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Lesson 1 in Unreal Environments

Lesson Information

In this lesson, you'll learn the basics of Unreal and begin crafting your environment idea. You'll find references, build a library of assets, and assemble those assets together into one convenient staging area. By the end of this lesson, you'll have all the tools you need to start building your own environment.

Set the Mood

Using your idea from the Brief Builder Tool, create a mood board. Even the act of searching for reference can spark your creativity! If you don't have Photoshop, don't worry. There are plenty of free options for photo editing.

Take Control

Before doing any building, get comfortable with the Unreal Engine controls. 

Bring in Assets

Find and import assets for your project. Don't forget to make sure the assets have everything you need before making a purchase.

Build the Zoo

Once you've imported all the assets you want to use, build an Asset Zoo scene. Make sure everything looks good from various camera and lighting angles. 

Share Your Work

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


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Great work Joe, just finished the first lesson. Very helpful.
Few Notes if I may good Sir.
I noticed a few settings have changed including the names of said settings. Not sure how you can keep up with the updates in different Unreal Versions, but it would be nice. Or make sure to mention the version you used. Also..... Seems like it would be better if you used the exact pack that we get with this course, to do your videos with. Can be confusing as a beginner, feels like we are missing something. Maybe "I" missed something, but it seems like you are using the full Brushify packs(which are amazing btw). Last note the whole mood board is important for sure, but not sure if its best explained at the beginning of the series. Probably best to stick with you set-up first, then create our own.


This lesson 1 is still extremely helpful, and worth the money.

Another overall topic. Is there a Discord or forum where we can ask questions? This learning squared comment sections is probably the worst standard system we can get for support and interacting with the others (namely, searching for answers to our own problems). I'm not about to browse 226 comments clicking "next".

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Hey Abel, you should have received a link to join the Discord in your purchase confirmation email. And like David mentioned, you can find a link to the Discord at the bottom of the page, as well as on your Account page, where you can link your Discord account to your Learn Squared account for immediate access. Feel free to hit us up at [email protected] if you have any further questions!

Hi, Abel. I just started, too, and so much to catch up. I found the Discord link at the bottom of this page, click on the "Discord Chat" to access it. Not sure if it is specifically for this course, go under #unreal-engine and hope that's what you are looking for.

This course has a lot of potential and I delayed starting it because of the early complaints so I figured I'd give it some time before trying it out and I'm glad I did. It seems a lot has been fixed since. Here's my two cents. There's a crazy jump in the "Loading Assets" class where out of nowhere we are told to import the Brushify assets from the library... this is probably deprecated but if it is you should go back and re edit. As an instructor myself I find that what's obvious to us is not at all to students so if the follow along changed this should be reflected on the video. I understand it's tiring and boring but we need it updated.

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I have to agree with you Abel,

That's a heavy jump and frankly the response you got doesn't make sense in my book. I should not be forced to buy assets from the tutorial creator I prior paid 100$ to. The way it's set up is just disrupting the flow of learning.

Hi, I think I need to explain this a bit. This is not a click by click tutorial. Learn squared Courses work differently to regular tutorials. The course shows how you can complete various tasks but the idea is not that you copy my every click. It's meant to be a guideline so that you have all the knowledge needed to build your OWN project. You come up with your own brief using the brief builder to give you an idea, then go through each of the steps using your own initiative. This is explained in the Brief builder section at the very start.
You do get project files so you can take a look at my scenes and use those assets for your own, but the idea is that you create your own thing, grab other assets or utilize the packaged assets in your own unique way. :)
Checkout the Homework page and you can see some of the artworks people created with the course:

Hi Joe, Very useful course. The follow along hasn't always been easy. Just put down my pebble road spline and the material looks stretched vertically. 4.26 has no 'width' just half width. Can you point out where I have gone wrong? Thanks!

Hi Joe, I'm really excited about this course and my question about this course is that if I wanted to incorporate this environment in a short cinematic for a film should I stay in the unreal engine, or should I incorporate Maya into my workflow? I plan on working on high poly models.

Hi guys,
With a course of this size/complexity covering so many Unreal Engine topics it was difficult to foresee what the stumbling blocks for students would be. Over this past few weeks as the course has been out I've got a lot of feedback and started to see some really great work coming from students.
Seeing the work you guys are producing has shown me the areas where the course does well, and also some areas where more explanation in required.
I have some new videos being added that cover some important topics that I see students struggling with.
New videos include a more detailed explanation Sun & Shadows settings (I saw many people struggling with distance shadows)
An explanation of how to increase landscape texture resolution by tweaking tiling settings, as well as an even more indepth explanation of how the Landscape tiling system works incase you're working on larger maps.

This is part of an ongoing process to keep analyzing student feedback and making tweaks to streamline course. That way I think new students taking the course will produce even better homeworks.

For anyone that's already been through the course, here is an image highlighting the new videos in lesson 2:

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Hey Mars, Joe is right that there isn't a limit for how many machines you can download the files from. Which internet browser are you attempting to download with? The files are over 4GB so there's a possibility your browser might be limiting large file downloads. If you could email us at [email protected] we can help continue the troubleshooting process there with some additional diagnostic steps to help us get things resolved for you ASAP.

Hi, I'll forward this along to the team. There is no 1 machine rule or anything like that. Maybe try clearing your cookies/cache and see if the download link works?

Joe, fantastic course. But i just purchased a new setup and I can't seem to download the art files onto my new machine. Is there a one machine rule for asset downloads? Thank you, and keep it up!

Here is the error I keep getting:

Access Denied

Hi, these tutorials are not available online. Although there is some overlap (they are both UE4 tutorials) The ones on do not cover the same topics or have anywhere near the depth.

Hi, You can simply use the Learn Squared project that's provided as is. There is no need to migrate anything across. That project is already setup for you to use as a basis.
If you do need to move files you can simply use windows explorer to copy the contents of the 'Content' folder into your own project and hit overwrite. (Make sure you make a backup of your project before integrating/overwriting with new files.)
Migrate is not the functionality you require, that is for consolidating assets only.


Lesson Plan