How Learning Unreal Engine Prepares Full Sail’s Computer Animation Grads
Published on Jan 11, 2023 by Abby Stassen
The degree program teaches students how to use the industry-standard game development engine for 3D art across a range of industries.
Full Sail University’s real-world approach to education gives students hands-on experience with the tools used in their chosen industry. The Computer Animation bachelor’s program is no exception: Students learn how to use the latest software to create artistic 3D content for any type of production. Unreal Engine, a software framework that’s used to develop video games and build other real-time projects, is essential to the Computer Animation program’s curriculum. Learning how to use Unreal Engine can help Computer Animation students find opportunities in the game industry and beyond.
Developing Games and More with Unreal Engine
Unreal Engine helps developers create high-quality graphics and achieve a high level of photorealism in real-time environments. Games like Fortnite and Final Fantasy VII Remake were made in Unreal Engine. However, Unreal also has uses outside of the game industry: The film industry uses Unreal Engine to create virtual production sets, and digital artists who are well-versed in the game engine are in demand.
Instead of shooting in front of a green screen and adding a computer-generated background during post-production, virtual production lets digital artists build sets in a game development engine during pre-production. Virtual sets are displayed on an LED backdrop during shooting, and directors and crew members can use the game engine to make instant changes to lighting or other elements as a scene is being filmed. Shows like The Mandalorian and Our Flag Means Death relied heavily on virtual production.
Additional industries, like architectural visualization, simulation and training, and e-commerce also use game engines to build real-time environments.
Unreal Engine in Full Sail’s Computer Animation Classes
Full Sail’s Computer Animation students begin learning Unreal Engine right away.
“They start with Unreal in the very first course,” says Pete Bandstra, the Computer Animation Program Director. “They get access to the engine; they get an understanding of how to import objects they’ve built, and they can walk around and see those objects in real time.”
As the program continues, students build on that foundational knowledge and become more skilled at using Unreal.
“Each one of the courses has some type of connection to [Unreal]. In the Shading and Lighting course the students learn to build materials and apply them to objects in the game engine. [Students in the Computer Animation program] also learn how to take their animations and push them into the engine and see how it applies. They’re also outputting final imaging to see what those final renders look like.”
Regardless of where their careers take them, Computer Animation grads are prepared for work in a variety of industries thanks to the Unreal Engine training they receive at Full Sail.
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