Final Pixel launches VP course for DPs and FP+ Global Membership Platform

Jul 9, 2024

Final Pixel, an innovation agency & creative filmworks with verticals across innovation, production, worldbuilding and training.

The company  launches a new Final Pixel Academy training course for DoPs who want to learn Unreal Engine as a pre-vis tool working in virtual production. Final Pixel Academy as the training arm provides solutions internationally to deliver stage setup and training for professional crew, emerging talent, creative and technology companies as well as educational organisations who are building and scaling their virtual production capabilities.

In the VP for DoPs Level 1 Course, students will learn how to use Unreal Engine for previs, lighting visualisation, virtual cameras and how to improve workflows for more creative innovation working in virtual production. Cinematographer Ben Saffer created the course focused on teaching Unreal Engine for DoPs and other film industry professionals.  “Because Unreal Engine serves as a fantastic creative hub, it allows us to experiment, innovate and visualise our film productions in a 3D space,” Saffer said.

The course is designed to bridge the gap between traditional cinematographic skills and digital technology, making it accessible and practical for DoPs with a background in real-world filmmaking. Saffer continues, “The development process spanned several months, during which I tailored the curriculum to accommodate a wide range of skill levels—from those new to 3D software to experienced professionals seeking to deepen their expertise in Unreal Engine’s photographic applications. By mastering this technology, DoPs can enhance their ability to articulate visual concepts to directors and other key collaborators, fostering a cohesive and effective creative process.”

The course is divided into six modules, each building on the last to provide a comprehensive learning experience. It begins with the creation of a virtual test room, mirroring the environment of a camera rental house, where participants can explore the functionalities of various cameras, lenses, and lighting setups. Following this foundational module, the course delves into set creation, exploring three distinct methods: simple block-outs, kit bashing with marketplace assets, and scanning real-world locations for direct import into Unreal Engine. This hands-on, practical approach not only enables DoPs to produce detailed previs, animatics, and storyboards but also lays the groundwork for advanced virtual production and real-time 3D workflows.

Subsequent modules cover essential topics such as lighting techniques, camera movement, lens selection, and scene blocking, providing a thorough grounding in the technical and artistic aspects of virtual cinematography. The course culminates in a capstone project, where participants create animated storyboards for a short film, integrating all the skills and knowledge acquired. Throughout the course development, I engaged with industry peers to solicit feedback and ensure the material is both intuitive and comprehensive.

Saffer continues, “The adaptability of Unreal Engine allows cinematographers to explore and refine visual ideas with unprecedented precision, making it an invaluable tool for creative ideation and efficient production. As the industry faces increasing budget constraints and demands for streamlined workflows, these skills are indispensable for navigating the evolving landscape of film production while maintaining high standards of creative excellence.”

Earlier in the year, Final Pixel partnered with BBC Studioworks to hold a showcase in TC1 at Television Centre for two weeks in May. During this time, individual sessions were tailored to clients and external guests to immerse themselves in the world of Virtual Production and explore how this technology could enhance their shows or businesses. Clients included ITV Daytime, BBC Studios, and Zeppotron. External guests have included Sky, Amazon Studios, and Formula 1 – and the sheer appetite for next gen filmmaking, proved the demand for cinematographers that are comfortable working with the technology.

Students can enrol in the VP for DoP Level 1 course with a 40% discount between now and August 30th, 2024 using the Code: BSC40 by following this link. The on-demand course comes with lifetime access and updates.

Students can also access a whole suite of training courses through Final Pixel’s new FP+ Membership platform. The launch of Final Pixel’s global membership platform, FP+, is an online community for those working in real-time technologies and virtual production who aim to accelerate their career and brands. A community which offers world-leading education, commercially led insights, shared expertise and knowledge and access to global networks and opportunities all located within an inspirational and engaging community aimed at future-proofing our creative industries.

“Our exciting new membership consists of a vibrant community of virtual production and real-time creators, technologists, businesses and educators working together to network, upskill, build global bridges and find opportunities for creative work, collaboration and finding routes to solving challenges our industry faces,” said Head of Final Pixel Academy’s Jodi Nelson-Tabor. The membership aims to foster collaboration, knowledge sharing and build a strong sense of community among its members and will provide an ongoing number of opportunities to engage within its platform with other members, industry stakeholders and key players in the virtual and real-time production space.

The membership consists of four subscription opportunities with different levels of access depending upon where a future member currently stands in their role and experience. The Final Pixel Starter level is for anyone who is new to the industry or curious about next gen filmmaking and virtual production and wants access to thought leadership, the industry’s latest insights, opportunities to attend events (both virtual and live) and start building awareness of opportunities. The Final Pixel Emerging level is for early career and recent grads who are ready to set the world on fire, learn about the larger landscape of the industry, grow their network, continue lifelong learning to build core skills with Final Pixel Academy’s accredited courses  and participate in monthly, creative challenges and build a portfolio of work.

The FP+ level is aimed at professional crew and creative/technology corporations, production companies, agencies and brands who are keen to learn more about virtual production adoption and build networks across a global audience of members who’s products and services can support a robust industry of creatives and technicians. Opportunities are there to share advice, collaborate on projects, build relationships, find new talent and/or job opportunities, and raise visibility of their company brands. And finally, there is The Final Pixel Enterprise level is aimed at both small and large organisations across education and corporations who seek to capture a wide target audience to build portfolios, find or place talent, access IP such as our worldbuilders library of VP ready assets, classroom ready curriculum and training materials, skills-based knowledge and competencies, and more.

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