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CGMA – Organic World Building in UE4

CGMA – Organic World Building in UE4Organic World Building


Organic World Building in UE4 : A 10-week course in which students will create a fully textured, game-ready environment in UE4

Build the world you’ve dreamed of in UE4

In this course, students will create a game level from scratch in UE4. The course will cover UE4’s object placement and layout basics, foliage systems, and lighting systems. The course will help students better understand level and environment workflows, as well as how level designers, game designers, and environment artists fit into the game pipeline.


LECTURE TYPE: Pre-recorded

FEEDBACK: Individual recorded

DURATION: 10 weeks

MATERIALS: Zbrush (or equivalent) and Maya (or equivalent), Unreal Engine 4, Quixel Suite , Photoshop , Mightybake


PREREQUISITES: Must have a solid understanding of environment art creation; course pre-reqs: Intro to Environment Art and UE4 Modular Environments


The more you know, the better.

Week 1 | Understanding the World We Want to Build

Overview of what an environment artist’s role is | How to build a plan for our environments | Figuring out what reference will help us achieve our goals | Understanding the importance of PST (primary, secondary, and tertiary elements) | Breaking down reference material into required assets | Planning our large-scale environments

Week 2 | Creating a Terrain That is Truly Unreal

Introduction to Unreal Terrain | Brushes and techniques to achieve your goals | Terrain shader | How to create terrain in Maya

Week 3 | Rocking Out

Intro to Zbrush | How to utilize hero rock asset | Creating a 360 hero rock sculpt in Zbrush | Building out low-poly in Zbrush | Proper UV techniques in Maya | Sculpting boulders from zSpheres

Week 4 | Chip Off the Old Rock

Sculpting tiling rock texture in Zbrush | Creating rubble texture in Zbrush | Rock shader creation in Unreal | Unique vs. tiling textures for rock assets in Unreal

Week 5 | Planting the Seeds

Learning Unreal’s foliage system | Foliage volumes and creating procedural foliage | Unreal’s foliage painting tools | How to break down the needed foliage for a scene | Create multiple variations of a tree asset utilizing the same shader

Week 6 | Where Nature Meets Man

How man-made objects can be incorporated into your scene | How to highlight or de-emphasize the player’s goal within man-made assets | Connecting nature and man-made objects

Week 7 | Clump It, Then Blend It

How to apply the technique of PST (primary, secondary, and tertiary) to assets in our scenes, and how this can help connect each area of our environment | Clumping our details into specific hot spots to either draw attention or fade into noise | Drawing the player with the clumping of organic and man-made assets | Blending out harsh contrasting areas of our environment, creating smooth transitions of visually appealing gradients | When and where to create areas of rest with our foliage and detail

Week 8 | Keep them Hooked

The importance of story in your environment | Different ways to create inter-linking stories throughout our environments | Show, don’t tell. How to tell a story in our scene without the need of characters | Creating necessary story-driven assets that will give life and something for the viewer to become invested in

Week 9 | Sunshine and Rainbows

Learning Unreal’s Lighting for an outdoor scene | How to nail a mood that will help our scenes stand out | Creating atmosphere with fog, lighting, and particles | Utilize our understanding of mood to dramatically change the look of our scenes for multiple looks within the same environment

Week 10 | The Icing on the Cake

Going over the final polish needed for our scenes | Discussing what can help push our scene further | Rendering out our final beauty shots | How to show off your environment and its break downs in your portfolio

Watch the Introduction Video : 



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