture and Demonstrations
- Animating 3D Assets in Maya
- Optimizing 3D Assets in Maya for UE5
- Working with 3D Assets in UE5
- Applying Materials and Textures in UE5
- Utilizing Unreal’s Source Control
- Hands-On Activity: Build more 3D Assets in Maya and import into UE5
Week 3: Open Office Hours
Students will schedule a time with the instructor. During this time, students will have the opportunity to discuss the course content and final project or discuss personal professional projects and goals.
- Final Project
Build a computer-generated dining experience utilizing customized 3D assets, physically-based materials, UV-mapped textures, and lighting scheme in UE5
Week 4: Lectures and Demonstrations
- Lighting Scenes in UE5
- Applying Lighting / Camera FX in UE5
- Applying Post-Processing FX to enhance scenes
- Working with UE5’s Level Streaming
Week 5: Student Work Week
Students will use this week to work on their course project. Students may also use this time to catch up and review course content and activities.
Week 6: Final Project Showcase
Students will present their final projects in a live presentation and receive feedback from the instructor and other students. This is your opportunity to show off your skills and creativity. Students must submit their final project by the end of Week 6 to obtain the certificate.
- PC that runs Unreal (UE5)
- Computer that runs Autodesk Maya (2019, 2020, 2022), Adobe Acrobat CC, and Substance Painter
- Comfortable with a fast-paced learning environment.
- Recommended: Understanding of Maya, Unreal, and Photoshop’s interface
* Maya 1 year license included with proof-of-registration.