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The Only Beginner's Guide You Will Ever Need to Learning Maya LT/Maya for Game Environment Art

"3D Game Environment Modeling/UVing Foundation with Maya LT/Maya®"

3D Game Environment Modeling/UVing Foundation with Maya LT™Maya
  • Includes:
  • No prior 3d experience/modeling knowledge required
  • Learn Maya LT or Maya for game environment art
  • Maya LT is used but videos are transferable to regular version of Maya
  • Digital Download
  • 30-Day, Money Back Guarantee
  • Secure Checkout
  • $67 $57

Project Files
Software Used:
Maya LT 2016

Workflows: Game Assets and Props
  • Add "Workflows: Game Assets and Props"
  • Maya LT/Maya, UE4, PS and Quixel
  • 2 Workflow Video Tutorials (80+ min)
  • 2 PDF Guide (215 pages)
  • "Project Files" (fbx, obj, textures, UE4 assets)
  • $17 $15

I Tried to Learn 3D Software for Almost a Decade

In late 2002 I became obsessed with wanting to learn 3d modeling software. This was caused by the release of Unreal Tournament 2003 - version of the game which began using Static Meshes (3d models) as part of its level design creation pipeline.

Prior to Unreal Tournament 2003 I was learning to create maps for Half-Life and Counter-Strike. With original Hammer level editor you could design full playable maps without ever needing to model and import a 3d object. All was done with BSP brushes.

Unreal Tournament 2003 changed all that.

After 2003, many realized that you could no longer use BSP brushes and create the amount of detail that was possible with 3d models. Also to make custom levels stand out, you had to begin creating custom Static Meshes and not use assets that were bundled with the game.

There were only so many custom Egyptian themed levels you could create with Unreal Tournament 2003 before they began to look the same.

As a beginner you could get away with using default content for a while, you may even extend that time by using marketplace content (assets created by others). But in the end, if you are to express your own ideas and design unique game environments - you have to create your own custom game assets.

Especially if you are to become a game environment artist.

UT2003 fan map DM_LuxorArena using default assets made the map unoriginal

But before you import anything into a game engine, you have to know how to use 3d modeling software.

After the release of Unreal Tournament 2003, I became serious about learning 3d modeling. There weren't many video or text tutorials out there, so I went out and purchased over $300 worth of 3d software books. One of the books was "Maya 4.5 Bible". The book had over 1200+ pages and it attempted to cover EVERYTHING Maya had to offer. But as a beginner completely new to 3d, it was incredibly difficult to follow and learn Maya for any specific purpose. The amount of content inside all the books I purchased was so overwhelming that I gave up within a couple of weeks.

For next few years I would continue to attempt to learn 3d software for modeling, animation, rendering, dynamics and rigging. In 2004 I even spent over $2000+ buying various Gnomon Workshop DVDs Bundles teaching Maya on variety of topics. Most of the tutorials were great but it ended up being a big mistake because it created so many choices and so many different pipelines that I was more overwhelmed than ever before.

It is not until I was forced to learn Maya for a specific purpose where I began to be somewhat proficient using it.

In 2005 I went to college to study Computer Animation. During my four years there I was forced to learn Maya.

College helped to create an environment which forced me to focus on using Maya for computer animation and nothing else. It limited my options of tools and functions to a narrow focus of using them for animation. This was the key to everything.

First few attempts at learning 3d software

My learning process was then streamlined by projects with deadlines that I had to complete.

My first few attempts at learning 3d software. I didn't know what to do and if I were actually following the proper workflow for game environment art

Now, you do not need to attend college like I did to learn 3d modeling software. I still had to read books, watch online tutorials and go over paper handouts. Teachers would demo how to do something but then the class would be over, everyone would go home and I would still be staring at Maya's interface. I still had to perform from notes, handouts and online tutorial.

It is only now, in hindsight as I write this did I become aware of a very valuable lesson: "You have to learn and use Maya LT/Maya or any other 3d software for a very specific purpose."

I encountered a big issue when I attempted to work on game environment assets

Although I learned Maya for computer animation, I thought that my knowledge was transferable to game environment modeling but it did not. I had to go back to relearn tools and principles I missed or didn't know about. This took a lot of time. It did help that I was familiar with Maya than if I was jumping into it for the first time without any prior experience. But most of this could have been avoided and I could have saved a lot of time if I learned Maya LT/Maya for game environment art to begin with.

Maya LT/Maya is a very extensive and complex piece of software. You can use Maya to model, animate, UV, create shader, rig characters, render still shots, render full animations, create particle FX and dynamics.

The reason it is very difficult to learn Maya LT/Maya by yourself for any specific purpose is because you don't know what you don't know. Meaning that you are not aware of what you should learn first, what you should focus on and what elements of Maya LT/Maya you should ignore completely for game environment art or any other discipline.

So going out looking for tutorials is impossible because you don't know what you should be looking for.

Until now. Until this tutorial series.

You do not need to struggle for a decade, dabbling in modeling and various general approaches to modeling like I did. The amount of time, effort and money I've spent learning a 3d modeling software to eventually use it for game environment art is unnecessary.

What you have in front of you right now is the complete beginner's guide to getting started modeling with Maya LT/Maya for Game Environment Artist. This tutorial series came from a decade long process and frustration of attempting to learn a 3d modeling software.

If you follow this tutorial series, you will learn Maya LT/Maya for game environment modeling.

There is a system and purpose behind every tutorial created. Every video in "3D Game Environment Modeling/UVing Foundation" series is methodically designed to teach you Maya LT and Maya for game environment modeling and UVing. Sure there might be some overlap between using it for other disciplines, but we are only concerned with modeling for game environments.

Remember, you cannot learn Maya as a generalist. You have to learn Maya as a specialist.

Be able to finally learn and use Maya LT/Maya for game environment art.

Video Breakdown

Watch this video for in-depth tutorial series breakdown.

Maya LT or Maya

There are many 3d modeling programs used. The following two are game industry standard and have been for quite some time - Maya and 3dsMax. But others are used such as Blender, Modo and Cinema 4D.

In this case we are completely focused on Maya LT/Maya.

What is the difference between Maya LT and Maya and which one should you use?

Maya is a full version and Maya LT is an indie game developer version.

I began using Maya extensively since 2005. Eventually Maya became too expensive to continue paying for features I wasn't using. In 2014 I decided to switch to Maya LT but not before doing extensive research to see what I might have to give up. You see, I only want Maya for modeling and NOT for animation, shading, rendering, rigging, dynamics or particles. I need to model, uv and ability to export objects as .obj or .fbx.

I found that Maya LT offered same exact modeling tools as regular version of Maya. While UV & texturing workflow being almost identical between both versions. Only two things were missing from Maya LT UV/Texturing pipeline - transfer maps and PSD support. But that's ok. I'll take $ savings from Maya to Maya LT by not having these two features.

Maya vs Maya LT Modeling Comparisons

Maya vs Maya LT UV/Texturing Comparisons

Maya LT was the perfect cheaper solution for me and modeling is identical to Maya. So after a lot of consideration and research I decided to completely switch to Maya LT.

If you are new to Maya, then I would recommend going with Maya LT. If you have used Maya before and you are going to be using it for more than just modeling, then take a look what feature comparison page here.

The series was filmed using Maya LT but it will also work with Maya due to the same modeling tools across Maya LT and Maya.

Detailed Video-by-Video Breakdown of All 3 Modules

Here is a list of all the videos included in this series. Click on the tab below to expand for more detailed info.

1st Module contains 15 videos (2 hours 02 minutes)

  • 01.00 Introduction - What You Will Learn in Module 01 (04:57)
  • 01.01 First Time in Maya LT and How to Set Up Your First Project (04:16)
  • 01.02 Interface Overview for Game Environment Modeling (15:12)
  • 01.03 Guide to Mastering Viewport Navigation (04:30)
  • 01.04 Geometry Modeling Basics - How to Work with Objects (15:47)
  • 01.05 Viewport Viewing Options (07:12)
  • 01.06 Snapping, Pivot Points and Transform Options (08:37)
  • 01.07 Geometry Modeling Basics Exercise (22:28)
  • 01.08 How to Delete Vertices, Edges and Polygon Faces (07:29)
  • 01.09 Custom Polygon Display (09:49)
  • 01.10 Outliner, Hypergraph, Hypershade (07:38)
  • 01.11 How to Create a Custom Shelf (06:59)
  • 01.12 Saving, Opening and Starting New Scenes and How to Set Projects (03:53)
  • 01.13 Deleting Object Construction History (02:39)
  • 01.14 In Closing of Module 01 (00:59)

2nd Module contains 19 videos (4 hours 06 minutes)

  • 02.00 Introduction - What You Will Learn in Module 2 (07:25)
  • 02.01 Scene Set Up (06:59)
  • 02.02 Bevel and Connect Part 1 - Modeling a Square Column (09:08)
  • 02.03 Bevel and Connect Part 2 - Modeling a Rectangular Column (05:47)
  • 02.04 Extrude Part 1 - Modeling a Thick Column (13:18)
  • 02.05 Extrude Part 2 - Modeling a Column Using Only Extrude (10:27)
  • 02.06 Insert Edge Loop Tool (06:41)
  • 02.07 Modeling Exercise - Using Insert Edge, Extrude, Bevel and Connect (21:04)
  • 02.08 Modeling a Round Column and Using Mirror Geometry (09:58)
  • 02.09 Modeling Stairs (11:53)
  • 02.10 Modeling Arched Doorway Part 1 (16:00)
  • 02.11 Modeling Arched Doorway Part 2 - Using Boolean Operation (09:38)
  • 02.12 Modeling a Wall with a Window (19:15)
  • 02.13 Modeling a Wall with a Door (11:56)
  • 02.14 The Importance of Hard/Soft Edges (14:10)
  • 02.15 NGons vs Quads vs Triangles and Edge Flow (18:15)
  • 02.16 Optimizing Model Geometry (35:54)
  • 02.17 Cleanup Tool (17:05)
  • 02.18 In Closing of Module 2 (01:05)

3rd Module contains 19 videos (2 hours 25 minutes)

Note: this Module uses Maya LT version 2016 and the UV Editing tools have been updated in Maya LT 2017+

  • 03.00 Introduction - What You Will Learn in Module 3 (05:15)
  • 03.01 UV Overview (05:22)
  • 03.02 Creating, Working and Using Materials on Objects (14:43)
  • 03.03 UV Editor Introduction (09:08)
  • 03.04 UVing a Cube Part 1 - Cut and Sew UVs (11:32)
  • 03.05 UVing a Cube Part 2 - Planar UVs (20:57)
  • 03.06 UVing a Cube Part 3 - Automatic Mapping (07:12)
  • 03.07 UVing a Cylinder (06:02)
  • 03.08 UVing a Sphere (15:03)
  • 03.09 Creating and UVing a Quad Sphere (08:49)
  • 03.10 UVing Workflow Exercise (16:20)
  • 03.11 Saving UV Screenshot (09:48)
  • 03.12 Multiple Objects on One UV Screenshot (05:17)
  • 03.13 UV Set vs UV Shell (06:48)
  • 03.14 Overlapping UVs and Texture Seams (08:56)
  • 03.15 Download/Install/Run Bonus Tools for Automatic Unwrap (04:41)
  • 03.16 Using Automatic Unwrap to UV Objects (11:45)
  • 03.17 Preserve UVs Option (03:03)
  • 03.18 In Closing of Module 3 (01:29)

What You Will Learn

Following is an overview of what you can expect to learn in this tutorial series.

  • Launching Maya LT/Maya and what should be the first thing you do
  • How to set up your very first project in order to keep everything organized (you will do this for every new project you create)
  • How to set Maya LT/Maya to an already existing project (when you are working with multiple projects)
  • 13 important Interface options and panels for game environment artist - all which you will use at some point
  • How to enable/disable Poly Count Heads Up Display
  • Guide to mastering viewport navigation for both perspective and orthographic views
  • How to work with polygon primitives; how to create them, manipulate them, move, rotate, scale them and more
  • Polygon Primitives or Nurbs? Which one will you be using for game environment art
  • How to use "Interactive Creation" option to create polygon primitives
  • How to correctly set up XYZ orientation within the viewport
  • How to use Component Mode to enable working with vertices, faces and edges; important components that you will use to model all your future game assets
  • How to rename objects
  • 10 viewport viewing options to help you with modeling
  • How to view polygons as wireframe, smooth shaded, with textures and wireframe on shaded
  • 4 options for switching your viewport's background color to view the scene better
  • How to snap to grid, edges and vertices (snapping will be one of the most important elements in creating game assets)
  • Learn how to adjust and control pivot points on your models
  • 15 minute Geometry Modeling Basics Exercise that will cover some important tools and principles you can put into practice right away
  • How to properly delete vertices, edges and faces to avoid serious issues with your geometry
  • How to utilize Custom Polygon Display
  • How to enable Backface Culling, Border Edges both will help with improved workflow modeling game environments
  • How to view your geometry's normals, triangles, non-planar faces and center faces
  • What are the Outliner and Hypergraph and why these scene management editors are important
  • What is a Hypershade editor and what will you be using it for
  • How to create custom Tool Shelf which will enable you to place most commonly used tools/functions within reach and speeding up your workflow
  • How to start, open and save scenes
  • How to enable auto-save
  • How to delete object construction history and why this is important
  • How to set up your initial scene for correct scale and proportion
  • Most used modeling tools covered that you should know and learn such as bevel, extrude, connect, append to polygon and insert edge loop
  • How to model an object entirely with extrude
  • Modeling exercise using insert edge, extrude, bevel and connect
  • How to model half of an object and use mirror geometry tool to duplicate the rest
  • How to model stairs
  • How to model arched doorway
  • How to use Booleans Operation properly and to avoid bad geometry errors
  • How to model wall with a window
  • 3 different ways to approach wall with window model
  • How to model a wall with a door and doorway
  • The importance of hard/soft edges on your object
  • How to set hard and soft edges
  • What are NGons, Quads and Triangles - which should you use and which you must avoid
  • Rules for using NGons, Quads and Triangles
  • What is edge flow or topology and how does it apply to game environment assets
  • How to optimize polygon geometry and lower poly count
  • How to deal with unseen faces that will never be seen by the player
  • Should you combine and float geometry or weld everything together and difference between the two
  • How to reverse face normals to make them render properly
  • How to avoid bad geometry and use Cleanup tool to find/fix problems
  • What are concave faces and how to deal with them
  • How to fix non-planar faces
  • What are and how to fix Lamina Faces, Nonmanifold Geometry, Edges with Zero Length and Faces with Zero Geometry area
  • What is the difference between UV Mapping vs UV Unwrapping vs UVing
  • How to create, work and use materials on your models
  • How to create your first material and display it on your object
  • How to import and use custom textures in Maya LT/Maya
  • Overview of how to use UV editor
  • How to cut and sew UVs
  • How to UV objects using Planar Mapping
  • How to UV objects using Cylindrical Mapping
  • How to UV objects using Automatic Mapping
  • How to UV spheres - which are very tricky to UV
  • How to create and UV Quad Spheres
  • Follow UVing Workflow Exercise and UV a wall with a door modeled in second module; see how to manually UV an object you already created
  • How to save UV screenshot to be used as a template for texturing in Photoshop
  • How to have multiple objects on one UV screenshot
  • The difference between UV Sets and UV Shells and how to use them both
  • How to create new UV Sets (such as a Lightmap UV Set)
  • Working with overlapping UVs and texture seams
  • How to overlap same textures and maximize your UV layout space
  • Guidelines to follow for overlapping UVs and texture seams
  • How to download, install and run Maya LT bonus tools
  • How to use automatic unwrap within Maya LT bonus tools - amazing tool for speeding up your UV workflow
  • How to modify geometry after you have UVed the object without UV distortions

FREE BONUS PDF Guide Included

In addition to the 9 hours and 53 videos, you will also get 148-page PDF guide "Maya LT/Maya Primer Quick Start Guide to Begin Using Maya LT/Maya for Game Environment Art".

It is free and comes as part of the "3D Game Environment Modeling Foundation".

  • Free PDF Guide
  • Includes 5 sections with additional sections to be added and updated with future guide releases
  • 148 pages
  • 50+ tips, how-to techniques on getting started with Maya LT/Maya software

No Risk, 30 Day - 100% Money Back Guarantee

No Risk, 30 Day - 100% Money Back Guarantee

I know you will find "3D Game Environment Modeling/UVing Foundation" extremely helpful with learning Maya LT/Maya.

But, if for any reason you don't like it, I am offering 30 days, 100% money-back guarantee.

I've been running World of Level Design.com since October 2008. I'm not going anywhere. So if you don't like this premium tutorial series then I don't want your money. Full refund.

Just let me know why you didn't like the product and how I could have made it better.

3D Game Environment Modeling/UVing Foundation with Maya LT/Maya®

Maya LT/Maya Primer: Quick Start Guide to Maya LT/Maya for Game Environment Art
  • Includes:
  • No prior 3d experience/modeling knowledge required
  • Learn Maya LT or Maya for game environment art
  • Maya LT is used but videos are transferable to regular version of Maya
  • Digital Download
  • 30-Day, Money Back Guarantee
  • Secure Checkout
  • $67 $57

Project Files
Software Used:
Maya LT 2016


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If you have spent some time visiting World of Level Design website, read and watched video tutorials then you know that each video and each tutorial I create is focused on giving you a lot of value and information in each one.

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