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What are the mandatory skills to be an environment artist?

Hi, I'm a student and I really interested in environment art and level design. I want to know the mandatory skills to be an environmental artist. Should I learn 3D modeling and sculpting? I have no experience with 3d modeling and sculpting. I made some scenes using unity. But I got the assets and props needed to make these scenes from the assets store.

I have a passion for making worlds and environments. but I'm not very interested in learning 3d modeling and sculpting. So what are the mandatory skills to be an environment artist? should I learn modeling and sculpting? or should I switch to level design?  Sorry, I really need some guidance.


  • chien
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    chien polycounter lvl 12

    @janiya one of the common advice to this is study and observation, and have art foundation

  • Benjammin
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    Benjammin polycounter lvl 5

    An environment artist is typically responsible for making the assets that go into a scene/level, so 3D modelling is pretty mandatory for making 3D assets, yeah. 😁

    Level design is more about designing those spaces for gameplay, not necessarily building them. The role in which you build levels/environments from those assets is called something like 'world artist'.

  • Ramseus
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    Ramseus polycounter lvl 11

    Environment artist is almost always someone who is expected to produce assets, especially at the junior level. You often have to work your way up from small props. To be honest part of the reason I chose to go into environment art is just that there are more environment artists than anything else.

    Level artist? Maybe what you're looking for. This isn't always a distinct role and I'm not sure how many junior positions there even are for it. For sure there are level artist / worldbuilder roles that don't require 3d asset creation skills, it's always a big plus though. You'll need to understand optimization and technical budgets/limits, if you have a phenomenal portfolio but it's all unoptimized and you have no idea how to make it perform better you'd probably fail interviews on that.

    Good level designers are awesome members of the team, but they're usually not even touching the polished art and might just be doing like interaction scripting and not even touching layout.

  • chien
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    chien polycounter lvl 12

    if you want do environment art, focus on art sense, observation and study anything around you, less rely on made asset

  • oglu
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    oglu polycount lvl 666

    In big studios there are of positions where you only work in the engine with premade assets. But its easier to get a job i you have modeling and texture skills.

  • Ashervisalis
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    Ashervisalis godlike master sticky


    Sculpting (not mandatory but very useful) & retopology

    UV Mapping & Baking

    Texturing (prop and tileable textures)

    Terrain sculpting and Set Dressing


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