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  • Difficulty Level:

    workshop-level-i I
  • Keywords: 3D


David Baldwin has spent the last few years designing playable environments for titles like the Uncharted franchise at Naughty Dog.

He joins us now to share his design and development process. Starting in Maya and taking you all the way through to a playable outcome in UDK. Along the way he'll explain his theories on game modelling, level layout and how to incorporate technical elements like LODS and collision with a strong focus on level design and playability.

Throughout thos CGWorkshops you'll be set weekly assignments and Dave will give personal feedback to you and your classmates.


Week 1 - Save Often! - The backbone of building game Environments

  • Basic overview of commonly used Maya / UDK tools.
  • Personal file keeping methods.
  • Installing and setup of UDK.
  • Setting Up Maya for Game modeling.
  • Different game types, platforms, and audiences and choosing model types.
  • Assignmemt: Brainstorm for your game environment.

Week 2 - Infinite Blank Canvas - Breaking it down into something obtainable

  • Basics of level layout.
  • What to look for when setting up a blockmesh of your level.
  • How to work with and without concept art  (what makes useful concept).
  • Assigmnent: Set up the blockmesh of your level.

Week 3 - Knowing When to Stop - Basics of understanding what parts NEED to be modeled

  • Theory of Game modeling.
  • Going over the basics of all game modeling techniques.
  • How to further refine the blockmesh level.
  • Assigmnent:  Refine and breakdown your Blockmesh.

Week 4 - Getting Messy - Modeling Organic Elements

  • Techniques for modeling some common organics.
  • Stone and Rock.
  • Grass Bushes and Trees.
  • Landscapes and ground.
  • Assigmnent: Model the non-repeating organic elements.

Week 5 - Heart of Steel - Modeling structural Elements

  • Techniques for modeling common structural elements.
  • Large objects: Buildings, boats, cities.
  • Small objects:  Tables, chairs, windows, railing, doors.
  • Assigmnent:  Model the non-repeating architectural elements.

Week 6 - Give in to the Technical Side - Collision and LODs

  • What to look for when setting up LODs and Collision.
  • How to set up optimized LODs and collision in UDK.
  • Assigmnent:  Finish any non-repeating models. Add LODs and collision to each as needed.

Week 7 - CowBell - Using instances to save memory and your sanity

  • What is proper use of instances.
  • How to set up and place instances in UDK.
  • Assigmnent:  Add the instanced geo throughout the level to give it the final touch.

Week 8 - Play Time - Importance of playing through your work

  • What to look for when going over your own levels.
  • Learn where to cut, and where to rework.
  • Assigmnent:  Finish up loose ends. Share your work with others and give feedback.


Software Required

You will need a copy of Maya and UDK.

  • “ The best aspect of this course was helping me to get my head around laying out such a large project and learning the step by step process to getting assets into game. ”
  • “ ...this was really a great workshop and I would recommend it to anyone seeking information on creating levels, game models, and scenes layouts. ”
  • “ I think the course was great and David a good teacher especially for his availability in reviewing and answer our questions. ”