3D Animation & Visual FX

Technical Skills Training

Gain hands-on experience working with cutting-edge programs and tools transforming the future of filmmaking.

Portfolio Building

Manipulate digital models and assets to create your own virtual landscape environments.

Industry Insights

Learn with an industry expert who has designed everything from virtual theme parks to video games.

Virtual Production—the art of mixing live-action footage with computer graphics in real time—is poised to create a major paradigm shift in the world of entertainment. With more and more major Hollywood productions utilizing Virtual Production techniques, it is critical that the next generation of filmmakers is taught to wield the tools of tomorrow.
We offer two courses in this exciting new field. 
Digital Tools of the Trade provides first-time Production students with a solid foundational understanding of the tools and techniques being used by cutting-edge filmmakers, such as pre-visualization and motion capture. Students will spend a large portion of the course working hands-on with Unreal Engine 4, a state-of-the-art 3D world-building tool that is currently being used by many of Hollywood’s top filmmakers to make feature films and television shows. 
In the follow-up course, Animating the Virtual World, students will gain more experience working within Unreal Engine by creating different types of environments, animating digital assets, and blending live action footage with virtual backgrounds. 

These courses rely heavily on small-group workshops to facilitate projects and allow for maximum one-on-one interaction between the instructor and students.
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Course Overview

Digital Tools of the Trade
Animating the Virtual World
Additional Information

Digital Tools of the Trade

Module 1: Manipulating Digital Landscapes
Starts March 13, 2022 

Get hands on experience using Unreal Engine, a state-of-the-art game creation engine that is transforming how movies and shows are being made. Create virtual worlds from scratch and manipulate objects and the environment to fit your imagination.   

Module 2: 3D Modeling in Maya

Starts April 10, 2022

Create 3D objects in Maya and learn how the industry experts model objects and characters for animated movies, shows, and video games. 

Module 3: 3D Animation

Starts May 8, 2022

Make your 3D objects and characters come alive by learning to rig characters and objects in Maya to create realistic movements.
Virtual Live Workshops on Sundays at 10:00 AM PST / 1:00 PM EST

Animating the Virtual World

Module 1: Digital World Creation in Unreal Engine
Starts March 13, 2022

In the first module of this course, students will create their own virtual worlds from scratch in Unreal Engine. Want to build a cyberpunk-influenced dystopian city? How about a mystical city surrounded by lush rainforests? By utilizing the features in Unreal Engine and by exploring online marketplaces for 3D objects, students will unleash their creative potential to bring their imagined worlds to life. 

Module 2: Blending the Virtual and Real Worlds
Starts April 10, 2022

This module introduces students to the exciting world of visual effects by combining live-action footage with digitally created and manipulated backgrounds and objects. Students will learn how to manipulate lighting, camera angles, and object scaling to match the visual settings of the live action footage to create depth and photorealistic backgrounds. 

Module 3: Animating a Short Film
Starts May 8, 2022

Students will put on their directing hats to create an animated short film based on a script. Students will create a virtual environment and animate 3D characters. In addition, they will use virtual cameras to capture shots and sequences to visually tell a story.  
Virtual Live Workshops on Sundays at 1:00 PM PST / 4:00 PM EST

Additional Information

Tech Requirements

  • Desktop PC or Mac
  • Windows 7 64-bit or Mac OS X 10.9. 2 or later.
  • Quad-core Intel or AMD processor, 2.5 GHz or faster.
  • NVIDIA GeForce 470 GTX or AMD Radeon 6870 HD series card or higher.
  • 8 GB RAM
  • Or equivalent hardware.

Course Format

  • Our virtual courses blend pre-recorded lectures crafted by experts & weekly live online workshops with your instructors and classmates. 
  • Final projects for each module are due exactly one week after the last meeting date of respective module at midnight PST.

Flexible Modules for High School Credit

  • Students who complete three modules in any order within one creative discipline will receive one semester of high school elective credit.
  • Modules can be taken individually for non-credit.
  • Prior modules do not need to be taken in order to attend the next module.

Meet the Instructor

John Inman

John Inman is a 3D Artist and Art Director with more than twenty years of industry experience specializing in VFX, commercials, games, real-time training simulations, theme park rides, augmented reality, and graphic design. John has worked on a wide variety of projects, such as heading video game level design and character animation for “Arms of Redemption” by Elder God Games, and an augmented reality project for the band Chainsmokers. 

Tuition Pricing

Single Module

1 x EEI Creative Arts Virtual Module
(single module in Screenwriting, Post-Production Editing, Music, OR Virtual Production)

Spring Module Package

EEI Creative Arts Virtual Module Package
(three consecutive modules in Screenwriting, Post-Production Editing, Music, OR Virtual Production)
$1650 → $1550

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