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!