A list of things you should learn while you became an Environment Artist (not for games).
Of course, this is not a simple task, so don’t expect to master it quickly (maybe impossible, but it’s a good goal to have).

To clarify:
Usually, the content of this list is not something you already know to a great extent, before you get your first job as an environment artist.
This is your target to learn for years.
Some parts are easier to learn, some are harder. Don’t panic. :)
Try to balance theory and practice. Both are important.

If you decide to go further into the rabbit hole, you will find that it is beautiful.


  • Composition

  • Color theory

  • Photography basics

  • Cinematography basics

  • How to use search engines (I’m not joking) :)


  • Hard surface modeling

  • Creating UVs

  • Color Management basics

  • Texturing (theory + Photoshop)

  • Shading basics / PBR (Well, it depends how you define “basics” of course)

  • Lighting basics

  • Camera basics

  • Rendering basics

  • Compositing basics in Nuke

Main (more advanced)

  • Sculpting

  • Terrain creation (for example: Gaea)

  • Tree/Bush creation (for example: SpeedTree)

  • Ivy creation

  • Scattering

  • Subdivision/Displacement

  • Advanced texturing (for example: Substance Painter, Mari)

  • Texture projections

  • Layered materials/textures

  • Procedural textures (Perlin noise, occlusion shader, curvature)

  • Basic shader nodes for corrections (ramp/gradient, color correction nodes, remap/fit etc.)

  • Usage of VDBs (Volumetric data files)

  • Usage of available asset and texture libraries (textures.com, Megascans, etc.)

  • Simulations (for example: cloth simulation)

  • Overpaint (Photoshop and Nuke)

Additional (advanced +)

  • Procedural texturing (for example: Substance Sampler, Substance Designer)

  • Procedural modeling in Houdini

  • Environment creation in Unreal or Unity

  • Clarisse iFX

  • Modeling in CAD software (for example: Fusion 360)

  • Classic art skills (freehand drawing, painting etc.)
    By the way, if you have classic art education, you already know a lot of things from the Foundations part. Great. :)

  • Matte Paint (at least the basics)

  • Architecture knowledge

  • Design

  • Industrial design

  • Better than average history knowledge (it’s not too hard to be better than average :) )

  • Better than average biology knowledge

  • Some coding skills (basic python knowledge: syntax, programming basics)

That’s all… I think.
We’ll see.

Cheers, D