Introducing HUG Belgrade: CGA’s official Kick-off Event

Dear VFX artists,

Welcome to the first-ever Belgrade Houdini User Group with Bogdan Amidžić, Nikola Damjanov and Igor Žanić, organized by our friends from Side FX.

This is a user group for the procedural 3D modeling / animation / VFX / gamedev software …Houdini! We welcome everyone, from Houdini experts to complete beginners who want to get started with Houdini. This group is a mix of visual effects artists, animators, game developers, modelers, VR creators, motion graphics artists, etc. While Houdini is the main focus of this group, we will also be discussing other related 3D software and game engine tools.

Join us for this magnificent evening on September 23 in Crater Training Center (Knićaninova 3, Belgrade) starting 6 PM.


Proceduralism in Print
Nikola Damjanov

Nikola will share his artwork in Houdini and how it is translated to print form (2D, 3D).

Don’t Over-complicate: Breakdown and Approach to Tackling a VFX shot
Bogdan Amidžić and Igor Žanić

Bogdan and Igor will look at a complex FX shot and suggest a simple approach to achieving the look.

H19.5 SOP FLIP Fluids for Film/TV
Igor Žanić

Newly introduced SOP-based FLIP fluids in Houdini 19.5 allows for fast setups without having to exchange data between SOP and DOP networks. Over many Houdini releases, Igor Žanić has been an active and contributing force in helping to improve performance, stability and workflow of FLIP fluids. Having been part of this most recent Houdini 19.5 beta, Igor rigorously tested SOP-FLIP tools and workflows and will be demonstrating custom boundaries (FLIP Boundary SOP), and simplified examples of how to take low resolution simulations, partially upres them and blend between the two. This will be a live demonstration and will be recorded.

CGA Belgrade presents: Digital Compositing Master Class by Victor Perez

Serbia Film Commission and Crater Training Center are proud to announce that the acclaimed compositing guru and director Victor Perez is coming back to Belgrade for the most exciting CG weekend of the year!

On September 25, Perez will hold a 6-hour master class on the use of light in compositing. The event will be held in Crater Training Center starting from 12:00 to 20:00. The maximum number of participants is 10, therefore, we encourage artists to apply for a chance to attend the master class.

The selection will be based on the candidate’s professional experience and motivation to jump on board for this exclusive occasion. If chosen to attend the master class, you are obliged to the participation fee of 70 EUR.

Attending the master class will give you an exclusive opportunity to win a year-long FREE NUKE™ LICENSE, officiated by our friends at Foundry.

The day before, live at mts Dvorana, Perez will hold an inspiring session on Mind-Mapping Conceptualisation of Light in front of the crowd at CGA Belgrade 2022 conference.


Proceed to the Crater’s website to read more about the class.

Syllabus and Concept

CGA is back in town!

CGA Belgrade, the international Computer Graphics and Arts Conference, returns to the live audience with a mission to bring the audiovisual industry closer in Remodeling the Future. Lessons and takeaways from the rich program of the conference are to help the community shape their ideas for the projects to come. CGA was originally designed as a place where industry professionals of all levels meet, grow and create together, and now we are remodeling the tools of trade to empower new voices and storytellers.

The CGA community will meet in person in Belgrade, in mts Dvorana on September 24, 2022, where the main part of the program will take place. The conference program will be presented in three auditoriums – following three existing CGA content tracks.


The online part of the event will be streamed a day before, on September 23, at here at our website and will feature stunning digital environments created at Virtual Environments Lab, the CGA’s very first summer program aimed at students and enter-level artists. The environments were created in Unreal Engine 5 over two months at Crater Training Center with dedicated guidance and support of industry experts.

Virtual Environments Lab

In addition to the main program, several exclusive workshops and masterclasses will be held in Crater Training Center. Among friends and sponsors of the conference are 3Lateral/Epic Games, Mad Head Games, Autodesk, PMO, Playstudios Europe, Crater Studio, Side FX, Foundry, Chaos Group and DAT. CGA Belgrade 2022 is supported by the Ministry of Culture and Information of the Republic of Serbia, Irish Embassy and is taking part in the supercluster initiative Creative Tech Serbia. We are especially proud of our new community partners Elder, Atomic Visual and Ovation BBDO that work with us in bringing the seamless digital experience to our audiences.

Crater Training Center

It is time to reconsider the convergence between the industries and design new models for creativity in film, games, and digital arts. So join us September 23/24 to shape the future together!


And don’t forget to register for a live event!

The Unreal Potential for Present and Future Filmmakers

Since 3Lateral joined Serbia Film Commission there has been growing curiosity as well as doubts on how local filmmakers can deploy metahumans and unreal engine potential into their current projects. We dedicated some of the CGA Belgrade conference to enable understanding and creative exchange between new exiting projects that technology will enable. Having a company like 3Lateral in Serbian film and TV production network is invaluable source of knowledge and drive toward future of filmmaking. Here are some burning questions we tried to unravel with members of their team. Let’s go beyond technology and talk about creative work.

The Unreal Engine website offers an ecosystem of learning tools, introducing the Unreal community to screenwriting, storyboarding, location substitution, and even the actors or extras. Let’s get closer to each of these production elements. How would you introduce or explain the Unreal Engine as a film tool of the future to a broad audience of seasoned film professionals?

Unreal Engine Website

Unreal Engine is a powerful tool for creators from various industries to bring their vision to life. This free tool enables game developers across industries to release next-generation real-time 3D content and experiences with greater freedom, fidelity, and flexibility than ever before.

When speaking about Unreal’s use in the film industry, one could think about it as a playground for storytellers and creators. Unreal Engine provides more freedom to the creators, allowing them to visualize the outcome not just through their eyes, but through the lenses – right away, and get immediate feedback. Also, it allows creators to have the same assets from first concept to final frames, eliminating waste across every phase of production. Creators can capture the movie, but also use the same assets and scenes for marketing purposes, interactive projects, or location-based experiences. Unreal Engine has already been used in the filming and advertising industries’ most ambitious projects such as The Mandalorian and Ford v Ferrari.

We know what some of the readers may think: we are not that large of a studio and our budgets are limited, but actually, the technologies and workflows that were once the preserve of big studios with multi-million dollar budgets have become democratized, giving rise to a new wave of content creators. At one time, using real-time technology in film and television production was considered experimental. Now, it’s being adopted across the entire workflow and used for a multitude of content. Real-time workflows are impacting projects at every stage of the creative life cycle, from conceptual writing and location scouting to production design and final-frame visual effects.

If you don’t know where to get started, there are loads of online learning paths and Fellowship programs, as well as onsite learning with the Crater Training Center UE course, and you can also apply for a new course at FDA in Belgrade based on Unreal Engine. Options are there, available at any moment, it’s up to creators to jump in.

Unreal Engine Essentials @ Crater

The great emphasis of technology is on democratization and accessibility to projects with modest budgets. What is your experience regarding this goal? How realistic is it in the short term? Are there already some successful examples?

What used to take months, even years, now can be done in weeks or even hours, and with only basic knowledge around specific phases of the pipeline. Epic Games is providing free tools that open new possibilities for teams of creators, where even with low budgets they have an equal chance to create impressive experiences. For example, City Sample – a free downloadable city from The Matrix Awakens: An Unreal Engine 5 Experience – is available as a preset of millions of scenes that can be used for new projects. It consists of a city, complete with buildings, vehicles, and crowds of MetaHuman characters, where creators can choose the scene, set the lightning and create a completely brand new story. Creators can also use megascans or assets from Quixel lab or RealityScan to create a unique environment. MetaHuman Creator is a cloud-based free tool for creating highly believable MetaHumans who can drive the narrative of the film or populate the city.

When speaking about time savings, at first instance it may take some time for creators to get familiar with the assets and their possibilities, but soon it will become the most preferable playground to explore and create expansive and engaging environments using Unreal Engine 5.

There are numerous already announced projects and even more are yet to come, but here are a few examples where MetaHumans were used in the short movies like Project Ember, The Well or In Vaulted Halls Entombed.

When speaking of democratization, adoption of the Unreal Engine has continued to pick up speed in recent years. From game development to automotive, architecture, live events, simulation and even fashion. There’s no telling how real-time technology will continue to revolutionize industries beyond games.

How do you, as creators of Metahuman technology, see the process of replacing real actors with metahumans? In which areas has it already been applied, and where is it going to expand in 3 to 5 years?

Our aim was not to replace real actors with digital humans, but to create a free and accessible creation tool to make the creation of high-quality digital humans easier and less time consuming. We’ve seen game studios, filmmakers, architects and brands leverage MetaHuman Creator to create truly convincing digital humans across a myriad of applications.

The era of digital humans has also opened up a realm of new possibilities for actors to bring their digital likeness to virtual worlds– a new forum in which performers could extend their act. From driving digital humans’ facial gesticulation to body motion, licensing their digital replicas, driving fictional characters and many other possibilities. Actors can even play younger versions of themselves (e.g. The Matrix Awakens) or can be involved in several projects all over the world at the same time. Therefore the digital era should not be considered as something where their job role is vanishing, but the opposite; they can embrace new ways of performing and making the most of their talents.

MetaHuman Creator allows storytellers to create MetaHumans that can fully drive the story, can be used as background characters to populate a scene, or to star alongside real-life actors. There was a very funny story from one of our clients, where one of the actors did not show up at the shooting, so the producer sat at their desk, created a MetaHuman, and incorporated that character into the scene to replace the missing actor. As we mentioned, these tools are something that can help teams be more creative and experiment with storytelling tools that weren’t accessible just a few years ago.

What is the most demanding project you have done in this domain so far? What have you achieved with it? How fast is the development of Metahuman technology happening?

In terms of internal projects, The Matrix Awakens: An Unreal Engine 5 experience was definitely the most challenging project we’ve done so far. The process included capturing the likeness and 4D performances of two of Hollywood’s most beloved actors. To make the project even more challenging, we needed to animate the actors’ younger likenesses to be paired with their present-day digital avatars, mixing animation with their acting performances, and adding MetaHuman characters as one of the main actors in the demo. On top of the work we did with our Hollywood talent we have also created a hero character IO, within the MetaHuman Creator, as well as 13.000 MetaHumans to populate and bring the city to life. This was the most advanced tech demo that we have ever created, and offers a vision for what the future of interactive content could be.

Through the Epic MegaGrants program, Epic Games is accelerating the work of creators across many industries, including an entirely new generation of filmmakers. Could you share some of the opportunities and achievements from the community in Serbia to encourage more applications coming from this region?

Epic Games is committed to accelerating the work of innovative teams using Unreal Engine with financial support so that they can continue to create projects that push the boundaries of real-time, interactive 3D content and experiences, or enhance open-source capabilities for the 3D community. One example is Sava Živković, a freelance Director from Serbia, an outstanding artist who received an Epic MegaGrant for his upcoming animated film.

For any teams interested in working with Unreal Engine across games, film, animation, architecture —whatever you imagine— we encourage you to…

Apply for an Epic MegaGrant


The article is originally published at

CGA Belgrade 2021 Sessions Available on YouTube

The fifth edition of the CGA Belgrade conference, designed around the idea of Embracing Metaversity, was held online for the second time in November 2021.

For two days, we traveled through the metaverse, tackling relevant topics in the creative industries in all shapes and forms. We also took the opportunity to present our three main content streamlines: CGAlliance, CGArts, and CGAcademy. Finally, we also hosted an afterparty in VR.

Now, we are happy to say that most of the sessions are ready for replay. So, head off to our YouTube channel to watch them now. While you’re there, make sure to subscribe to our channel and get notified when the new sessions pop up – we will have a busy spring here in CGA.
But before you dive deep into the metaverse, take a look at our behind-the-scenes video.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Excluded in the playlist are the 2021 exclusive sessions. They include the keynote lecture from Wonder Dynamics, an ongoing project presentation from the creators of Serbia’s first-ever hybrid feature, RevThink’s workshop on business positioning, and an exclusive lecture from Mad Head Games.
For more exclusive content, keep an eye on our announcements regarding our future events, both live and online.
Thank you for watching.


Applications for CGAccelerator Programme Start Now

We are proud to present the new & free CGAccelerator project, designed to boost the skills in business and marketing of individuals leading creative businesses and studios.

This is an industry-specific programme focused on Serbian creative companies and studios providing services in design, motion graphics, visual effects, animation, creative production, and sound design.
CGAccelerator is initiated in partnership with Revthink and builds on the experience of Tim Thompson and Joel Pilger who will personally lead you through an 8-week transformation.

Who is it for?

We are inviting studio owners, co-founders, and decision-makers within the creative studios and companies interested in growing to the next level, working in positions like general manager, CMO, sales manager, new business manager.
We strongly encourage participants of 35 and younger, small studios based outside of Belgrade, and female-led businesses to take this opportunity and apply for the programme.

Eligibility criteria:

  • Serbian registered companies and individual entrepreneurs
  • Company providing services in one or more of the focus areas
  • Participants are co-founders or have decision making power on the company strategic development, for instance holding the position of Chief Marketing
  • Officer or in charge of sales, new business
  • Preferably have online presence and communication material in English.
  • One person per company is eligible to apply for the accelerator programme. We will take into consideration applicants with more than one person per company, so please let us know if there is another person that would benefit from attending the programme.

How to apply?

Make sure to send your application by: January 25th, 2022
The accelerator programme will be fully executed online and in English.
The programme is FREE and there is no application nor participation cost for selected beneficiaries.To ensure the quality of your individual experience and group work we will be taking only 20 participants.

The CGAccelerator is specially designed by Serbia Film Commission and is enabled thanks to financial assistance from the US Embassy in Serbia.
For questions or more information email: [email protected]

CGAcademy presents: Pipeline Essentials for 3D Game Animation

2021 as a big year for the CGA community, so let’s end it on a high note: by learning AAA game animation from the industry best.

With the promise of providing high-quality education for junior artists and everybody willing to hone their digital skills, CGAcademy content track presents an extended lecture in 3D game animation held by Nataša Vučićević, 3D Animator from Mad Head Games.

An interactive master class, Pipeline Essentials for 3D Game Animation, is scheduled for December 14, 2021 at 6 PM CET in the CGA’s virtual classroom.

The event is FREE but closed to the public with the registration required.
The link to the master class will be delivered on the day of the event.

In more than two hours, the class will take you through all the steps needed to get from the rigged static character to the game-ready animated character. Later on, Nataša will teach you to import animations to Unreal Engine and talk about the variety of things that every animator in the gaming industry should know.

Mad Head Games studio is one of the pioneers of game development in Serbia. Founded in 2011, it quickly grew into an industry leader, blazing the trail for all up-and-coming domestic game developers. The company is known for its innovative approach to casual adventure games, and after years of consecutive successes, it is expanding into new genres, developing new projects and boldly making headway into CORE and F2P markets.

CGAcademy is designed as a hub of educational content that helps students and entry-level artists work their way up in the VFX, gaming, animation, and computer graphics industry. The program is organized by Crater Training Center.



CGA Belgrade x KIBLIX 2021 / Tanja Vujinović: Тє¢нησ ΛVΛПƬGΛЯDΣП

On Friday, 19 November 2021, at 19:30 CET, CGA Belgrade and KIBLIX 2021 festival invite you to Тє¢нησ ΛVΛПƬGΛЯDΣП, a live event with DJ sets in the Ultramono LABS, a virtual world in the VRChat platform by an intermedia artist Tanja Vujinović.

In this unique hybrid space, the live event will connect CGA Belgrade conference taking place online and a physical space of KIBLA PORTAL in Maribor where Tanja Vujinović’s works are on view in the scope of the group exhibition KIBLIX 2020–2021: Virtual Worlds Now.

A live event in VR will follow as a closing ceremony for CGA Belgrade 2021, a two-day digital conference on computer graphics and arts scheduled for November 18/19. With this year’s theme Embracing Metaversity, the conference aims to enhance the industry knowledge about the opportunities for design and production in the metaverse and officially embrace all its possibilities.

In Maribor you are invited to join us at 18:00 CET at KIBLA PORTAL for a guided tour of the KIBLIX 2020–2021 exhibition after which we will immerse ourselves in the VR world by Tanja Vujinović. At KIBLA PORTAL you will be able to join the live DJ event either on a big screen or enter the world through a headset!
Ultramono is an art laboratory for the production of cybernetic art. Ultramono organises events dedicated to progressive, futuristic, fusion art and IDM, digital permaculture, inspiring conversations, and presents a gallery and clubbing events in retro futuristic ambients of MetaGarden Spheres.
@ VRChat, 19.11.2021, 19:30 CET / 13:30 EDT / 10:30 PDT / 03:30 JST


Silent Antagonist, 19:30 CET / 13:30 EDT / 10:30 PDT / 03:30 JST, 21:00 CET / 15:00 EDT / 12:00 PDT / 05:00 JST
Leem, 22:30 CET / 16:30 EDT / 13:30 PDT / 06:30 JST
Wyatt Schmidt, 24:00 CET / 18:00 EDT / 15:00 PDT / 08:00 JST, Leem, Silent Antagonist and Wyatt Schmidt will each play their hour and a half long techno sets starting at 19:30 CET in a virtual world by Tanja Vujinovic. Event is hosted by TanjaV, ronbreian, and Levia. You are welcome to join with your computers, with or without VR equipment in the desktop mode.

How to Attend

Meet us in Ultramono LABS to listen to live DJ techno music sets, hang out, talk about art, science, technology and everything in between, and explore the world. To join the party, download VRChat for free from Steam, add hosts to friends and join them. The event will be also streamed on our website!







CGA Belgrade 2021 Programme Details

The official program of the CGA’s second online conference edition is out, and we are proud to say that all of our three program streamlines came into the spotlight.

The conference is scheduled for November 18/19, 2021, with the sessions starting at 4 PM CET each day.

CGAlliance content stream is having its premiere on the first day of the event, with four stirring sessions on innovations, including deep dives into the metaverse and lectures on studio production and growth. Its closure will happen over the weekend, on a two-day business positioning workshop organized by Serbia Film Commission with the help from the US Embassy in Serbia.

CGArts programme was originally presented in September at our hybrid event in Novi Sad, Enter the MetaClub, a combination of a mini-conference and an interactive exhibition. This time around, on the second day of the event, CGArts continues exploring the perks and possibilities of digital words but will also deliver several top-notch lectures on (game) art.

At the same time as CGArts, the other track will be running its own show on education. After numerous online sessions organized by Crater Training Center all year round, CGAcademy comes with five captivating sessions designed to boost your skillset – and maybe help you shape your career expectations.

All the sessions will be able to stream on our website on two parralel tracks, so keep your eyes on the LIVE section, which will be updated in the next few days. The live stream is based on an interactive platform that allows you to leave comments and questions for our guests in real-time on YouTube.

After the last session ends, we will officially move to the metaverse – the one created by our dear friend Tanja Vujinović, an intermedia artist who delivered a magnificent VR performance at CGA Novi Sad. Techno Avantgarden live event with DJ sets will be cohosted with our friends from Ultramono art laboratory and Kiblix art festival from Maribor, Slovenia. More details about the afterparty coming soon.
Without further ado, here’s the timeline!

Thursday, November 18

4.00 – 4.10 PM
CGA Belgrade Founders Talk
Miljana Jovović, Crater Training Center
Milica Božanić, Serbia Film Commission
Miloš Milošević, VFX Serbia

CGAlliance Content Stream

4.10 – 5.15 PM
Empowering the Artist: How AI, Metaverse and NFT’s Will Shape the Future of Art
Tye Sheridan, Wonder Dynamics
Nikola Todorović, Wonder Dynamics

5.15 – 6.15 PM
Diving Deep into the Metaverse: DELETED, Development of a hybrid feature
Zoran Krstić, Open Studio
Aleksandar Protić, Mir Media Group

6.15 – 7.00 PM
Design Thinking for Innovation
Milovan Dekić, Nordeus

7.00 – 8.00 PM
Standing Out in the Sea of Sameness
– The Real Reason Big Opportunities Are Not Finding You… and What to Do About It
Joel Pilger, RevThink
Tim Thompson, RevThink

Friday, November 19

CGArts Content Stream

4.00 – 4.30 PM
The Work of Lee Griggs
Lee Griggs, Autodesk

4.30 – 5.15 PM
Puss & Loots – Visual Development of a Slot Game
Uroš Obradović, Playstudios Europe

5.15 – 6.00 PM
Character and Assets Development
Josip Vrandečić, Mad Head Games

6.00 – 6.45 PM
NFTs: A Gateway to the Metaverse
Jovan Tišma, ALL.ART

CGAcademy Content Stream

4.00 – 4.30 PM
Customizing MetaHuman Textures
Luka Lakić, 3Lateral/Epic Games

4.30 – 5.15 PM
Machine Learning in Real-time
Florent Guinier, Unity Technologies

5.15 – 5.20 PM
CG Journeys
Sam Peereboom, Industrial Pixel

5.20 – 6.00 PM
Portfolio Reviews
Milica Mastelica, Playstudios
Nenad Nešović, Nordeus
Ivana Radović, Playrix RS

6.00 – 6.05 PM
CG Journeys
Miguel Teixeira, 3D Animator

6.05 – 6.45 PM
White Paper Talks: VR and 3D in Game Art
Katarina Kaplarski Vuković, Belgrade Metropolitan University
Vojislav Bogosavljević, University of Belgrade – School of Electrical Engineering
Igor Tartalja, University of Belgrade – School of Electrical Engineering

6.45 – 7.30 PM
Evolving Your Skills, panel discussion
moderator: Jahirul Armin, CAVE Academy
Ben Radcliffe, Unity Technologies
Andrew Schlussel, Netflix
Amy Smith, Framestore
Jim Brown, DNEG

AfterParty / CGAfterHours

starting at 7:30 PM
Tanja Vujinović: Techno AvantGarden
CGA Belgrade x KIBLIX 2021
Afterparty in VRChat

November 20th / November 21st

CGAlliance Content Stream

6.00 – 7.30 PM
Standing Out in the Sea of Sameness: The Real Reason Big Opportunities Are Not Finding You… and What to Do About It, a two-day workshop (read more and apply here)
Joel Pilger, RevThink
Tim Thompson, RevThink

CGA Belgrade 2021 sends many thanks to our sponsors from 3Lateral/Epic Games, Nordeus, Autodesk, Mad Head Games, and Playstudios Europe, as well as our partners from Escape Studios, RevThink, CAVE Academy, and Kiblix. This year’s programme was supported by the Ministry of Culture and Information and the US Embassy in Serbia.