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The Essentials of Scene Creation – UNREAL ENGINE

This workshop has been developed by Creative Digital Lab and University of the Arts London (UAL) through engagement with the South London Partnership (SLP), Big Creative Cluster and UAL’s Innovation Voucher Initiative.

SHORT COURSE DESCRIPTION

Welcome to our introductory Unreal Engine course, focused on the essentials of scene creation. This comprehensive course is designed for beginners, aiming to provide a solid foundation in creating immersive scenes with Unreal Engine, a leading tool in game development, architectural visualisation, and cinematic production.

Participants will start with the basics of navigating the Unreal Engine interface and manipulating objects. The course covers lighting techniques to add depth and realism, alongside texturing and material creation for realistic object appearances. A portion will also be dedicated to Blueprints, Unreal Engine’s visual scripting system, enabling creators to introduce interactive elements and animations without complex coding.

Through hands-on projects, students will design and develop their scenes, applying their learned skills creatively. The course also includes importing assets from other software, crucial for professional pipelines and ensuring smooth collaboration across disciplines.

By the end, students will have a good understanding of scene creation in Unreal Engine, ready to explore and expand their capabilities within this platform, whether in game development, film production, or architectural visualisation.

WHO SHOULD ATTEND

This introductory Unreal Engine course is ideal for individuals with little to no computing experience, who are interested in stepping into the world of digital design. It is perfectly suited for those considering enrolment in a foundation or undergraduate design course, offering a gentle introduction to the essential skills and concepts of scene creation. Whether you’re aspiring to a career in game development, architectural visualisation, or film production, this course will provide the foundational knowledge needed to begin your journey. No prior experience with Unreal Engine or advanced computing skills is required, making it accessible to anyone with a passion for creativity and an interest in exploring the capabilities of digital design tools.

OUTCOMES

  • Gain a foundational understanding of the Unreal Engine interface and navigation, enabling efficient scene setup and object manipulation.
  • Learn the basics of applying and customising materials and textures to objects, ensuring a realistic appearance in scene creations.
  • Acquire knowledge in lighting techniques, understanding how to use Unreal Engine’s lighting system to enhance mood and realism in scenes.
  • Understand the fundamentals of Blueprints, Unreal Engine’s visual scripting system, to add interactive elements and animations without deep coding knowledge.
  • Develop skills in importing assets, including models, materials, and textures from external software, facilitating a seamless integration into Unreal Engine for varied project needs.
  • Complete a basic hands-on project to apply learned skills in scene creation, from planning to execution, using Unreal Engine’s tools and features.

Unreal Engine Introductory Course: Scene Creation

Course Overview:

This course is designed to introduce beginners to Unreal Engine, focusing on the fundamentals of scene creation. Over four sessions, each lasting four hours, students will learn how to navigate Unreal Engine, apply materials and textures, understand lighting, use Blueprints, and import assets. By the end, participants will have the skills to create their own basic scenes.

Session 1: Introduction to Unreal Engine and Basic Navigation

Duration: 4 hours

Objectives:

  • Familiarise with the Unreal Engine interface.
  • Learn basic navigation within the Unreal environment.
  • Understand the process of creating and manipulating objects.

Activities:

  • Walkthrough of the Unreal Engine interface.
  • Hands-on exercises in viewport navigation and object manipulation.
  • Group discussion on the importance of scene layout and object placement.

Session 2: Materials, Textures, and Lighting

Duration: 4 hours

Objectives:

  • Understand the basics of materials and textures, learning how to apply them to objects.
  • Learn about Unreal Engine’s lighting system and how to use it to enhance scene realism.

Activities:

  • Tutorial on creating and applying materials and textures.
  • Hands-on practice with different lighting setups.
  • Mini-project: Create a simple scene applying learned material and lighting techniques.

Session 3: Introduction to Blueprints and Interactive Elements

Duration: 4 hours

Objectives:

  • Gain a foundational understanding of Blueprints in Unreal Engine.
  • Learn how to add basic interactive elements to scenes using Blueprints.

Activities:

  • Guided tutorial on the basics of visual scripting with Blueprints.
  • Group exercises to implement simple interactions in a scene (e.g., opening doors, triggering lights).
  • Discussion on the potential of Blueprints in enhancing scene interactivity.

Session 4: Importing Assets and Exporting Final Project

Duration: 4 hours

Objectives:

  • Learn how to import external assets into Unreal Engine.
  • Apply all learned skills to create a final project.

Activities:

  • Tutorial on importing models, textures, and materials.
  • Guided project work: Participants will create their own scene, incorporating imported assets, materials, textures, lighting, and basic Blueprints interactivity.

Session 5: Final Presentation

Duration: 5 hours

Objectives:

  • Present final project

Activities:

  • Final presentation: Each participant presents their scene, discussing the process and learning experience.

Materials Required:

  • Computers with Unreal Engine installed.
  • Access to a library of basic models, textures, and materials for practice.
  • Projector or screen for demonstrations and presentations.

Outcome:

Participants will leave with a solid understanding of the basics of scene creation in Unreal Engine, equipped with the skills to continue exploring the software independently. They will have completed a basic scene incorporating materials, lighting, and interactivity, demonstrating their new capabilities.

Facilitator – Leon Barker

With over a decade of hands-on experience developing interactive content for VR/XR/AR platforms, Dr Leon Barker brings a wealth of practical experience and knowledge to this Unreal short course. Having worked on a variety of projects in entertainment and advertising, he possesses a comprehensive skill set in coding, asset creation, and interactive storytelling. Leon is renowned for his ability to demystify complex concepts and empower students of all levels to unleash their creativity using Unreal.

Join us to learn from an experienced professional who is passionate about sharing his knowledge and experience to inspire the next generation of digital immersion creatives.

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