Environment Art For Games in Unreal Engine 4 | CG Master Academy

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Environment Art for Games in UE4

A 10-week course where students will experience the creative environment pipeline creation process from start to finish. Students will bring a concept to life using industry standard tools and techniques using Unreal

Course overview Course overview

Course Overview

Bringing the Unreal to life

During this class students will get to experience the environment pipeline of environment creation from start to finish.This course will go over the process of creating an environment from concept to bringing an idea to life using industry standard tools and techniques. Students will have a better understanding of how to use their creativity to make something of their own and how to push a piece to a further benchmark. The goal of the class will be to create several high-quality assets that will come together to create one cohesive scene that is well presented.

*Students will need to have a basic understanding of modeling and texturing techniques as well as experience using Unreal Engine 4. They should be familiar with the UI of the softwares and how to navigate through them. Basic knowledge of fundamentals of art such as composition, color, and shape language is encouraged.

*This course will be available in its first term at the introductory price of $899.


Course Format:   Standard
Lecture Type:   Pre recorded
Feedback:   Individual recordings
Duration:   10 weeks
Assignment:   Due each week. Expect to spend 10-20 hrs/wk viewing lectures, q&a, and time on assignments.
Q&A:   Once a week
Materials:   Knowledge of Unreal Engine 4, Maya or equivalent modeling software, Zbrush or Mudbox, Substance Designer, & Photoshop
Skills level:   Intermediate
Prerequisites:   Basic modeling and texturing techniques, and experience using UE4 | Pre-req: Intro to Production Modeling, Fundamentals of Substance for Environment Art, Vegetation & Plants for Games

Environment Art for Games in UE4 WHAT YOU’LL LEARN

What you'll learn

The more you know, the better.

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Decide upon a concept from the options | Go over useful tips and techniques to finding good reference | Understand the importance of reference and how to use it | Talk about adding your own creative touch to an existing idea | Creating reference boards for your project
Create the blockouts and general layout for the scene | Discuss shape language, silhouettes, and composition | Understand how to create a proper blockout that will allow for iteration of the piece without major rework
Quickly go over some important tips for UE4 and project settings | Talk about folder structure and how to keep files organized in the beginning so when you grow in size it doesn't get out of hand | Creating your level with the template provided and getting your blockout in there to get a general idea of how its going to look
Go over general workflows and techniques of making modular sets and how to efficiently build an environment | Planning is important Figure out the assets and setup a gym for them so we can see what all needs to be created Asset Gym also helps with scheduling and we can create a gameplan to get it all done in a timely manner
Different modeling techniques based off of hardsurface or organic modeling | Figure out what techniques would work best for some of the pieces and start to understand how to work smart and not hard | Model a decent amount of the assets for the environment
Go over additional texturing techniques in Substance Designer and take a deeper dive into creating textures and materials for games | We will most likely use blends to get a better feeling from some parts of your environment and we can set those up in Unreal | Talk about the process of texturing and some important tips and guidelines to follow to keep them generally at a consistent feel
Bring both our models and textures into unreal and start to really solidify and layout the scene | Setup shaders based off of a needs basis for your environment and go over some additional steps that the models and shaders may need inside of Unreal
Bring both our models and textures into unreal and start to really solidify and layout the scene | Setup shaders based off of a needs basis for your environment and go over some additional steps that the models and shaders may need inside of Unreal
Really start to focus on the details, once we have the structure and macro shapes inside of Unreal and a decent pass of shaders on them | Foliage setup and placement in the environment and go over any additional tips or techniques involving the creation of foliage and how to make it feel organic in a scene | Additional details and the set dressing for the scene will also be looked at, that may help with environmental storytelling or so
Once we have everything setup, we will take a much deeper pass on lighting | Go over mood and how to sell a feeling or time frame with lighting that helps with the story or piece | Anything like fog, simple effects, sky, etc. will be looked into at this period as well on a case by case basis of what is needed | Additional post settings to help unify the scene
Discuss camera techniques and settings for screenshots | Go over how to render out shots and/or videos to show off your piece | Talk about the best way to present your piece in your portfolio and how to make it professional

Prepare to meet your master.

Peyton Varney
Oscar Gonzalez


January 25th!

Winter TERM Registration

Oct 26, 2020 - Feb 1, 2021




January 25th!

Pricing & Schedule

Even though our courses are the most affordable for the quality of education.

These Finance Options allow you to focus on your goals instead of the barriers that keep you from reaching them.

Employer Reimbursement

Animation Guild CSATTF

Payment Plan

Companies that hire our students

  • Naughty Dog
  • Luma Pictures
  • Google
  • EA Games
  • DreamWorks Animation
  • Blizzard Entertainment

environment design Benefits


What makes this learning experience unique?

Personal Feedback

Receive personal individual feedback on all submitted assignments from the industries best artist.

1+ Year Access

Enjoy over 365 days of full course access. This includes all lectures, feedback, and Live Q&A recordings.

Certificate of Completion

Earn a Certificate of Completion when you complete and turn in 80% of course assignments.

Flexible Learning

Learn anywhere, anytime, and at your own pace with our online courses.

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