Modelling Props for VFX

Learn the essentials of Modelling to create a photoreal hero prop asset for VFX

Programme schedule
06.02.2023 - 25.05.2023
Tutor
Jahirul Amin

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

Modelling Props for VFX is a 16-week live and online programme where students will be taught the fundamentals of 3D modelling to create a photoreal, pipeline-ready prop for VFX. Through practical hands-on learning via live lessons and workshops, we’ll cover a wide range of topics covering the asset modelling process.

Now you may be thinking that 16 weeks is a long course, especially when it comes to modelling a single prop. However, we are aiming for quality and in order for you to absorb and apply the teaching, you’ll need time. Time to make mistakes and time to experiment, all of which will allow you to really grasp the tools, techniques, and the creative problem skills to become a succesful modeller.

We’ll also discuss other areas of the CG pipeline that are integral to the success of any project, such as Onset, Rigging, Texturing, Look Development, Lighting, Production, Bidding and Scheduling.

To underpin each stage lesson and to push your creative, technical and problem-solving skills, we’ll study the fundamentals and the theory behind Modelling. This includes studying subdivision surfaces, pushing our traditional skills, art, shape, function and form. This background research will directly feed into how we approach the creation of CG assets.

The outcome of the programme is to provide you with a strong modelling skillset enabling you to have a core understanding of the VFX modelling pipeline and an ability to apply these skills to real-world projects.

Term Details

  • Type: Online
  • Level: Foundation
  • Duration: 16 weeks
  • Format: Online live lessons
  • Assignments: Weekly and 1 final
  • Tools: Maya, Arnold, Nuke, Mudbox
  • Course Access Time: Lifetime

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

Industry partners

Lessons in this course

  • Week 1001 | Modelling for VFX

    We’ll be kicking off the programme off with a breakdown of how Modelling fits into the VFX pipeline. We’ll also discuss important topics such as Modelling briefs, LODs, naming conventions.
    Available on: 06.02.2023 9:00 am
  • Week 1002 | Observation and Analysis

    This week, we’ll take a look at objects from the real-world and consider their shape and form. We’ll also study how objects respond to light to reveal and hide details.
    Available on: 13.02.2023 9:00 am
  • Week 1003 | Modelling Workflows and Best Practices

    Here, we will define our asset build requirements and then look at how we could go about modelling our prop. We’ll also look at the technical aspects of building a production ready asset, such as: non-manifold edges and uniform topology.
    Available on: 20.02.2023 9:00 am
  • Week 1004 | Directing the Flow

    2 common workflows for modelling assets are to use supporting edges or creased edges. This week, we’ll explore the pros and cons of both.
    Available on: 27.02.2023 9:00 am
  • Week 1005 | Subdivision Modelling

    When creating an asset, it is important to ensure every edge has a purpose. We’ll also want to make sure we don’t add unnecessary detail. Here we’ll study how to go about creating optimised models that are subdivision friendly.
    Available on: 06.03.2023 9:00 am
  • Week 1006 | Working with Scan Data

    This week, we’ll turn our attention to building our production model. Before we dive into the software, we’ll examine the scan dataset, which has kindly been provided by Clear Angle Studios.
    Available on: 13.03.2023 9:00 am
  • Week 1007 | Blocking out your Prop

    When it comes to design, in most instances, you’ll find a mix of big, medium and small shapes. Here we’ll explore the power of contrast and how it relates to our asset and approach to modelling.
    Available on: 20.03.2023 9:00 am
  • Week 1008 | Refining Shape and Form

    Pushing points is the role of a modeller, however, in order to assess our asset, we’ll need to play with light. By doing so, we can review how our model responds to light.
    Available on: 27.03.2023 9:00 am
  • Week 1009 | Finalising your Topology

    As we come closer to completing the topology, we’ll look at some examples of what makes a production-worthy model.
    Available on: 03.04.2023 9:00 am
  • Week 1010 | Creating a Model Turntable

    This week, we’ll be setting up our render and outputting a clay and wireframe layers. Following on from this, we’ll look at creating a model turntable template in Nuke. This template will then be used for all future model turntables, allowing us to easily compare the differences from one version to the next.
    Available on: 10.04.2023 9:00 am
  • Week 1011 | Introduction to UVs

    Creating the geometry is one aspect of a production-ready model. Another aspect is making sure your UVs are good to go. Here, we will examine how UVs are used within a VFX pipeline and their importance when it comes to texturing and rendering.
    Available on: 17.04.2023 9:00 am
  • Week 1012 | Finalising your UVs

    In this lesson, we’ll discuss the importance of creating a well-structured model hierarchy and establishing and sticking to a naming convention. It may seem like the boring stuff, but by doing so, you can ensure the smooth running of a project, especially when multiple assets are required.
    Available on: 24.04.2023 9:00 am
  • Week 1013 | Introduction to Mudbox

    Digital sculpting slots in to different stages of the VFX pipeline from Concept to Shot Finishing. Here, we’ll look at where it can fit in and the many ways in which you could approach a model when it comes of sculpting.
    Available on: 01.05.2023 9:00 am
  • Week 1014 | Adding High Resolution Details

    Up to this stage, we’ve modelled the primary and secondary details. Here, we’ll study the tertiary details, of which we’ll use sculpting tools to add to our asset.
    Available on: 08.05.2023 9:00 am
  • Week 1015 | Displacement and Normal Maps

    Up to this stage, we’ve modelled the primary and secondary details. Here, we’ll study the tertiary details, of which we’ll use sculpting tools to add to our asset.
    Available on: 15.05.2023 9:00 am
  • Week 1016 | Bringing it all Together

    For our final lesson, we’ll look at cleaning up our model, so it’s ready for the next stage of the pipeline. That means deleting the history, checking the pivot points, object naming, scale, and so on. We’ll also look at technologies such as USD for asset workflows.
    Available on: 22.05.2023 9:00 am

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.

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