Class 1: Course overview and scene design
In the first class members will take a look at the project overview and various stages of vfx to create a finished scene from a previs layout camera move. From asset creation to detailed layout of the elements into the environment to make a shot, as well as material editing and lighting setup and high quality rendering.
Class 2: Ground Surface
In class 2 we will learn how to create the ground surface replacing the previs geometry from the layout team. This detailed ground surface will have slopes, underwater areas, cliff areas and rock areas integrated naturally into it so that our plants, trees, rocks and water can all attach to the surface and give an interesting cinematic image at the final stages.
Class 3: Speedtree Games
As well as the amazing nanite trees available on the epic games marketplace you can also create your own trees in Speedtree Games. In speedtree you can make flowers, plants, grass, saplings, palm trees, conifer trees and large branching forest trees. We will take a look at how you can use atlases to create your own spline based procedural foliage in Speedtree and how to enable animation for wind and export it to Unreal Engine.
Class 4: Rock Assets
An important part of creating original 3d environments is having some assets which are scanned or hand made to give the scene some unique custom art direction. In this class we will look at how to scan forest rocks geo and colour with a DSLR and clean them up for export to Unreal Engine.
Class 5: Tree Layout
In this class we will do the layout on the ground geometry of the large hero trees and large rocks onto the scene to block in the forms and the coverage of foliage to build an interesting and cinematic composition of the shot. We can use reference imagery or ai generated images to art direct how our specific shot should look, in production you can be supplied with concept art to replicate as well.
Class 6: Detail Plants layout
To create layers of depth in the scene which the camera can move through we will hand place hero closeup smaller plants vines and rocks to create the closeup details in front of camera. You don't want to have an empty shot or cover the lens with messy props so we we layout the trees and plants to make beautiful cinematic compositions which tell the story of the shot using depth of field and using reference shots from films.
Class 7: Water Layout
The river and waterfalls are an important part of this rainforest shot. In this class we will look at how to design and control the water system inside Unreal to create detailed and art directed river. Adjusting the wave height, water silt, colour of reflections and scale of ripples. We will also create waterfalls in the cliff areas and position them to create an interesting and cinematic shot.
Class 8: Daylight Lighting Setups
In this class we will look at lighting the scene using the sky atmosphere system and the Cinematic Camera with manual exposure and controls. We'll copy a real world Alexa digital cinema camera with Prime Lenses and create some different lighting options for daytime which we can save as different levels and submit for review.
Class 9: Night Lighting Setup
Often VFX environments may be re-visited at a different time of day. In this class we will learn how to re-use our scene for a night-time lighting scenario and how to create a cool night time scene which will read clearly and tell the story of our scene. We will also look at review notes and how to address them using different versions.
Class 10: Render settings and output
For rendering the final high quality cinematic, we will dive into the render settings in the movie render queue plugin and how we can achieve the highest possible detail for depth of field, motion blur, anti-aliasing and material quality. We will also take a look at the path tracer and its settings for rendering offline shots at the highest quality levels for grading and output.