Virtual Environments Lab

VIRTUAL ENVIRONMENTS LAB

Creating Digital Environments for CGA Conference

During the summer of 2022, Crater Training Center organized a unique experience of creating digital environments for video games, film, and television in Unreal Engine 5.

For several months, we allowed young artists to learn about various aspects of creating digital environments for different media formats. Our students from 3D Essentials, Unreal Engine Essentials, and Environment Art courses enrolled in the program, while others joined the team through a public competition. Participation in the program included mandatory lectures, masterclasses, and practical work under the mentorship of experienced artists.

The participants had continuous support from experts from the leading creative companies in the country, such as Mad Head Games, Case 3D, Una TV, and Crater Studio, and great support was given to us by our partners from 3Lateral (Epic Games). In this way, we connected junior artists with representatives of the professional community, who are always on the lookout for new young talents.

What was the purpose of the Lab, exactly?

Virtual Environments Lab was a prep program for the sixth edition of the CGA Belgrade conference, which premiered in late September 2022. During the summer in Crater, 12 participants worked on four original environments. Three of them simulated a movie set, game level, and broadcast studio, while the fourth was in line with the conference’s visual identity, designed by Stefan Knežević.

The environments were first seen during the CGA 2022 online program, with all sessions previously recorded in front of a green screen in theAtomic Visual Support studio. This is when Dane Blačić, the Lab’s technical director, tested and optimized the environments with the participants in real time.

As one of the founders of the CGA platform, we are particularly proud of the program’s success. For us, this was an exciting opportunity to create stunning visuals for the conference together with the local CG community right here in Crater.

Mastering the Art of Digital Environments with Unreal Engine

The main goal of the Virtual Environment Lab was to show key similarities and differences when it comes to designing environments for the needs of film, TV and game production by presenting the entire development process to the program participants and the CGA community.

The Lab’s program included:

  • Scene development from idea to final product;
  • Introduction to Unreal Engine 5 and its features;
  • Modeling elements for scenes;
  • Level design and set design;
  • Creating different visual experiences and effects using post processing;
  • Scene optimization for film, TV and games;
  • Testing the final environments in a studio in front of a green screen with camera trekking.

Participants

Film Studio

Lazar Mijatović
Nemanja Ivanišević
Saša Vujičić

Game Level

Anđelija Ranđelović
Aleksa Vučković
Nikola Praskić

Broadcast Studio

Marko Marinković
Kosta Đurišić
Anja Pilipović

General Environment

Adam Pavlović
Marija Stevković
Tamara Vidanović

Who managed the Lab?

Dane Blačić
Technical Director @CGA 2022

The Technical Director of this year’s CGA conference and Virtual Environments Lab is Dane Blačić (Mogul Digital), an experienced XR producer, creative broadcast director, and master of virtual production with vast experience working on international projects. Lately, he joined disguise, the London-based XR power-house.

Dimitrije Miljuš
Art Director @CGA 2022

Dimitrije is a senior illustrator and concept artist focusing on environment design, keyframe concept art, world building, and visual development. He built his artistic profile in gaming and, for a while, he was working at the Spanish Hexworks game dev studio that is currently developing the sequel to the Lord of the Fallen RPG.

Mentors & Lecturers:

Uroš Pavlović (Mad Head Games), Nemanja Jaćimovski (Case 3D), Milan Ličina (Crater Training Center), Dušan Marinković (Una TV), Marija Josifović, Vladimir Turčan i Miroslav Gajović (Ubisoft Belgrade).

Assistants:

Miloš Petrović
Aleksandar Paskaš

Testimonials

Want to know how it all worked out? See it for yourself!


Crater Training Center Calendar

Crater Training Center Calendar 2022

November 30, 2022
December 6, 2022
  • Motion Graphics 3D

    December 6, 2022  6:00 pm - 9:30 pm

    With the advanced motion graphics course, you will master the techniques necessary for creating 3D moving graphics, 3D logo animation, abstract and surreal 3D, product modeling, and digital compositing. For all this, you will use Adobe After Effects and Cinema 4D but will also combine them with Nuke, Adobe Photoshop, and Illustrator.

    More info

December 14, 2022
  • CTC Consultations

    December 14, 2022  12:00 pm - 5:00 pm
  • Matte Painting and Environment Design - Basic

    December 14, 2022  6:00 pm - 9:30 pm

    The course combines the basics of three different but equally significant areas in digital arts, namely Matte Painting, Concept Art, and Environment Design. Through project assignments that respond to specific topics, participants learn how to overcome various challenges in these areas. The course focuses on practical and efficient digital painting and photo-editing techniques in all phases of work on one project.

    More info 

December 28, 2022
January 11, 2023
January 25, 2023
February 8, 2023
February 22, 2023
March 8, 2023
March 22, 2023
April 5, 2023
April 19, 2023
May 3, 2023
May 17, 2023

Contact

CONTACT

Have some unanswered questions or want to know more?

Tell us what you need and we will be in touch within one business day.

Our Address

Crater Training Center
Knicaninova 3
11000 Belgrade
Serbia

Working hours

Mon/Fri 9am-6pm

Kontaktirajte nas

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Nam neque ipsum, mollis vel commodo quis, tristique vitae metus risus eros.


News

BLOG — NEWS — EVENTS


About - crater training center

About Us

Like with every other good adventure, our first steps were driven by a desire for more opportunities and an unrelenting dedication to constant improvement.

Manifesto

Launched in 2012 as an extension of Crater Studio, we envisioned our school as a central landmark of the domestic VFX and CG industry as well as its gatekeeper: a place where upcoming and established professionals meet to learn, flourish and grow together while powering the growth of the community as a whole. 

We have been dedicated to this journey ever since. On it, we strive for courage, openness, and excellence. We value honesty and quality, and never compromise on practicability and applicability. We try to lead instead of waiting and act instead of complaining. We put our faith in the incredible forces of collaboration, the elusive dream of synergistic fireworks, the far-reaching fruits of empowerment, and the deep bonds created by a strong community spirit.

We do our work. And we help you be the best at yours.

Mission

We are an educational center, talent incubator and career partner providing future and existing VFX, Gaming and CG professionals the necessary knowledge and support to achieve their goals and advance their careers. With practicing professionals and masters at their craft as course designers and instructors, we strive to give our students practical, applicable knowledge while helping them build connections within the industry and constantly working on new and better ways to play our part on their path to excellence.

Our Network

Success is about what you know – but also, who you know!

As a student of Crater Training Center, you gain access not only to an up-to-date, actionable education but also to a vast network of partners, local and overseas, to help support your ongoing professional growth in the CG industries. With schools and educational institutions on the one hand, studios and companies on the other, and software companies in between, we are dedicated to forging strong community bonds and engaging all industry stakeholders in order to stimulate the mutual exchange of knowledge and experience. Guided by the philosophy of continuous learning from recruiting practicing professionals as course instructors to organizing networking and industry Events, we are always looking for new and better ways to blur the line between education and profession, theory and practice, classroom and production environment.

CGA BELGRADE

Honoring the legacy of fearless pioneers whose unrelenting drive and fierce commitment to excellence have helped transform computer graphics into one of the fastest-growing industries worldwide, CGA Belgrade is an international gathering organized by Crater Training Center, VFXSerbia portal and Serbian Film Association that brings together artists, leaders, innovators and game-changers to foster connections, build global networks and unpack latest trends and developments in the world of VFX, gaming, VR/AR, design and digital arts.

How do we do this?

We round up some of the world’s best-known professionals. We dig deep for the latest developments, fascinating projects, and brilliant insights – and then invite some of the industry’s brightest minds to tell us their thoughts on it. We organize training opportunities and bring in recruiters. We shake hands with industry reps, and software and hardware distributors that bring the technology for a new era of visual storytelling. From Hollywood’s finest to indie superstars, from local heroes to global sharks, with masterclasses, insider tips, life lessons and everything in between, CGA Belgrade is the pinnacle of our relentless devotion to success through collaboration and networking.

Launched in 2012 as an extension of Crater Studio, we envisioned our school as a central landmark of the domestic VFX and CG industry as well as its gatekeeper: a place where upcoming and established professionals meet to learn, flourish and grow together while powering the growth of the community as a whole. 

We have been dedicated to this journey ever since. On it, we strive for courage, openness, and excellence. We value honesty and quality, and never compromise on practicability and applicability. We try to lead instead of waiting and act instead of complaining. We put our faith in the incredible forces of collaboration, the elusive dream of synergistic fireworks, the far-reaching fruits of empowerment, and the deep bonds created by a strong community spirit.

We do our work. And we help you be the best at yours.

We are an educational center, talent incubator and career partner providing future and existing VFX, Gaming and CG professionals the necessary knowledge and support to achieve their goals and advance their careers. With practicing professionals and masters at their craft as course designers and instructors, we strive to give our students practical, applicable knowledge while helping them build connections within the industry and constantly working on new and better ways to play our part on their path to excellence.

Our Network

Success is about what you know – but also, who you know!

As a student of Crater Training Center, you gain access not only to an up-to-date, actionable education but also to a vast network of partners, local and overseas, to help support your ongoing professional growth in the CG industries. With schools and educational institutions on the one hand, studios and companies on the other, and software companies in between, we are dedicated to forging strong community bonds and engaging all industry stakeholders in order to stimulate the mutual exchange of knowledge and experience. Guided by the philosophy of continuous learning from recruiting practicing professionals as course instructors to organizing networking and industry Events, we are always looking for new and better ways to blur the line between education and profession, theory and practice, classroom and production environment.

CGA BELGRADE

Honoring the legacy of fearless pioneers whose unrelenting drive and fierce commitment to excellence have helped transform computer graphics into one of the fastest-growing industries worldwide, CGA Belgrade is an international gathering organized by Crater Training Center, VFXSerbia portal and Serbian Film Association that brings together artists, leaders, innovators and game-changers to foster connections, build global networks and unpack latest trends and developments in the world of VFX, gaming, VR/AR, design and digital arts.

How do we do this?

We round up some of the world’s best-known professionals. We dig deep for the latest developments, fascinating projects, and brilliant insights – and then invite some of the industry’s brightest minds to tell us their thoughts on it. We organize training opportunities and bring in recruiters. We shake hands with industry reps, and software and hardware distributors that bring the technology for a new era of visual storytelling. From Hollywood’s finest to indie superstars, from local heroes to global sharks, with masterclasses, insider tips, life lessons and everything in between, CGA Belgrade is the pinnacle of our relentless devotion to success through collaboration and networking.

about us- crater training center

Education for the here and now

Focused and hands-on, our courses cut through the unnecessary noise and into the gist of the subject, workplace-approved.

about us- crater training center

A program for professionals, by professionals

As industry top performers, our instructors are always on top of new industry developments and bring their insights into class, daily.

about us- crater training center

Strategic skill and career development

Based on a modular approach and backed with mentorship support, our program allows you to carve out an individual learning path and map out the steps to your next career goal.

about us- crater training center

Job search support

Through our Internship Program, as well as our vast partner network turning to us in their hunt for talent, you can get hired before you even start looking for a job.

about us- crater training center

Bridging the gap

With formal education on the one, and industry leaders on the other end of our partner network, we are equipped to act as an intersection point between the two, balancing the needs and challenges of both.

about us- crater training center

Community building

Combining what we know with who we know, our regular industry Events, such as CGA Belgrade conference, are there to provide the sparks necessary for a collaborative creative fire.

Out team

Our team is a diverse crew of education enthusiasts, each a superhero in their own regard, bringing a unique blend of skills and talents into the mix. United under the common goal of providing top-quality education as well as impeccable support to our students, we work hard every day to deliver our best effort and find new ways of growing as individuals while at the same time improving our offer to students, the community and the industry as a whole.

Crater Training Center timska slika

We take care of data we collect from you.

Data Protection Officer: dpo@craterstudio.com


Admissions

Our approach to education is based on the principles of continuous learning and professional development. That is why we have designed a diverse program, starting from the Essential Courses suitable for junior artists to Specialized Education for seniors. All our curriculums are in line with the current needs and trends of the CG industry.

The modular structure of our courses prevents students from making beginner mistakes, wasting time learning irrelevant tools, or getting insufficient knowledge. Our students gain a complete insight into the opportunities provided in the CG industry and a solid basis for further career development.

The admission to Crater Training Center is open throughout the year. Every course starts when we reach the optimal number of interested students, so we recommend that you follow our course calendar.

Our courses are available in Serbian and English and are intended for students from Serbia and abroad.

Our courses are attended live in the classroom or online. In some cases, these two methods can be combined.

Courses are held in groups of 5 to 12 participants every week, according to the agreed schedule of duration and frequency. The technical specifications are described below.

CLASSROOM  SETTING

Traditional courses are delivered in person at the school premises in Belgrade, Serbia.

TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS

None. All hardware and software provided by Crater Training Center are at the students’ disposal during class time. Students can also use the computers for practice every workday from 10 AM to 5 PM.

ONLINE COURSES

Over time, we have developed a successful methodology for online learners. Up to 5 students per group are following the classroom lecture in real-time while being able to interact with the tutor and other students simultaneously.

Note: If you cannot meet the technical requirements for installing software on your computer, you can listen to the lessons by connecting to the computer in our classroom (which requires a bullet-proof internet connection).

TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS

In case you are using personal computer:
• A computer that meets the minimum requirements for working in the software you want to learn (find it on the software website)
• Installed software
• Two screens recommended – the one for practical work and the other one to keep track of the lecture. You can use two monitors, laptop/tablet and desktop, or connect a TV to your computer as a second screen.
• Stable internet with a minimum speed of 10/3 mb/s
• Microphone and headphones
• Keyboard and mouse (+ pen tablet depending on the course)

In case you need remote access to the school computer:
• Two screens recommended – the one for practical work and the other one to keep track of the lecture. You can use two monitors, laptop/tablet and desktop, or connect a TV to your computer as a second screen.
• Stable internet with a minimum speed of 10/3 mb/s
• Microphone and headphones
• Keyboard and mouse (+ pen tablet depending on the course)

Click here to read more about online classes at Crater.

PRICING

Our prices are divided into two categories:

Category 1 – for students from Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia.
Category 2 – for students from any other country following a course in English.

For local students, payment is to be submitted in RSD, according to the Euro/RSD conversion rate issued by the National Bank of Serbia on the day of invoicing. For international payments, we issue invoices in EUR or USD.

PAYMENT OPTIONS

Full upfront payment:
For upfront payments in full, we offer a 5% discount.

Payment in installments:
The first installment is paid when filling in the registration form according to the instructions. Other installments are paid monthly throughout the course duration.

Additional discounts:
Participants willing to attend more courses receive additional discounts:
5% on the second course (or 10% for full payment)
10% on the third and each subsequent (i.e., 15% for full payment)

Prerequisites for enrolling in our courses are:

  • basic computer knowledge
  • working knowledge of English
  • working knowledge of Adobe Photoshop software, which you will prove by enclosing previous works or a certificate when you enroll (if you do not know this software, you can learn it from us in the Photoshop course).

To attend any of the specialized VFX and Game Art courses at Crater, it is recommended that you complete the 3D Essentials course in our center. If you consider yourself skilled enough in 3D modeling, we would ask you to enclose your portfolio when enrolling so that lecturers can assess whether you are ready to attend our specialized courses.

Certain courses require advanced knowledge and mastery of specific software, which is indicated in the menu on the right side of the course page.

If you want to apply for any of our courses, please fill in the Application of Interest.

After filling out the application, you will receive an email in which we will explain the enrollment procedure and inform you about the start dates of the course for the next group. If you have any doubts, you can schedule a consultation with our coordinators at any time before enrollment.

The admission to Crater Training Center is open throughout the year. Every course starts when we reach the optimal number of interested students, so we recommend that you follow our course calendar.

1. Do I have to pay for the whole price of the course right upon enrolling or can I pay in installments?
In order to have your spot guaranteed, it is necessary to fill out EXPRESSION OF INTEREST and make a payment – whether that would be a full payment or the first installment. (see PRICING AND PAYMENT OPTIONS for more information)

 

2. If I opt for paying in installments, what is the final due date for completing the payment?
The last installment has to be paid 10 days before the end of the course.

 

3. What is Early Bird enrollment?
You qualify for an Early Bird discount if you apply for a course 2 months upfront and pay for the course in full or the first installment. If this is your first course with us, you save 15%, and if you have already attended courses at our school, you receive a 20% discount.

 

4. What happens if the course gets postponed or canceled for a reason? Am I still eligible for a group discount in the next term?
Everybody who reserved their spot on the course that is postponed for justified reasons can use the money they have paid for the course in the next term for the same price. If you wish for your money to be refunded, you will have to pay the full price for the next course (some exceptions may apply depending on special offers)

 

5. What is the deadline for applying for Early Bird enrollment?
The deadline is 2 MONTHS before the start of the course. For example, if the course starts on October 1., the last day for applying and paying would be August 1. of that year.

 

6. Which courses offer the Early Bird discount?
The offer applies to the courses VFX in Houdini, Matte Painting and Environment Design, and Digital Compositing.

 

7. If I apply and reserve my spot on a course during the Early Bird time frame, but for some reason I am unable to join the current group, will I have to pay the full price for the next term?
In case you have to listen to the course in the next term and not with the current group that you applied for, your Early Bird application will still be valid and you will not have to pay the full price. However, considering the fact that Early Bird offer only stands for specialized courses where lecturers dedicate a large chunk of time, we cannot guarantee when exactly will the next term start.

Our school doors remain open even during the summer! We use the break from the courses to organize internship programs realized with the help of mentors coming from our respected partners from VFX and game dev.

Summer internship at Crater Training Center

Every summer, we organize an internship for our students, as a simulation of a professional studio workflow. Here you will have the opportunity to hone your artistic skills under the wing of our colleagues from Crater Studio and get acquainted with the processes and dynamics of work in the ever-expanding VFX industry.

After completing an internship at Crater, the best interns often receive their first job offer in local creative studios and agencies, or our very own Crater Studio. Click here to read what this experience looks like firsthand!

Educational programs and initiatives in cooperation with partner companies

We try to realize at least one educational initiative every year and thus support the new generation of digital artists who will succeed in enriching their projects through practical work on a multidisciplinary project.

In 2019, we successfully collaborated with the Erasmus+ programme and the Escape Studios (London) when we provided several British students with a three-month internship experience. Check out their thoughts on the whole ordeal on Crater’s YouTube channel.

In cooperation with Nordeus, in 2021, we organized the GameDev Summership, which produced two original mini-games, later exhibited at the Museum of Science and Technology in Belgrade.

In June 2022, we launched the Virtual Environments Lab, an educational program focusing on the Unreal Engine 5 workflow. All the original environments will be used in the production of the sixth CGA conference.

Taking part in the CGA conference

We are one of the organizers of CGA Belgrade, the first international computer graphics conference in the region, which brings together key players in VFX, game design, VR/AR, and digital arts. In addition to offering valuable insights, the conference is a great place to meet industry professionals, and our attendees are the first to receive an invitation to volunteer on-location.

PROGRAM

VFX CREATION AND GAME ART EDUCATION

Our courses for visual effects on film, video design, and game art correspond to the ever-changing industry demands. They are created to prepare our students for attractive work positions in the field of digital art.

Enroll in courses independently or within carefully designed educational programs that correspond to the specifics of the desired career role you’d like to specialize in.

____________________________________________
Choose the type of service from our catalog:
  • Stand-alone courses
  • Multimedia for teens
  • Summer internships

____________________________________________

APPLY FOR COURSE

OFFERING COURSES FROM INDUSTRY LEADERS