After spending the last several weeks using Nvidia’s Omniverse tools I kept having this desire to download and try the Unreal Engine 5 Beta which by now I’m hoping has matured a bit. I was needing a break after the deep dive into Omniverse.
Trouble was, I have only been a dabbler in Unreal Engine this past year or more and a bit embarrassed to say I had forgotten a lot about using the engine. Omniverse, to me, is on a much simpler level with a much lower intimidation factor. I can’t say the same about game engines. With all the updates and lack of staying current on any one engine, I have fallen behind the curve in terms of just jumping back in.
This made me a bit hesitant to get the UE5 ball rolling until… like a beacon in the dark… a UE5 tutorial popped up in my recommended videos feed at YouTube. It wasn’t from the usual faces, the main gurus but from a photographer, Serge Ramelli (PhotoSerge), wanting to get into 3D to enhance his photography and for fun.
The Tutorial Scene created from Serge Ramelli's tutorial using free Megascans assets.
The tutorial is about an hour long and while he professes to be a 3D novice, he gets the point across, from a fresh perspective, without too much distracting palaver. It’s not the smoothest-paced tutorial at times but it is packed with the basic information newbs needs and I found myself appreciating the time he took to make it.
I generally dislike any tutorial over 15 minutes long but, as a tutorial maker myself, I know some things just can’t be taught in 15 minutes or less. I was that far behind on Unreal Engine. I could have put something together, between Google searches, but I wanted a one-stop video from start to finish of a cinematic shot with decent lighting and the BASICS of going from creation to final render in a one-hour tutorial.
In my case, it took a bit longer than 1 hour with all the stopping and starting, going back and forth as some of us do when following any tutorial. In this time, he covered building the landscape, lighting, Volumetric Fog, POST tweaking processes, dragging in a Mannequin, animating it with a walk… got to catch my breath here… THEN shows us two processes for rendering an image sequence one faster and one with superior quality!
This doesn’t include his download and installation help. He also provides the source project to get you started so you have all the same assets to follow along. You also learn about Megascans and how to use those assets. All of this with an hour of his time and however long you wish to take on your end.
Shows Sequencer Render followed by Movie render.
I normally do not promote any particular tutorial, but this one I found very useful in getting back up to speed. That doesn’t mean everyone will be overjoyed with it, but it is a good quick start or back in the saddle type of tutorial that, in my case, made me wonder why I ever put this off.
This tutorial also illustrates my point in my previous article about creating tutorials… that you don’t have to be an expert on the software. As long as your step-by-step is accurate and produces consistent results then you have successfully shared that information and made some people happy.
At the end… I was satisfied with the results. Very satisfied. It wasn’t a cover-it-all or end-all tutorial but it provides a solid start. In my case, it got me back in the saddle quickly and I am very glad it was recommended by YouTube.
Serge Ramelli Photography: Absolute Beginner Tutorial UE5
Serge Ramelli Photography Website Download Assets (email required)
M.D. McCallum, aka WarLord, is an international award-winning commercial graphics artist, 3D animator, published author, project director, and webmaster with a freelance career that spans over 20 years. Now retired, M.D. is currently working part-time on writing and select character development projects. You can learn more about MD on his website.