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World Creation

Lesson 2 in Unreal Environments

Lesson Information

In this lesson, you will build a new level in Unreal Engine. Utilizing various sculpting, set dressing and lighting techniques, your level will progress from a completely flat plane to a beautifully laid out vista. 

Lay the Groundwork

Create a new level, with its own skydome and lighting. This will be the basis of your level going forward.

Moving Mountains

Duplicate the basic level you created earlier, and create a few different versions. In each, try experimenting with the various sculpting tools to create land formations. Pay attention to your landmasses, and make sure they aren't becoming unrealistic. When in doubt, consult your references.

The Joy of Painting

Paint some of the various environment layers into your scene. You can also try adding roads or water for an extra challenge. Don't worry too much about polishing or adding props to your scene. Now is the time for experimenting. 

Make It Pretty

Choose your favorite of the landscapes you created in earlier exercises, save a backup copy, and then dress the scene with props so it looks good from a single camera angle. 

Full Immersion

Add set dressing to your scene in all directions. Make sure to enter first-person mode and walk around your scene. Seeing things from human scale might expose new problems.

Share Your Work

Upload an image of your environment using the 'Upload Homework' button above, so your instructor and fellow students can see your progress!


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Starter level is missing + i can't get rid of the shadows (i do exactly same steps but when i move down with my camera the whole world is just a shadow...) you have "cast shadows" on and you don't have this black screen... When i turn it off shadows are gone (i see the world) but it look terrible... what am i missing?

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I would love to hear if there is a fix for this in 4.25. I've managed to navigate myself around and find things which may be in slightly different since 4.20 and still follow along, but this huge shadow is really annoying. I'll also second the fact starter level missing + The Road pebbles which I'm following atm

I had the same issue with a shadow in UE 4.25.1 but then I switched to 4.20.3 (noticed this version in the previous video) and there was no this shadow. I suggest you try previous versions. But I'm still wondering is there any way to fix this issue in UE 4.25.1...

I'm also noticing the issue with the shadows, as soon as I add in the Skydome it turns the landscape/plane black UNLESS I turn off dynamic lighting or cast shadows... hoping someone comments with a fix lol.

EDIT: Actually I'm now noticing the shadow doesn't change at all. I must have a light otherwise it's just black.

Hey there i am having trouble with the road textures, I only have asphalt to choose from and no natural material instances, also in my version of unreal under "landscape spline" there is no width option just "half width" and the results look screwy.


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The answer to this is that he's not using HDRI textures from HDRIHaven but is instead saving them as JPG files. You can't just throw a HDRI texture onto his Skydome like that. Unreal wants to use them as a cube map, and I have yet to work out how to get that to work.

Hey Joe, thank you very much for the tutorials, they are awesome. I have a question in this episode. I used my own HDRI Backdrop as the sky dome, and I put my light source under it. When I rotated the HDRI Backdrop sphere, the light source did follow the sphere, but not in sync accurately as yours in the tutorial. Did I miss anything about that? Thank you.

Grazie Michele, poi ho deciso di partire da un landscape vuoto, per poi seguire passo passo le lezioni, non ho riscontrato particolari problemi, e' tutto spiegato in maniera chiara, era solo per avere un setup di illuminazione neutro da usare come base di partenza.
Di nouvo grazie
Thanks Michele, then I decided to start from an empty landscape, and then follow the lessons step by step, I did not encounter any particular problems, everything is explained clearly, it was just to have a neutral lighting setup to use as a starting point .

I'm in the second chapter world creating and I think this course is good, but also I'm dissapointed some of the assets you are showing is missing here. I believe you removed it on the second archive repack, but I dont understand why. We paid for something we cant even test like the tutor is presenting.


Lesson Plan