CG Essentials 2022: Term One | Assets

This term, we'll be diving into the nuts and bolts of creating photoreal assets for VFX. To compliment your technical skills, we'll also be studying the fundamentals of topics such as storytelling, cinematography, art and colour.

Term schedule
26.09.2022 - 16.12.2022
Jahirul Amin

Learn how to create a photorealistic asset suitable for high-end VFX


This course covers Term One for CG Essentials 2022, where we’ll be diving into the nuts and bolts of creating photoreal assets for CG. To strengthen your technical skills, we’ll also be studying the fundamentals of topics such as storytelling, cinematography, art, and colour.

The aims of this term are to give you a solid understanding of the primary tools used in the CG industry and give you the skills and knowledge to create a believable photorealistic asset. Working from a high-quality scan provided by Clear Angle Studios, you will learn to:

  • Model and UV an asset
  • Texture and create photorealistic materials
  • Light and composite your asset into a CG environment
  • Grade and edit your final shot
  • Look at upcoming and game-changing tools and technology

To underpin the technical skills, we will explore fundamental topics such as:

  • Storytelling and observation
  • Form, function, relationships, and hierarchies
  • The science behind light and matter
  • Cinematography and the Art of the Cut
  • Art history
  • Colour fundamentals

Term Details

  • Type: Online
  • Level: Foundation
  • Duration: 12 weeks
  • Format: Online live lessons
  • Assignments: Weekly and 1 final
  • Tools: Maya, Arnold, Nuke, Resolve, Substance Painter, ZBrush, Unity, Unreal
  • Course Access Time: Lifetime

Learn the fundamentals of VFX, storytelling, modelling, surfacing, lighting and more

Industry partners

Lessons in this course

  • Week 01. Storytelling | Introduction to the VFX Pipeline

    This week, we’ll study the importance of storytelling and understand how it can elevate our work. We’ll then take a deep dive into a traditional CG pipeline before introducing our primary application for the term, Maya.
  • Week 02. Observation | Modelling

    Our attention this week will be on observing the real world and seeing how this can then be applied to art, both traditional and digital. Following on from this, we’ll introduce you to modelling in Maya and working with scan data.
  • Week 03. Form and Function | Sculpting

    For week 03, we will study the fundamentals of form and see how form is driven by function. We’ll look at the importance of design and its influence on creatures, characters and the world around us. We’ll then look at how we can add high resolution detail to our model in ZBrush.
  • Week 04. Relationships and Hierarchies | UV Unwrapping

    This week, the focus will be on building connections and seeing how one process leads to another. With our model now complete, we’ll also look at UV unwrapping and organising UV shells.
  • Week 05. Light and Matter | Look Development

    Now that we are at the stage where we can add materials and colour to our model, let’s break down the science behind light and matter. We’ll then look at using Arnold to create a series of base materials and a calibrated look development template in which we can assess our materials.
  • Week 06. Material Analysis | Texturing

    This week, we’ll continue to push the look of our asset by creating texture maps both procedurally and from photographic references. Before doing so, we’ll also spend some time getting to know better the materials we’ll be creating, such as leather, metal, plastic and glass.
  • Week 07. Cinematography | Lighting

    In order to create powerful imagery, we need to explore the camera, the lens and the art of visual storytelling. We’ll do this by exploring composition, light and shadow.
  • Week 08. Visual Language and Artistic Principles | Compositing

    This week, we will look at the art that came before us and explore how it has influenced and shaped our visual age. We will then turn to Nuke to see how we can push our renders using compositing techniques.
  • Week 09. Colour Fundamentals | Grading

    Emotion, mood and atmosphere can all be driven by colour. Here we explore the fundamentals of colour and look at how we can evoke emotion using grading tools in Resolve.
  • Week 10. The Art of the Cut | Editing

    Here we will study editing and the importance of the ‘cut’ to create drama, structure, storytelling, rhythm and pacing.
  • Week 11. Future Tools | Real-Time Visualisation

    Tools and techniques are everchanging and advancing. This week we will look at some of the game-changing approaches for storytelling and see how to ensure your skills are transferable and relevant.
  • Week 12. Teamwork and Soft Skills | Final Dailies

    For our final week of the term, the focus will be solely on refining and completing your asset to a high-end industry standard. We'll also be diving into the importance of teamwork and developing soft skills.

Tutor: Jahirul Amin

VFX Trainer

Jahirul Amin is a Computer Animation and Visual Effects Trainer and Consultant. He specialises in designing and delivering courses to create solid and diverse production ready skills in all 3D related departments and across a number of facilities worldwide. His background in academia feeds into his ongoing connections with Universities and Colleges which provide Computer Animation and Visual Effects courses. He is also involved in course and examination design as well as lecturing, running workshops and mentoring.

This course is part of the CG Essentials 2022 Programme

Click on the link below to find out more about the programme and to apply.

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