Tuesday, June 29th, 2021 Posted by Jim Thacker

Master environment design for virtual production in UE4

The Gnomon Workshop has released Environment Design for Virtual Production in Unreal Engine 4: an introduction to real-time-rendering-based environment art workflows of the kind used on The Mandalorian.

The workshop, recorded by former Ubisoft principal cinematics artist Vladimir Somov, comprises two hours of video training for Unreal Engine 4, used in conjunction with 3ds Max, Quixel Bridge and Quixel Mixer.

Explore virtual production workflows like those used on The Mandalorian
Film-makers are increasingly shooting live-action footage against CG backgrounds, using real-time rendering to display digital environments on LED walls behind the actors.

Vladimir Somov provides an introduction to these new workflows, introducing the core concepts and techniques required to create virtual-production-ready environments in Unreal Engine.

During the workshop, Somov walks viewers through the entire production pipeline required to create exterior and interior sets of an ancient temple, including suitable lighting and post effects for each.

He begins with how to work with references, and how to create a custom construction kit and a trim material.

Somov then discusses how to set up Unreal Engine for work, including which settings and plugins to use, and why; and sets out how to structure an Unreal Engine project.

He also provides advice on believable set dressing and lighting, and explores techniques for profiling the performance of the project and optimising performance using technologies like Nvidia DLSS.

The workshop also includes a look inside the techniques used for capturing a basic cinematic with an animated character and a virtual hand-held camera operated by using a smartphone as a tracker.

The techniques demonstrated can be scaled up and applied to projects ranging from postvis or games cinematics work to virtual production in a full LED volume.

About the artist
Vladimir Somov is a 3D generalist and concept artist with seven years of experience in cinematics across multiple industries.

He previously worked at Ubisoft, where he contributed to cinematics for Assassin’s Creed Unity, Far Cry Primal, For Honor, Far Cry 5 and Far Cry 6, before becoming a cinematic art director and consultant.

Pricing and availability
Environment Design for Virtual Production in Unreal Engine 4 is available via an online subscription to The Gnomon Workshop. Subscriptions cost $49/month or $490/year. You can try the training for free.

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Full disclosure: CG Channel is owned by Gnomon.