Virtual Filmmaking with Unreal Engine

Online Workshop

"Real-Time Virtual Production Is Saving Hollywood During the Lockdown"- Indiewire.


Across all budget levels of the industry, from previsualization to final export, virtual production technology is changing the way we conceptualize and create content.

Filmmakers and photographers, join us this summer in a virtual creative playground! Even with productions on hold, you can continue to develop your projects; translate your vision to crews, clients, and other stakeholders; and pre-visualize your work using real-time rendering in Unreal Engine.

This course is geared towards those with a minimum of intermediate-level experience in filmmaking or photography, and is perfect for media makers who are planning their next big project. You will apply your skills to the world of virtual production where using cutting-edge technology and techniques, you will test out settings and combinations that reflect with a high degree of accuracy and fidelity those of actual cameras, lenses, and lights. You will create fully accurate pre-vizualizations, simulating real-world shooting environments and rendered in high fidelity in real-time. This method of virtual pre-viz is rapidly becoming an industry standard for production processes, even for low-budget productions; mastering it will not only support your own work but also provide you a useful marketable skill.

Register by July 24

More details | What you'll need | Instructor | Session info (click here or see sidebar)


This workshop combines scheduled real-time virtual class meetings via Zoom, asynchronous material, and independent work.

  • Number of weeks: 3
  • Session dates: 8/4/20-8/21/20
  • Number of meetings per week: two 2-hour meetings/wk
  • Meeting schedule: T/Th: 7:00 pm–9:00 pm CT (with optional office hours by appt.)
  • Tuition: $575 (note: you will also need to purchase software. See "What you'll need" section below.)


You will create fully accurate pre-vizualizations, simulating real-world shooting environments and rendered in high fidelity in real-time. We will then edit these rendered still images into an "animatic" and add some minimal sound design. The end product will be 1-2 min. scenes based on any of the following that you choose:

1) a scene from your own pre-existing script
2) a new, experimental piece that you make from scratch
3) a script provided for you which you can use as a template for playing with at least five-camera set-ups

You will leave the course with a completely finished piece, an understanding of Unreal Engine as it pertains to virtual production - and the confidence to go forward and continue to work creatively on your vision before the cameras start rolling again!

What you'll need at home


  • PC Computer (most Macs, unfortunately, won't support this work) with

    • Windows 10 OS
    • 8GB RAM minimum & 16GB RAM or more recommended
    • NVIDIA or AMD GPU with at least 4gb VRAM
    • Quad Core CPU (At least 2.5 ghz i5 up to faster i9 or any new AMD Ryzen CPU)
    • Wi-Fi
    • Web cam

Software / Apps

  • Unreal Engine (free download)

  • Zoom (free virtual conferencing app)

  • Adobe Creative Cloud
    Since the class takes place within a month, you could pay for just one month ($79.49), or you could purchase the annual plan (1-yr subscription for ~$53/mo). We will be using the following Adobe apps:

As Assistant Professor of Practice in the University of Texas at Austin Department of Radio-Television-Film, Deepak Chetty is a Director, Cinematographer, VFX specialist and XR explorer based out of Austin, Texas.

He received his BFA in Film Production from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY, and his MFA in Film Production from UT Austin.

His film Hard Reset was named  "Best 3D Live Action Short" (it was shot natively in stereoscopic 3D) by the Advanced Imaging Society, honored the same year among other winners such as The Martian by Ridley Scott and Star Wars: The Force Awakens by J.J Abrams. Hard Reset also won him the Best Director award from the Catalyst Content Festival (formerly ITVFest) which counts HBO and The National Academy of Television as main sponsors. Hard Reset has been distributed by Gunpowder and Sky where it is featured on their curated Sci-Fi network DUST where cross-platform it has gathered over half a million views. A feature adaptation of the project has been optioned and is in pre-production.

As a director and consultant for high concept commercial and industrial pieces, he works with media production company Revelator. His recent projects include work for companies such as USAA, National Instruments, Tenaris, and Spredfast.

As a cinematographer, his work on short films has been featured at festivals including Slamdance, SXSW, The Hampton's International Festival, and Austin Film Society's "10 under 10" program. In the feature film arena, he served as cinematographer on The Love Inside, directed by UT alums Mark Smoot and Andy Irvine, which was distributed by Gravitas Ventures and is available across all VOD platforms.

As a motion graphics and VFX specialist, he got his start while living in New York creating motion graphics for internationally broadcasted documentary films such as HBO's Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired and Pure Fragment Film's Blank City. In 2012 his animated short parody Looper 8-Bit went viral and received acclaim from the nerdier parts of the internet including the original film's director Rian Johnson and its star Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

Recently, his feature film VFX credits include Noel Well's film Mr. Roosevelt, Rooster Teeth's Lazer Team, and Travis Matthew's Discreet.

On television, his VFX work includes Rooster Teeth and Michael B. Jordan's Gen: LOCK, and PBS's Fixing the Future.

In the world of XR (Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality/Mixed Reality), he is a partner and Head of Post Production at Digital Quilt, a full-service XR company based out of Los Angeles whose clients include Uber, Stanford Medical, Wendy's, Electronic Arts, NBC/Universal, Reebok, Vice, and The Washington Post among others.

He has spoken internationally about Virtual Production, Real-Time Rendering, and XR including workshop and panel appearances at SXSW, Austin Film Festival, the Austin Film Society, the Online News Association, The Monterey Institute of Technology and during the Goldsmith Lectures held by UT's School of Architecture. 

At UT, his XR work has led to large collaborative projects with the Department of Radio-Television and Film, the School of Journalism, the College of Fine Arts, and the Texas Advanced Computing Center. 

You can view his work and leave him a message by visiting