Detailing Environments

3 min read

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Applying materials

As it stands, our current level looks rather… well, bland. I’d say it’s missing something in order to really make it realistic… the walls are all the same! Thankfully, we can use textures to make the walls come to life in a very simple way, bringing us one step closer to that AAA quality that we’re going for!

Applying materials to our walls in Unreal Development Kit (UDK) is actually very simple once we know how to do it, which is what we’re going to look at now:

  1. First, go to the menu bar at the top and access the Actor Classes window by going to the top menu and navigating to View | Browser Windows | Content Browser. Once in the Content Browser window, make sure that Packages are sorted by folder by clicking on the left-hand side button. Once this is done, click on the UDK Game folder in the Packages window. Then type in floor master in the top search bar menu. Click on the M_LT_Floors_BSP_Master material.

  2. Close the Content Browser window and then left-click on the floor of our level; if you look closely, you should see. With the floor selected, right-click and select Apply Material : M_LT_Floors_BSP_Master.

  3. Now that we have given the floor a material, let’s give it a platform as well. Select each of the faces by holding down Ctrl and left-clicking on them individually. Once selected, right-click and select Apply Material : M_LT_Floors_BSP_Master.

    Another way to select all of the faces would be to rightclick on the floor and navigate to Select Surfaces | Adjacent Floors.

    Now our floor is placed; but if you play the game, you may notice the texture being repeated over and over again and the texture on the platform being stretched strangely. One of the ways we can rectify this problem is by scaling the texture to fit our needs.

  4. With all of the floor and the pieces of the platform selected, navigate to View| Surface Properties. From there, change the Simple field under Scaling to 2.0 and click on the Apply button to its right that will double the size of our textures. After that, go to Alignment and select Box; click on the Apply button placed below it to align our textures as if the faces that we selected were like a box. This works very well for objects consisting of box-like objects (our brushes, for instance).

  5. Close the Surface Properties window and open up the Content Browser window. Now search for floors organic. Select M_LT_Floors_BSP_ Organic15b and close the Content Browser window.

  6. Now select one of the floors on the edges with the default texture on them. Then right-click and go to Select Surfaces | Matching Texture. After that, right-click and select Apply Material : M_LT_Floors_BSP_Organic15b.

  7. We build our project by navigating to Build | Build All, save our game by going to the Save option within the File menu, and run our game by navigating to Play | In Editor.

    And with that, we now have a nicely textured world, and it is quite a good start towards getting our levels looking as refined as possible.


This article discusses the role of an environment artist doing a texture pass on the environment. After that, we will place meshes to make our level pop with added details. Finally, we will add a few more things to make the experience as nice looking as possible.

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