Course Syllabus

Course Syllabus

Environmental Art for Games II

University of Utah, Instructors Ryan Bown

Fall 2017

Thursday 3:40 - 6:40pm, M LIB 1735

Course Description


Course Description: This course advances the theories, tools, and techniques of Environmental Art. Students will learn the theories behind the design of and the advanced tools used in the creation of living breathing dynamic environments, such as, water, weather, advanced shaders, environmental animation, and particle systems. Students will take a project from concept to game-ready. Students are expected to be proficient in the tools necessary to complete this theory driven project-based course.


Learning Outcomes:

  • Production planning for dynamic environments
  • Modular asset creation and libraries from a level design prospective (kit bashing)
  • Standardization and optimization
  • Passive storytelling
  • Fundamental art and design principles



  • Proposal:  Planning, concept (professional art), learning objectives (10%)
  • Class participation & Milestone Reviews:  Showing up on time, contribution to the lectures, and working during lab time.  1 on 1 evaluations (20%)
  • Presentation: Topics of master demo and lecture with supporting documentation (files, PDF, links) (20%)
  • Postmortem:  Self-evaluation (10%)
  • Final Project:  Built out a complete environment (40%)


Final Project Requirements

-Professional concept

-All original assets

-Created in engine

-.mp4 Fly through

-Dynamic systems (2 minimum)


Topics Of Mastery: Student Presentation

Each student will study, research, prepare and lead a live demo and lecture covering a technical topic in the environmental art pipeline.  Topics should add a dynamic layer to their personal projects and expand their personal knowledge. (30 mins total)  Supply classmates and instructor with supporting documents and files.

Topics: Particles, weather, shaders (dynamic, emissive, heat waves, ice, etc), cloth simulation, environment animation, lighting, photogrammetry, terrain: procedural and tools, water (large bodies), water (streams and creeks, flow maps), master materials, vegetation, speedtree, destructibles, decals, procedural textures (substance designer).

Office Hours:  By appointment, (subject Envio Art)

TA: Isaac Kellis, (subject Enviro Art I), Monday 9am-3pm, Friday 9am-3pm (Bldg 72, 270)

Open Lab

Materials Required

Wacom tablet (recommended)

Software (provided in labs and free downloads from Autodesk)


  • Maya
  • Mudbox
  • ZBrush
  • Agisolf
  • Photoshop
  • CrazyBump (n/a in labs, but will be demoed)
  • Quixel Suite (limited seats)
  • xNormal
  • Toolbag (limited seats)
  • Unreal Engine


A few reading, tutorials and references for starting off (no text books to purchase)

Game Career Guide  (join this site)

Course Summary:

Date Details Due