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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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Hey! Had the same problem, try to disable "cast shadow" in "lighting" settings in Skydome.

About unable to move in the play mode look through video "Sculpting and Texturing" (from 1.28 min) in the end of the list in Lesson 2. He had the same problem.

Done everything 3 times over with regards to the level lighting, everything down to the tee with the instructions, even paused to input the exact numbers used in the video rather than use the sliders, and each time, I'm barely getting any sunlight, definitely no sunrays that casts shadows when I put in a tree or two.

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Thanks Michael, it was driving me mad thinking I'd not done something!

Think he needs to either update the videos or at the very least, put a note on these lessons letting us know that some default settings have been changed since he made these tutorials.

Hello Joe, First of all, best wishes for this new year !
I have already taken a Unreal training course on game creation. I chose your training as a complement because it's more extended on landscapes and that's what interests me the most.
I take advantage of this training to make a more personalized work that will serve me for my site. It's completely different but I keep your techniques. I would like to get some feedback on this project, to know what is good and what is not.

Is it possible to send you the Unreal project?

Thank you in advance
Sorry for my not very good English


Hey Joe,

I had to uninstall and reinstall Unreal Engine along with your downloadable assets. Now I cant seem to find the download link at the beginning of the tutorial. How can I get them back so I can continue the follow along?

All the best,


I found a practical solution for the issue.
You can create the road and then you load a new Biome with dry grass. You paint on the road so that the surface underneath doesn't have grass and flowers coming up.
It works for me!


Lesson Plan