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Tutorials to Becoming the Best Level Designer and Game Environment Artist (since 2008)

Abandoned House Created with Source Engine

Complete Beginner's Guide to Using Redshift with Maya

I have NEVER heard of Redshift before. But once I started using it I was impressed.

Redshift is a GPU based render. Most renders are CPU based but not this one. Requirements for Redshift favor Nvidia based graphics cards, so it won't work with AMD.

After having to learn and teach Redshift, I really like it. I see why many people prefer it. It is fast and creates great results.

Here is the COMPLETE tutorial guide to getting started with Redshift for Maya...

UE4: Create Overcast Day Lighting with Sky Atmosphere

Overcast day creates a very distinctive atmospheric feel - melancholy, somber, emotional, quiet and desolate.

Overcast lighting scatters light in all directions and removes strong light and shadows. This introduces additional artistic and technical roadblocks you wouldn't normally experience.

In this tutorial I will show you how to do overcast lighting using Sky Atmosphere.

What I Learned as 3D Instructor in Last 6+ Months

6+ months and no updates. It's been a while…

What has been happening? And is WoLD coming back?

Even though I've been absent, I have not gone away and I am coming back to publishing tutorials.

Reason for my absence is due to taking on a contracted position as a 3d instructor at DAVE School in Orlando. I've been teaching aspiring artist the fundamentals of 3d art, design, modeling, UVing, texturing, rendering and sculpting. And as a result I've been also leveling up in silence.

In this post I will share what I've learned as a 3d instructor in last 6+ months and how it can help you to become a better artist and complete your work...

UE4: Step-by-Step to Creating Your First Volumetric Cloud Material

The most important part of how the Volumetric Clouds look comes from the Material, which is then passed on to a Material Instance.

I decided to figure out how to create my own Volumetric Cloud material so I can understand what is happening, what the parameters do and most importantly to have more control over the cloud shape.

In this tutorial I show you how to create your own Volumetric Cloud material, step-by-step.

UE4: Analysis of Volumetric Clouds and How to Use Them

The previous way was to use a Sky Sphere Static Mesh and a Sky Material with moving or static cloud textures that would be applied to the sky sphere mesh. Now instead, you can now use the new Volumetric Clouds.

Out of the box it isn't very clear or simple what you need to do and how to use the Volumetric Clouds in your environments. And most of the cloud examples files are hidden in a plugin.

Let's get started on Volumetric Cloud overview and how to use it.

UE4: Recreate the Dynamic Time of Day Template Level - Why You Should and How-To

The new Time of Day level template was introduced in 4.24. It includes dynamic lighting setup with new Sky Atmosphere actor and in 4.26 the new Volumetric Cloud actor.

BUT before you start using the new Time of Day level template there are few important things you need to understand.

Let's reverse engineer what's happening in the Time of Day template and recreate it, so you know how everything is working together.

UE4: Complete Guide to Spawning Foliage on Landscapes Using Grass Node Output

Did you know you can spawn foliage meshes on landscapes automatically, on specific texture layer and without having to manually paint using the Foliage Tool?

Once I found out I could do this, I never want to paint using the Foliage Tool again.

In this complete tutorial guide you will learn how to set up the Landscape Grass Output node and spawn foliage procedurally on your landscapes.

Let's get started...

2020 WoLD Year in Review - Opportunity in Chaos

In December of every year I reflect on the last 11 months and begin to make plan of attack for the next 12 months.

This is a good habit to get into as you close out the year and begin a new one.

When doing a yearly review, focus on the following 3 key things:

  • What you did well
  • What you wish you've done better
  • What do you plan to do and focus on in the new year

Here is WoLD Year in Review 2020!

UE4 Environment Breakdown: Desert Dunes & Pyramids or How to Get Back to Creating Exterior Environments

A desert is a landscape where little precipitation occurs and living conditions for vegetation and animal life are very hostile. Desert is isolation and lack.

For the world creator isolation and lack means minimal number of assets need to be used to create the environment. Minimal doesn't mean easy but it does mean less time authoring custom content and more time focused on composition and lighting.

The simplicity of this project allowed me to get it done in couple of days and share the process with you.

Best part is the process can easily be duplicated for similar projects and applied to your own work.

Let's begin…

Now Out - "UE4: Complete Guide to Auto-Landscape Materials" Tutorial Course

The tutorial course is complete!

You can now texture huge, open-world landscapes automatically without ever having to paint texture layers.

More info on the course in this post...

UE4: 9 Things Every Auto-Landscape Material Must Have

Before I knew anything about Auto-Landscape Materials, I thought you only needed to have a couple of textures.

I quickly realized that this wasn't enough.

In addition to automatically changing textures based on slope, I needed to have the following 9 things...

UE4: How to Create Your First Auto-Landscape Material

Using Auto-Landscape Materials for large terrains is a must for any open-world environments. It will let you automatically texture landscapes based on the slope (angle) of the terrain.

But how do you create and use one?

In this in-depth tutorial I will show you how to create your own very first Auto-Landscape Material...

UE4: Automatically Texture HUGE Landscapes with Auto-Landscape Materials

I had created huge landscapes in UE4 varying in size from 1km x 1km to all the way to 8km x 8km - all untextured.

Next step was to begin painting terrain textures. If I were to manually paint texture layers, the landscapes would NEVER get done. It would take days if not weeks. The solution was to create and use Auto-Landscape Material.

In this tutorial I explain what Auto-Landscape Materials are and how they work on UE4 landscapes...

UE4: Secrets to Generating Real-World Heightmaps from Terrain.Party for UE4

How do I create landscapes in UE4 based on real-world locations? Where do I get this heightmap data?

Use Terrain.Party. Here are my secrets to using Terrain.Party to create landscapes for UE4...

Blocktober: Your Quick Start Guide to Blockouts

Category: Game Environment Art, Level Design
October 01, 2018 (Updated: October 1, 2020)

UE4: Secrets to Generating Real-World Heightmaps from Terrain.Party for UE4

Blocktober, Blocktober, the month of October...

Blocktober is an event that begins October 1st and ends October 31. For the entire month you can see level designers, game environment artists and game designers share their blockouts for how they start creating level designs and game environments.

Here is everything you need to know to get started for Blocktober in October...

UE4: Quick Tip Tutorials Part 2 (Tips #11-20) - Landscape Edition

Quick Tip Series is created for beginners and advanced Unreal Engine 4 users.

These are quick, useful tips to help improve, refine, fix and remind you of tools, techniques and principles you may have not known or forgotten about.

All videos are very short, between 30 seconds to 3+ minutes.

The following Part 2 includes 10 Quick Tips and entirely focused on UE4 Landscapes...

Beginner's Guide to Using Quixel Bridge for UE4

Quixel Bridge has completely changed and improved UE4 environment creation.

You no longer need to create your own 3d models, textures or materials but use over 13,000+ assets available in Quixel Bridge.

However using Bridge isn't intuitive to a beginner. It's a new workflow you have to learn and get used to.

In this tutorial I'll show you everything you need to know to get started...

UE4: Create Procedural Landscape Heightmaps Entirely in Photoshop for UE4

Creating landscapes in UE4 manually using in-editor Sculpt Tools takes time. But you can speed up this process by using heightmaps.

In this guide you will learn everything you need to know about heightmaps in UE4...

UE4 Heightmap Guide: Everything You Need to Know About Landscape Heighmaps for UE4

Creating landscapes in UE4 manually using in-editor Sculpt Tools takes time. But you can speed up this process by using heightmaps.

In this guide you will learn everything you need to know about heightmaps in UE4...

UE4: Your First Landscape Material Instance (Make Instant Material Changes)

Material Instances in UE4 are extensions of your main, master material that allow to expand its functionality and flexibility of using that material.

Let's say you wanted to make some changes to the material such as updating color, roughness or changing a diffuse texture. Instead of creating an entire separate material you would create a Material Instance and change the parameters within it to update those properties.

With Material Instances, you do not have to recreate entire material from scratch. Just create a Material Instance...

UE4: Step-by-Step to Your First Landscape Material (2 Texture Paint Layers)

Creating and sculpting landscapes is the first step. Creating and painting landscape materials is the second.

Landscape Materials are very different than any other material you have to create because you have to be able to paint textures on the terrain such as grass, dirt, rock or sand.

This is done by a single material expression - Landscape Layer Blend.

Let me show you how to create your very first, basic landscape material that you can use to paint landscape textures...

UE4: Step-by-Step to Your First Landscape for Complete Beginners

UE4 has a very powerful landscape toolset. It will let you create huge sprawling natural environments.

But before you get lost in the possibilities, let's go through the steps of creating your very first, simple landscape in UE4.

Here is how...

UE4: 3 Ways to Organize Your Material Editor (Descriptions, Comments and Reroute Nodes)

I came back to a project I worked on months ago creating landscape materials.

I couldn't make sense of my own work - wires running everywhere, material expressions all over the place. It took me few hours to sort it all out and it wasn't a very complex material.

So here are 3 ways I organize all my materials in UE4. I now know what everything does and if I come back to it months later I'll continue where I left off.

UE4: Complete Guide to Using Non-Destructive Landscape Layers - Painting Textures

Landscape Splines allow you to create linear features such as roads, railroads and pathways that will conform and modify the terrain underneath it.

Landscape Splines have been in UE4 for some time but now with addition of Landscape Layers in 4.24+, using Splines became a lot easier to use.

In this tutorial I'll focus entirely on how to use Splines with Landscape Layers.

UE4: Complete Guide to Using Non-Destructive Landscape Layers - Painting Textures

Unreal Engine 4.24+ gave us new landscape layers. This means you can now edit and modify your landscapes non-destructively.

Landscape Layers have two components to them. Each landscape layer can contain information for the heightmap sculpt and painted textures.

In this tutorial you'll learn how to use the non-destructive landscape layers for painting textures.

UE4: Complete Guide to Using Non-Destructive Landscape Layers - Sculpting

In Unreal Engine 4.24 a new amazing landscape feature was introduced that makes working and editing landscapes a lot easier. This new feature is Landscape Layers which allows you to edit and modify your landscapes non-destructively, giving you complete artistic and creative control over what you sculpt and what you paint.

In this first tutorial, learn how to start using Landscape Layers specifically with Sculpting.

How to Sculpt & Create Landscape Materials with "UE4 Landscape Essentials" Tutorial Course

Learn EVERYTHING you need to know for how to sculpt landscapes and create landscape materials entirely in UE4 without any external software...

Fix Landscape Texture Tiling with This UE4 Macro Variation Technique

I solved my first major landscape obstacle by learning how to hand-sculpt UE4 landscapes entirely in UE4 using the 5-step method.

But then I encountered another problem I had to solve. How to create landscape materials that look good.

The biggest issues most everyone has with landscapes is obvious TEXTURE TILING. Landscape textures often look good up-close near the player but at further distances the tiling becomes very noticeable.


Subscribe to receive NEW/UPDATED and FREE "UE4 Beginner's Quick Start Guide" PDF (150+ pages).

Subscribe and Get Free UE4 PDF Guide

Visit this page for more info about the guide...

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About World of Level Design

My name is Alex Galuzin. I am self-taught level designer, game environment artist and the creator of World of Level Design.com. I've learned everything I know from personal experimentation and decades of being around various online communities of fellow environment artist and level designers. On World of Level Design you will find tutorials to make you become the best level designer and game environment artist.

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