People keep asking me: ‘How do I learn Unreal?’

Here’s two free courses you can do right now.

In the past few weeks, I’ve been asked several times if I had any good recommendations for learning where to get started with Epic Games’ Unreal Engine.

Those questions have come from VFX artists, supervisors, people who are already gamers and also readers of befores & afters. They’ve wanted to know absolute ‘back-to-basics’ ways of learning the game engine, or at least where to begin.

Honestly, I’m definitely no expert, but I did look into it, and so I got some recommendations from people already well familiar with Unreal Engine. Based on those recommendations, my take on where to start is to look at these two free courses, one from Epic Games itself, and the other from edX.

1. Your First Hour with Unreal Engine

This is an introductory course from Unreal Engine that’s available on its Online Learning portal (you just need to create a free account). Like it says on the box, it’s about an hour long and just designed to get a sense of Unreal and building a quick interactive experience. Obviously the next step after doing this course is to check out other courses available on the Online Learning portal.

2. Getting Started with Unreal Engine

This is the edX course, also free. It’s run by Shaun Foster, Director, Associate Professor 3D Digital Design, Rochester Institute of Technology. The course is taught over 7 units (equating to 7 weeks) and therefore has a lot more detail about Unreal Engine.

To be completely clear, I have not done these courses. But it looks like they are great starting points for getting your head about the game engine, especially if you are already in VFX and keep hearing about real-time rendering and virtual production. This is clearly where many things are headed.

Love to hear from anyone else on where else they’ve been learning more about game engines, real-time and virtual production. From my point of view, apart from articles at publications like befores & afters (!), there’s real benefit to being part of some of the Unreal Engine and/or virtual production Facebook groups. I’m sure there’s other courses available, too. I’d be happy for people to highlight them in the comments. And if you’re focused heavily on the VFX and cinematography side of things, then following someone like Matt Workman on Twitter is a must. 

Get bonus VFX material by becoming a befores & afters Patreon member