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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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thank you joe that works!! (also, would there be a more procedural way to do that using the spline itself and blueprints? ideally i wanna move the spline around without having to re-paint the foliage)

Hey, yes.
1. Go to Paint layers and find the 'RemoveProcedural' Layer.
2. Click the + Symbol and add a Non Weight-Blended layer.
3. You can now paint down that layer to remove procedural foliage.

I'll record a video for that soon!

I've been building my UE4 Project from scratch, so I haven't been using the downloaded project. I am working with the splines for a dirt road. I updated the Natural Roads Package before I added it to the project. When I go to edit the the Pebbles Material, there is no edge blend option for me to blend the road into the landscape. I am using Unreal 4.25.4 Has there been something changed in the Pebble Material to do the Edge Blend, since mine is not available?

Dean Deakyne

When doing my level creation exercise, I chose the Desert Mountain material for the landscape but for some reason it has a pixel - like ground for some reason .

Is anyone else having this issue?

I think Joe is using UE4.22 or so... I am on 4.25 and the menu layout is a little different...anyone know where I find the "Edit Spline" ?
Ok found it... it is under manage and splines... but there is no edit... just ctrl and click.

::EDIT:: Restarted UE and it seems to have fixed the issue.

I'm in lesson 2 working with alpha brushes. The procedural foliage over the base landscape material doesn't seem to be rendering any more in the editor or play modes. Anyone run into the same issue?

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I have copied them from C:\Users\Veith\Documents\Unreal Projects\LearnSquared\Content to C:\Users\Veith\Documents\Unreal Projects\LSProject/NewLevel :) or go more specific, if you need just one material and so on!

Yeah, I wasn't able to migrate the files from lesson 3, but for the lesson 2 assets all I did was copy the 'Brushify' folder into the 'Content' folder within the UE project I created. It also probable helped that I had already purchased a different Brushify pack from the marketplace so the file structure was already created. Hope that helps!

After creating my own level, I am noticing that there is a shadow that seems to start where the camera is and as I get closer to the ground it grows to take up a large area around the camera. When I start the play, the shadow still is there and moves with the shooter. Any idea what I might have missed?

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Yeah that's not really explained there, on your sun light increase
"dynamic shadows distance movable light" to something like 60000000
At least this value helped me.
Also I set 10 to "Num Dynamic Shadow Cascades"
Though it might tank your performance.


Lesson Plan