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Creating Digital Worlds in Game Engines

Creating Digital Worlds in Game Engines for Film, Virtual Production, and Entertainment


1: 6/26/2023 - 7/9/2023




Using Unreal Engine, students will learn to build realistic digital environments from artists who have worked on productions such as The Mandalorian and Top Gun: Maverick. Within the worlds they've built, students will use VR tools for live motion tracking in a virtual production system, the same process used by many cutting-edge feature films in Hollywood. These skills can be applied to projects in video game environments, VR projects, film making, theatre, and live mega-events. Course Promotional Vid​eo​

Who Should Take This Class

Students of design and production in: film, television, theatre, opera, concerts, live events, video games, and virtual reality. Students need a basic knowledge of 3D modeling in at least one 3D software package. Trimble SketchUp is ideal, but experience in the following is also acceptable: Maya, Cinema 4D, Vectorworks, AutoCAD, Revit, Rhino, 3D Studio Max, and the like. Advanced knowledge of 3D modeling is not required. Educational or professional experience in Set Design, Scenic Design, Projection/Integrated Media Design, Art Direction, Production Design, Architecture, or Interior Design is highly valued. You don't have to be an expert, just curious!

Required Application Materials (please submit materials in a single document)

Personal Statement: In no more than two pages, why are you interested in taking the class? Please include:

A comprehensive list of your experience (class taken, work created, etc.) related to any or all of the following creative fields: Architecture, Space Design, Studio Art, Theatre, Opera, Live Performance, Film, Television, Video, Video Game design, Graphic Design, Motion Design, 3D Modeling, Interior Design, Dance, etc.).

An explanation of how that work prepares you for the class.

How you see yourself as a collaborative artist.

Portfolio: Submit a portfolio of visual work related to Theatre, Television, Film, Virtual Reality, or Studio Artwork. 10-20 images are recommended. Please include explanatory text to express your role in the project, and the nature of the work.

Submit at least one original 3D model that you have created yourself as a portfolio item. .SKP, .OBJ, or .FBX files are preferred.

Your portfolio should be compiled into a single PDF document with your images and a link to your 3D model.

Course Coordinator

Charles Murdock ​Lucas​ is Head of Scene Design, and Projection/Integrated Media Design at San Diego State University. He has designed Scenery and/or Projection/Integrated Media for companies including: Sofia National Opera and Ballet (Bulgaria), Seoul Arts Center (Korea), Daejeon Arts Center (Korea), Sofia Puppet Theatre (Bulgaria), The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, Skylight Music Theatre, and Flux Theatre Ensemble (NYC). He was the 2022 Project Director for Opera Hack at San Diego Opera. In January 2023 he will be a Fulbright Scholar in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Guest Artists

Sheiva Khalil​y

​Sheiva Khalily is a virtual production producer for Lux Machina Consulting, a company specializing in the design, development, and implementation of state-of-the-art extended reality stages for broadcast, film and live events. Previously, Khalily worked for Disney Shanghai where she led engineering teams as the virtual production producer for multiple extended-reality volumes.

Kaleb Nekumanesh

​Kaleb Nekumanesh is a senior level environment artist at Ascendant Studios. With over ten years of experience in game development, video production, and graphic design, he has worked at Amazon Games, Meta, and Microsoft. He also mentors and advises students at the Center for Advanced Research and Technology and USC who aspire to work in the game industry.

Jac Cheairs

Jac Cheairs is an American cinematographer whose awards including an International Cinematographers guild Emerging Cinematographer Award in 2022 and a Webby

Award in 2021 for his commercial work. He is best known for The Kiss-Off (2019), Kenobi: A Star Wars Fan Film (2019, and The Ledge (2019).