What to expect

  • For Beginners

    No prior knowledge required. This course will take you from beginner to badass.

  • Efficient

    There are no shortcuts, but this course is as close as you will get. It is straight to the point with no time wasted.

  • Economic

    Only free and open-source software is used as part of this course. We live in an incredible time, when the free tools are the most powerful.

  • Comprehensive

    Not only does this course cover using Unreal Engine to craft visuals for the film, but also includes basic editing, sound mixing, and final export into a video file.

  • Realism

    A heavy focus of this course is helping students to create environments with a high level of realism in a startlingly short time.

  • Empowering

    This course will give you the practical skills and confidence to make your own ideas a reality.

Some of the skills that students will learn along the way are

  • How to plan and gather reference

  • How to comfortably use Unreal Engine 5 to create materials, landscapes and all the other building blocks of a stunning desert environment

  • How to animate objects, lights and cameras

  • How to control a virtual camera using the gyroscope on an iPad/iPhone

  • How to edit your film and add sound using DaVinci Resolve

  • How to export your finished film to a .mp4 or .mov video file.

Course curriculum

    1. 101 - Introduction

    1. 201 - Building a folder structure

    2. 202 - Gathering reference

    3. 203 - Analyzing your reference

    4. 204 - Unreal Engine 5 installation

    5. 205 - Unreal Engine 5 project setup

    1. 301 - Quadrant overview

    2. 302 - The content browser

    3. 303 - Creating and saving new assets

    1. 401 - Make the map

    2. 402 - Lighting with the sun

    3. 403 - Environment light mixer

    4. 404 - Creating a landscape

    5. 405 - Sculpting dunes

    6. 406 - Walking through your creation

    1. 501 - Master materials

    2. 502 - Material instances

    3. 503 - Using textures

    4. 504 - Megascan textures

    5. 505 - Using material parameters

    6. 506 - Fixing jagged shadows

    1. 601 - Layering in the waves

    2. 602 - Dealing with distance

    3. 603 - Painting variation

    4. 604 - Sparkle

About this course

  • 57 lessons
  • 11 modules


One-time payment, no subscription, hours of video content that you can return to at any time.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Do I need a powerful computer?

    You need a computer that at least meets these minimum requirements.

    RAM (memory) - 16 GB

    CPU (processor) - 6 cores/12threads (from the past few years such as Intel Core i5 12600K, or AMD Ryzen 5 5600X)

    GPU (Video Card) - NVIDIA GTX 1080, RTX 3060 or AMD RX 6600 (the card should have at least 6 GB of VRAM)

    Keep in mind, these are the absolute minimum requirements. The software will run significantly better and with fewer crashes the more powerful your hardware.

  • Will I have lifetime access?

    Yes! if you purchase this course, you will always have access to the material. It will be a resource to return to at any time.

  • Does this course cover creating and using characters?

    No, this course covers the full process of building a 3D environment, shooting in that environment with a virtual camera, rendering, editing, music/sound, and final export. Though characters can seamlessly be integrated into this process, the actual creation and animation of characters is not covered in the course. It may be available later as an add-on.

Let's start making that film today!


Thaddaeus Andreades

Thaddaeus is a digital artist, teacher, and creative director at The Virtual Construction Lab.

Thaddaeus's teaching experience includes

◆ 2+ years Adjunct Professor at The School of Visual Arts - Computer Animation Department - in person and virtual

◆ 6+ years One-on-one 3D Animation private tutor - high school through professional levels

◆ 5 years Flying Trapeze Instructor

As an artist, Thaddaeus's work exists in the digital world but crosses over from time to time in drawing, sculpture, and photography. He intertwines physical and digital forms to birth new combinations and better reflect our own way of existing in both spaces. He is really motivated by the possibility of each new project being an opportunity to learn a new technique or tool. He applies and mixes computer animation and sound techniques that he learned working on films, commercials, VR, and games. He has been making digital artwork in the form of 3D animation and film all his life, and professionally since 2015.

Thaddaeus grew up in and currently lives, works and creates in New York City.

He attended Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts as a fine art major. He received a Bachelor of Fine Art from the School Of Visual Arts for Computer Animation in 2015. His thesis short film received global recognition and awards such as the 2015 Student Emmy and Student Academy Awards.

More courses coming soon!

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