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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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Does the skydome you're using have the Brushify M_SkyHDR material? there is a specific material domain that must be assigned within the material for post process effects to work. The brushify material has this setup by default already, but if you are using someone elses it might not have the right params.

This is kind of weird for me.

I want to make stylized environments , still high poly and a bit of details as well(more than over watch)
How would I adapt the workflow for my use case ? (I can create ground , dirt , foliage and trees myself using metallic roughness + alpha workflow) but is that enough ?

is it realistic to replace all materials myself and simply follow along the course using my own materials ?

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My suggestion is tofollow the course as instructed. After you finish this course lessons You can learn making your own modeling assets and textures in other courses... show your concept then we can guide you what kind of tutorials are available for your stylized project. You may check out Quixel mixer tutorials. Hope this helps

Hi guys, I just want you to know I've listened to your feedback and I wanted to give an explanation. Basically with this course I've tried to cover a lot of ground and there are limits to the depth that I could go to without over-complicating/losing people. The focus of this course is in environment creation, it's goal is to help people build their own levels and scenes- It's goal is to help a beginner get from A to B quickly and start creating beautiful scenes and screenshots.
The problem is, if I go deeper into how the material works, it ends up becoming a Shader programming course. As friendly as Visual coding might seem to those of us that have used similar software before, once you start making shader edits and compiling you lose a lot of artists, that simply want systems to work Out of the box.
If you are wanting to go deeper into the visual coding/shadergraph side of things and create big material edits, there is Brushify Bootcamp which is free on youtube, it goes a bit more into the shader side of things and how to setup custom materials. It's a totally different set of tutorials to these, showing how the material functions work, how you can build your own paint layers with roughness and tessellation, how you can edit the grass and understand the procedural distribution system. That is all free on youtube and always will be because it's essential to understanding brushify and fully utilizing it.

Anyways, I just wanted to explain a bit why things are configured in this way. And please by all means feel free to recommend specific tutorial videos you think would be useful.


I am completely with you on this. I cant make my own artistic choices due to not understanding the set up behind his Brushify pack. I can see how powerful Brushify is but when it doesn't work like it does for him you are left completely stuck. I spent most of my time on this course still just googling problems and Youtube tutorial to help me out

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



Lesson Plan