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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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I am having the same issue.. just starting this course.. I got it into 1st person mode and nothing am stuck in the ground..... could you figured it out! if so.. could you send me a reply.. thanks mate!!. cheers

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!

Hi all
I went back and redid some video and started a new landscape.
Can you make a river or creek with splines..
do you have any plans to add a video for that? I think it would be great.

Hi Joe
As I attempt to populate the terrain with Trees and cliffs procedural generated assets, I get this error message. Unable to spawn instances. Ensure a large enough surface exists within the volume.
This happens once I hit Resimulate in the Procedural Foliage section of UE4. Please help me to fix.

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Hi, that usually means that the box isn't intersecting with the landscape. Basically landscape or other collision objects are required for the spawner to work as it's based on Physical collisions.

Hi Joe,
This isn't really a big issue, or anything that is specific to your skills, but for some reason whenever I try to play the game and run around, it spawns me under the map. Ive clicked on the "Start from camera position" countless times, and all the settings I can find match those in the final level you supplied. Its just a little frustrating as I can't test the scale of my world very easily.
If you have any ideas why I'd be very appreciative.

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Hi Joe,
You stated that World Composition is going away in UE5 and further stated that there are better ways. Can you direct me in the direction of a tutorial you know of or other information?


Lesson Plan