In October, Dom had the fantastic opportunity to travel to a small town just outside Venice called San Dona di Piave in Italy to Study Unreal Engine at the SOA Academy where the likes of Peter Guthrie hosts an amazing lighting course! The Academy holds six of these courses a year, with a total of 12 students at a time. It’s an extremely sought after course with students across the globe traveling to study under the SOA umbrella.  

After flying from Gatwick, Dom arrived in Venice where he picked up his rather swanky Renault Twingo (Dom was quite upset that he didn’t get a Fiat 500 to tie in with the cliche’ of what it’s like to live in Italy).

Checking into a beautiful villa in San Dona di Piave, Dom was set to get his head down and learn from the best at the SOA Academy over the next two weeks. Things kicked off with the SOA Academy day #9 event which is an Arch Viz conference hosted by SOA themselves. The Academy Day brings together some of the most influential artists in the industry for talks, workshops and networking. It was a great way for people in the industry to discuss new tech, compare ideas and look to the future of the industry, especially given that was the theme to this years conference.

Learning Architectural CGI, Animation and VR in Unreal Engine gave Dom the chance to explore all of the opportunities that this technology will bring in the coming years such as VR Experiences and full VFX quality cinematics in real time. Both of these technologies are incredibly powerful within the Property Development industry.

The course covered an abundance of areas within the Unreal Engine Programme. The first week started with understanding the Graphics processing theory. The in’s and out’s of how the gaming engines work and more importantly differ to conventional rendering processes. One of the main differences is the need to bake your detail lighting. This was covered in an in depth tutorial of how to build a light mass in unreal engine.

Once these basic, but integral principles were covered, Dom then went off to focus on more specific areas such as; Materials, Geometry, Vegetation, Landscapes VR Interactivity and optimisation. All of these individual and specific elements were covered in a project based way, meaning they were able to apply these principles within an Architectural Context. The benefit in doing this, meant that at the end of the project Dom had created a fully functional and optimizable stand alone VR scene which enables us to integrate these skills within property development Animations along with many other services with provide.  By stand alone, this means that the scene functions as a separate application to the one in which it was created.

The skills and knowledge that Dom has gained throughout his time in Italy has opened many doors and put us at the forefront of technology. We can’t wait to show you share with you our creations within the next chapter of Archilime.