An Academy for VP Excellence

* This article is originally published in FEED

The new certification programme at Zero Density Academy aims to raise the bar for virtual production skills in the broadcast industry – and beyond.

Green screens have become an essential part of every production studio, as broadcasters realize the opportunities for virtual sets, effects compositing and AR. With demand for these tools high, we must train the next generation of technicians.

Zero Density, creator of the popular real-time rendering and compositing system Reality Engine, started offering a community version of its software for free, non-commercial use. It launched Zero Density Academy to help content creators get up and running with virtual production.

Zero Density Academy offers over 50 free video lessons on real-time graphics operation, production control, creative workflows, green screens and more. Learners can follow predefined Reality courses that cover key skills for career tracks, including operators and technicians, broadcast designers, content and virtual production specialists, or media generalists looking to add another string to their bow.

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Certification in Zero Density Academy isn’t just one more eLearning tutorial. Academy participants must submit a project for critique by specialist instructors. Through a combination of video tutorial and instructor interaction, the company wants to make sure certification on Zero Density tools means the student has the capacity to work competently.

“If you’re certified, we’re sure of your talents in that area,” says Head of Zero Density Academy, Faraz Qayyum. “It’s not like most online platforms that give a certificate just for finishing. You have to prove you are an expert in the space and deliver projects.”

Zero Density Academy courses are available for all levels, including introductory classes for media pros who may have never seen a green screen. Completing these can prepare them for advanced and expert-level courses.

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Unreal Engine is the powerhouse behind the company’s technology. Will students get the full benefits of training without Unreal expertise?

“It’s an advantage, but not mandatory to have the Unreal background when starting our fundamental courses,” explains Qayyum. “But if you are about to start the advanced courses, you do need to know about the game engines.”

Acquiring 1000 sign-ups in its first month when launching earlier in the year, the composition of learners extends well beyond the traditional broadcast industry.

“Most are from broadcast TV or news,” says Qayyum, “but lots come from esports, live events and corporate backgrounds, too. We found interest really took off during the pandemic, as corporates started investing in their own facilities.”

To begin learning beyond the tutorials, all you need is a computer that can run Unreal Engine and a free download of Zero Density Reality Engine. Go to Zero Density Academy now and start your virtual production journey.

About Zero Density
Zero Density is a global leader in real-time graphics and virtual studio technologies for the broadcasting, live events, and esports industries. As the leader in gaming technology in broadcasting, Zero Density offers innovative and user-friendly products that have been adopted by some of the world’s largest companies for covering elections, news and major sporting events such as the World Cup and the Olympics. Headquartered in Turkey, the company also has a US office and serves clients such as The Weather Channel, RTL, Fox Sports and Warner Media.