top of page

CineTracer + Unreal Engine are leaders of the new "Film School"

Updated: Dec 28, 2022

a note from Carlos

Image from Previs from recent Untitled Short Film, DP Carlos Bradley

The journey of becoming a highly sought after director of photography is the name of the game and with that you must be one that has significant opportunities to perfect your craft. Practice does not make perfect however practice does create improvement, and improving as a professional along with a little faith and luck will take you to the next level in your career.

So, obviously you need more opportunities to improve in order to become sought after and even with the barrier of entry into the filmmaking industry has become quite easier to enter with cameras and editing tools available at affordable prices, the challenges that most young DP's experience is being able to obtain enough opportunities to gather experience and craft a style in order to land bigger jobs like commercials, shorts and feature films.

Here is where owner and creator Matt Workman's Cinetracer and Unreal Engine enters the chat. As a director of photography himself, Matt has years of experience ranging from Music Videos, Commercial and narrative work. In recent years, Matt has transitioned into software program development and virtual production within the film industry. As a natural teacher, Matt has crafted a program and tool to provide real time results that micmic on set lighting scenarios and photography decision making for young wielding cinematographers. Cinetracer powered by gaming engine, Unreal Engine as its backbone has formed a relationship that marries the concept of previs ( Previsuals) and real life cinematography application all from the comfort of your computer.

Image from Previs from recent Untitled Short Film, DP Carlos Bradley

One of the most consistent topics for filmmakers for the last decade has been whether or not you need film school. Some will argue that film school is great for building your network and working with the tools on sound stages. Other's will argue that you are able to save your money by just finding sets to get on as a personal assistant and learning who's who and what's what. Personally, I do find both beneficial to a filmmaker so I no longer subscribe to the thought that one is better than the other. There will always be situations where you will have to network in order to move forward in the industry so tools and applications are more beneficial to me currently and Cinetracer provides the ability to grow as a cinematographer and learn the principles of lighting based on accurate ray-tracing to render shadows and lighting interpretations that communicate soft and hard lighting responses on a space or talent.

As a husband, father and young cinematographer, not always having the bandwidth or resources to practice lighting designs in studios and sound stages hurts my development so it becomes very beneficial to be able to create those environments in Cinetracer on my own schedule from within my home (especially during CoVid lockdown).

Image from Previs from recent Untitled Short Film, DP Carlos Bradley

Image from Previs from recent Untitled Short Film, DP Carlos Bradley

Now to get the best experience of this software you will have have to either invest in a fairly powerful machine or find aftermarket components in order to render the best performance and results. Currently I have the program running on a HP Z240 ($50 -$150) , (2) 500Gb SSD ($50), 32 Gb of RAM ($50) and an AMD RX580 Graphics Card ($175).

Not the highest of specs at all but I am able to render out a great performance with all settings set to HIGH and with very little lagging. Now with simplified gaming controls this program has a minor learning curve if your don't game on your pc. Once you acquire the gaming controls then building your scenes and other configurations become simple to map to your scene.

Image from

In conclusion, if you are looking for a tool to assist your growth in lighting or need a tool for previs and storyboarding then this program is the perfect tool for you. Loaded with consistent updates including the "meta-humans" update provided by Unreal Engine allows for more customization on your talents and their animations for accurate emotes on your scenes. As an all-in-one tool that enables you to fully conceptualize your productions on a large and small scale truly justifies this tool as a comparable resource whether you are attending film school or continuing on your No Film School journey.

All views in this blog are that of my own and I was not paid/sponsored by Cinetracer or Unreal Engine.

This software is available online through Steam for purchase.

Carlos Bradley is an Atlanta based filmmaker, and the founder and President of the Society for Cinematographers of Color. His work can be seen on network digital platforms, and in various publications. Be sure to follow him on Twitter and Instagram and reach out — "I love meeting new filmmakers!"


bottom of page