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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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I can't paint my foliage onto my ground floor. I am following "Building the Asset Zoo". I took my foliage types to my paint section and I can paint on other objects like rocks or trees well, but I can not paint onto the floor. Do I have something locked or unchecked for my Floor? They're all StaticMeshActors. Let me know if there's more information I should provide.

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Hi, this doesn't use World composition. Mostly because it's possible to create huge playable environments without it, and secondly because that technology is being phased out for UE5.

Thank you for the course. In the Loading Assets lesson in the Asset Zoo section, you say that we should have acquired all the assets for the project. I've downloaded the files and launched the LS_LearnSquared project, but the Packs do not show up in the Vault section of the Launcher Library. Could you please clarify? Thank you.

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Hi, Only packs purchased from Unreal Marketplace will show up in your vault.
The LS_LearnSquared project is a collection of assets specifically curated or this course, it contains the finished scene that you can see me building. You can of course use this project to learn from and build your own. It's not necessary for it to be inside the Epic Launchers Vault. Once you open LS_LearnSquared the project will show in the Epic Launcher in the My Projects section.

I am pretty sure I have been experiencing the same issues as you since day one of this course launching. I have mentioned it in their discord as well, with responses saying that everything is fine for everyone else. Great to hear someone else is experiencing the same issues as I am and that I am not crazy. Basically the video has to buffer every 5-10 seconds for 5-10 seconds. I am on a 1Gbps Fiber network in San Diego, CA.

I'm having Issues getting to the skydome to work properly. I'm attempting to use the S_Skydome mesh provided, following the tutorial precisely, but whenever I drag and and drop the asset into my scene, the asset loses all of its material information and reverts back to a default mesh with no materials. If I then try to use selected assets from material browser to "rebuild" the skydome asset, those material also revert back to an untextured blank material. I have screengrabs of this issue if there is a place to post them for some troubleshooting help, that would be great!
It also appears that the inside of the sphere is not rendering, as it should.
Trying to troubleshoot further, I'm finding that any asset that I try to import to my asset zoo scene is having this same issue, losing all material information whenever I try to drag it into scene. Can this have something to do with how my project is saved/project files are set up?

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Usually the steps are:
1. Drag the Skydome mesh into your scene and scale it to 10000 and center it to the origin.
2. Go to the details panel and drag and drop an sky Material instance onto it from the Brushify/Materials/Sky folder.
3. Make sure to disable collisions and cast shadow on the skydome mesh.

Double check you're actually putting the material into the material slot, sometimes you can accidentally put it into a different slot, and think that you applied it.

I thought there may be some assets that came with the download. Do we have to purchase everything used here? I see that there's Brushify assets in the file download but there's no way to upload them to my new project file. I don't mind purchasing additional assets for my level from the marketplace but I thought that at least some basic starter assets would come with this course?

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Hi Brenna, I hope this helps. I had similar issues to yourself. If you open the LS Squared project file, open the content browser, you can right click on the content folder itself and select migrate, then choose where you want to migrate the content, I placed this into a new first person project template. It needs to be placed into the content folder as far as I'm aware, as I was getting error messages otherwise.

Thanks Matthew. The part I don't understand is how to get the Brushify files I downloaded, imported in to Unreal. I downloaded the files to my mac just fine. I'm able to view his projects fine. I can create a new project too, but when I go to the Content panel, I do not see any Brushify files. I see an option to import but when I try that option, I can't select anything to import. I'm watching the Load Assets section and when he has his new project, the Brushify is magically there, but mine is not. It's only in the content folder when I open his projects.

When attempting to access the project by clicking on the project icon, I get an error message at the beginning: "Failed to open map file. This is most likely because the map was saved with a newer version of the engine". It will open through Unreal (4.25 only), however, but not through the project icon.

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Hi, are you trying to run the project with a version before 4.25? The project is setup for 4.25 and above.
You can always right click the .uproject and click 'Switch Unreal Engine version' and choose whatever version you'd like to run the project with. :)


Lesson Plan