Virtual Production: 3D Asset Creation and Workflows Using Unreal Engine and Maya

March 7 - March 25, 2022

Virtual Production: 3D Asset Creations

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This course will introduce the fundamentals of the 3D to Virtual Production pipeline, covering the basics of 3D asset creation to design aesthetically rich and virtual environments in Unreal Engine 4 (UE4). Participants will learn how to create 3D assets in Autodesk Maya (modeling, texturing, and animating), and then how to use these assets to build a dynamic scene in the Unreal Engine, utilizing custom-built models, physically-based materials, and lighting effects.

Along the way, participants will gain a visual and technical vocabulary that can be applied to a variety of practices utilizing a 3D to Virtual Production pipeline.

Led by 3D artist and NYU faculty Leah Roh, this flexible three-week online intensive will be taught in a series of lectures, demos, workshops, and assignments, and result in timely knowledge and know-how for content creators using or just digging into Unreal Engine.

By the end of the course, participants will complete a final project that includes an appetizing feast of tailored 3D models and textures from Autodesk Maya and Adobe Photoshop that render a realistic dining experience in Unreal Engine, and leave with a recipe of the 3D Asset Creation pipeline to build custom environments in UE4.

Key Takeaways

Understand the technical aspects of 3D asset creation and optimization for game engine programs.

Learn the basics of 3D modeling, animating, and texturing in Autodesk Maya.*

Apply virtual lighting and rendering techniques to 3D objects in Unreal Engine.

Hands-on experience building and optimizing 3D assets in Autodesk Maya to create realistic and responsive virtual environments in UE4 with physically-based materials and dynamic lighting.

Who Should Attend?

Digital Fabricators - See your assets work in real-time

Traditional 3D Animators - Learn to optimize and prepare assets for real-time

Technical Directors - Gain insight to the technical artists pipeline

UX Designers - Take your art into the 3rd dimension

Storytellers - Create your own 3D assets

3D artists / designers - Learn to create dynamic scenes in Unreal Engine

Immersive storytellers - Build experiential worlds


Week 1

  • Introduction to the 3D <> Virtual Production Pipeline
    • 3D & Virtual Production tools and applications and how they are utilized in today’s creative industries
      • 3D pipeline & roles
  • Creating 3D Models in Maya
    • Digital Content Creation Tools, Assets, Definitions, File types
    • Demo: Modeling & Sculpting in Maya, importing into UE4
    • Demo: Blendshapes & Deformers in Maya, importing into UE4
    • Hands-on: Build Your First 3D Asset
  • Texturing & UV Mapping Models in Maya and Photoshop
    • Demo: Texturing and UV Mapping in Maya, Photoshop, and Substance Painter 
      • Re-importing into UE4
  • Hands-on: Texture/UV Map Your 3D Asset and Import into UE4
  • Live Session (3/08): Course & Participant Introductions
    • 7:00PM - 8:00PM EST: Live Workshop

Week 2

  • Animating 3D Assets in Maya
    • Demo: Animating in Maya
  • Optimizing 3D Assets in Maya for UE4
    • Demo: Optimization Techniques in Maya for Asset Migration
    • Levels of Detail (LODs), Custom Collisions
  • Working with 3D Assets in UE4
    • Demo: Style Guides and Naming Conventions
    • Importing & organizing 3D models and animations in Unreal
  • Applying Materials and Textures in UE4
    • Demo: Using UE4 Material Editor
    • Texturing and UV Mapping 3D Assets in UE4
    • Quixel, Megascans, and Marketplace
  • Demo: Utilizing Unreal’s Source Control
  • Hands-On: Build more 3D Assets in Maya and import into UE4
    • Use the Material Editor to apply materials to your imported assets
    • Texture/UV Map your assets in your scene
  • Open Office Hours (3/16)
    • 7:00PM - 9:00PM EST: Office Hours By Appointment

Week 3

  • Lighting Scenes in UE4
    • Demo: Lighting types and emissive shaders in UE4
    • Setting up light sources for the final project
  • Applying Lighting / Camera FX in UE4
    • Demo: Applying Post-Processing FX to enhance scenes
  • Working with UE4’s Level Streaming
  • Demo: Baking Lighting
  • Hands-On: Build a computer-generated dining experience utilizing customized 3D assets, physically-based materials, UV-mapped textures, and lighting scheme in UE4
  • Live Session: Final Presentations (Date TBD- 3/24 or 3/25)
    • 7:00PM - 9:00PM EST: Final Presentations with feedback and discussion

Technical Requirements & Prerequisites


* Maya 1 year license included with proof-of-registration.


Leah Roh

Leah Roh

3D artist and NYU Adjunct Professor