Build a virtual production career in this thriving and cutting edge industry
Virtual Production (VP) is a rapidly growing area of content production, and the UK is facing unprecedented demand for individuals with skills in this area. By combining CGI, game-engines, and virtual reality technologies, VP enables completely new ways of making film and TV, from virtual scouting, to set design, to real-time, on-set visual effects. VP techniques impact many core disciplines within filmmaking and television production, from cinematography, to production design, VFX, animation, directing and beyond.
“For a live performance director making the move to screen directing, this was the perfect mix of technical training, hands-on studio practice and exposure to top-of-their-game professionals.”
"The course not only opened my eyes to the possibilities of merging technology with design and storytelling but has also helped me better understand the post-production process."
"A particular highlight was connecting with fellow students from many different disciplines. We've even collaborated on some animation, VP and VR projects since.”
“Virtual Production is the future and the course will enable me to take a huge step forward in my career. The creative possibilities are very exciting.”
This course will introduce you to the core technical and filmmaking skills required to work on a VP project using an LED Stage driven by Unreal Engine. On completing the course you could go on to fill key artistic and technical roles, including Technical Artists, Lighting Specialists, Colour Specialists, Technical Designers/Directors, Camera Hardware/Software Pipeline Engineers, LED Hardware Engineers, or VP Technical Generalists.
The course offers theoretical and practical experience delivered via weekly online seminars as well as approximately four weekends of hands-on workshops using our VP LED wall and facilities at the NFTS Beaconsfield Film Studios.
We’re delighted to be partnering with Screen Scotland for a second consecutive year in order to support six talented creative professionals living and working in Scotland, as well as partnering for the first time with VP pioneers Dimension Studio, to provide a further six highly sought after, subsidised spaces for diverse talent across the UK.
Thanks to our partnership with Dimension Studio, who have been leading the field in Virtual Production in recent years, participants will enjoy invaluable access to industry experts and insight, including a visit to their world-class Virtual Production facilities.
In addition, Screen Scotland will also cover travel and accommodation costs for the six eligible Scotland-based participants, to support the cost of attending the in-person sessions. The course is part-time and has been flexibly designed to fit around those working full-time.
This course has been designed to give you a grounding in the core skills, knowledge and understanding required for VP technical setups, and key on-set roles and activities.
You will learn the fundamentals of Virtual Production and explore the key underlying technologies; including the core functionality and more advanced elements of Unreal and its role within the VP process, a walk-through of the LED Wall set up and merging digital and physical props and design workflows. You will learn about the key roles and their functions within virtual production, including the roles of Production Designer, Director of Photography, Technical Artist, and the Virtual Art Department. Case studies and group exercises will put these core elements into practice.
MODULE 1 - Introduction to Virtual Production
An exploration of the different types of VP and key underlying technologies, and introduction to on-set roles and workflow. Includes a demonstration at the NFTS LED Wall in Beaconsfield, and a practical workshop on the key roles of a VP film set.
MODULE 2 - Unreal for VP Part 1
Introductory level workshops covering core functionality of Unreal and its role within the VP process - including the basics of scene design, lighting, sequencer and animation, along with art and art pipeline. Includes remote lessons and hands-on introductory learning.
MODULE 3 – LED Stage Technical Setup
A walk through the setup of the LED Wall and camera tracking technology, including talks from a Virtual Production Supervisor’s perspective and analysis of technology solutions.
MODULE 4 - Unreal for VP Part 2
An introduction to some of the more advanced elements of Unreal needed within VP, including optimisation techniques, blueprints programming, technical art and VFX, followed by a design exercise
MODULE 5 - Design for Virtual Production
A look at colour science and tutorials on lighting in-engine, followed by a group multi- user shared design practical exercise.
MODULE 6 - Practical LED Stage Workshop
Group exercise putting the learned knowledge and experience into practice, including hands-on setting up and colour matching digital and physical assets, on-set modifications to lighting and placement of props, identifying and rectifying common artefacts and issues.
Location & Schedule:
This part-time course will run for 24 weeks. Teaching will be delivered approximately once a week, through a combination of on-site practical training over 4 weekends at the NFTS in Beaconsfield, and synchronous online remote learning. Lessons will take place during weekday evenings or weekend days.
Provisional* weekend session dates:
Saturday 13th & Sunday 14th January 2024
Saturday 27th & Sunday 28th January 2024
Saturday 16th & Sunday 17th March 2024
Saturday 25th, Sunday 26th & Monday 27th May 2024
*Note these may be subject to change, students will be notified of any schedule changes with as much notice as possible.
The LED Volume which underpins the programme is supported by Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership's investment in the createch economy with StoryFutures and its partnership with Royal Holloway, University of London to benefit the UK’s immersive economy.
This course is open to UK applicants and EU/EEA Nationals with UK pre-settled/settled status (subject to meeting residency requirements) and applicants who are currently in the UK on a valid visa for the full duration of the course.
Applicants must be at least 18 years old and have at least two years of screen industry experience and some production or post-production experience. Applicants may come from varied technical and creative backgrounds including games, VFX, 3D animation, graphics design, art department, directing, producing, cinematography, and technical film crew (e.g. camera department). Knowledge and/or awareness of the use of game engines and Unreal Engine, 2D and 3D modelling tools is beneficial. Applicants should have a good general education, but there are no other specific educational requirements.
This course relies on powerful software, such as Unreal Engine. Participants are expected to have access to the necessary hardware for running the Unreal Engine effectively for the online seminars on this course wherever possible, however, some support for this may be available upon request.
NFTS is particularly keen to receive applications from individuals that are historically under-represented in the screen industries.
If you have any questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
The following item(s) should accompany your online application:
- Please submit your CV, including a link (if possible) where we can see examples of your work or projects that you have worked on (e.g. videos, screenshots, or other digital materials).
- Application deadline – Tuesday 31st October 2023 (midnight)
- Interview Dates – 27th & 28th November 2023 (online - you will be informed in advance if you are called to interview)
- Offers made - Early December 2023
- Course dates - 13th January to end of June 2024
To ensure that the course is accessible to as many people as possible, 12 places on the course are being 75% underwritten by Dimension Studio and Screen Scotland.