3D Environment Modeling

This course opens on 8/5/2024.

In this course, students learn the necessary skills to build assets and design 3D environments for use in various 3D mediums. Skills learned include 3D modeling using Autodesk Maya, texturing in Substance Painter, and building and lighting an environment in Unreal Engine 4. The course focuses on development and building a work pipeline similar to what students will encounter in the industry.

Course Instructor

Devin Morse Devin Morse Course Author / Instructor

Devin is currently a Game Art Course Director at Full Sail University in Winter Park, FL. He is also an Online Course Developer and instructor for Arts Atelier 146.Previously, Devin worked in the Military Simulation Industry as a 3D Graphics Artist for Carley Corporation in Orlando, FL. He worked on various military projects to include the Ready Relevant Learning program (the Navy’s largest training program) and the Marines’ CH53K King Stallion helicopter.Devin also worked in the Independent Game Development industry. Various companies include Inverted Studios, The Factory, and Mechanical Butterfly, LLC. He has worked in multiple capacities, such as lead game developer, animator, level designer, and 2D/3D artist. Devin continues to work on indie video games.Devin is a graduate from the Academy of Art University with a BFA (Bachelor of Fine Arts) in Game Design and a MA (Master of Arts) in Game Development (3D Environment Art) from Academy of Art University in San Francisco.

Course Information

Duration: 8 Weeks / Lifetime Access

Intensity: Moderate


Course Schedule

Class begins: Mon, Aug 5, 2024 (EST)

Class ends: Fri, Sep 27, 2024 (EST)

Meeting Times: TBD

Weekly Livestreams

Each week, a one-hour livestream with your instructor will be scheduled so you can ask any questions you may have and get feedback in real-time.

Lifetime Access

All pre-recorded lectures and recorded livestreams will be available to you forever so you can review lessons even after the course ends.


Completing this course at a Professional or Advanced Level will act as credit toward a certificate in the corresponding Program Area.

Course Outline

Module 1 | Maya Interface and Navigation

This module covers the basics of Autodesk’s Maya. It covers the interface, navigation, standard polygon meshes, and basic manipulation tools. Additionally, this module covers reference images and how to plan your environment construction. Lastly, the assignment includes finding reference images and preparing to model an interior environment.

Module 2 | Environment Scaling & Modular Construction

This module covers modular proper environment scaling and modular construction. This module is designed to show how to create intricate environments using minimal modular pieces modeled in Maya. Additionally, this module covers pivot setups.

Module 3 | UV Mapping Techniques

This module covers techniques for UV mapping environment props. This module covers the various UV tools and UV editor. It discusses methods for stacked UVs and non-stacked UVs. Additionally, this module covers Editing UVs for both seamless textures and unique textures. This module also covers setting up layers in Maya for organizing models.

Module 4 | High Poly Models

This module covers preparing high poly models and material ID’s for baking in Substance Painter. It covers the techniques for creating a high poly model in Maya and how they will be used in a Substance Painter Bake.

Module 5 | Working with Substance Painter

This module covers importing low poly, high poly, and Material ID models into Substance Painter. The module also discusses applying materials and the various techniques for creating normal maps, using alphas, and masks. Additionally, this module covers exporting textures from Substance Painter for use in Unreal Engine 4.

Module 6 | Introduction to Unreal Engine 4

In this week’s module, students are introduced to Unreal Engine 4. This module deals with importing and setting up meshes in the engine as well as checking certain parameters to ensure proper use in building an environment.

Module 7 | Developing Materials in Unreal Engine 4

This module covers developing materials within Unreal Engine 4 and how to incorporate them into your environment. Students learn how to import textures and setting up the texture parameters. Students will then learn how to create a master material and how to use material instances.

Module 8 | Texture and Lighting

In this module, students learn to construct their environments using the modularity discussed in earlier modules. Once their environments are constructed, they must properly light their environments. Students will be taught various lighting techniques and parameter adjustments. In addition, this module covers finalizing the environment and preparing it for use in a presentation or portfolio. It discusses Production light building and the High Quality Screenshot tool.

Recommended Software

  • Student version Substance Painter
  • Autodesk student software
  • Adobe Photoshop

Hardware Requirements

  • OS: Windows 7/8/10 64-bit or Mac OSX Sierra
  • CPU: Quad-core Intel or AMD processor, 2.5 GHz or faster
  • RAM: 8 GB (recommend to have at least 32 GB)
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce 470 GTX or ADM Radeon 6870 HD series card or higher
  • Video Card/DirectX Version: DirectX 11 or DirectX 12 compatible graphics card
  • For storage purposes, fast SSDs are recommended


Assignments will be given on a weekly basis. Students are recommended to dedicate a minimum of 10 hours a week reviewing lecture content and completing assignments.


Grades are given based on levels. You can learn about our grading system.

Refund Policy

Please note that courses with critiqued lessons are nonrefundable due to the limited number of seats.

Available Enrollments

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