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Creating Assets & Architecture for Game Environments

From Maya & ZBrush to Unreal Engine 5 With Giovani Magana


Discover how to build a game environment in Unreal Engine 5 using assets created in Maya and ZBrush. Senior Environment Artist Giovani Magana shares various techniques from his professional workflow, focusing on efficiently building assets and architecture for game environments using an essential modular approach.

This workshop is intended for intermediate-level artists with some prior knowledge of working with Maya, ZBrush, and Unreal Engine assumed. Giovani begins by sketching initial ideas in Photoshop before building a modular asset kit in Maya. He discusses his approach to creating tiles, trim sheets, tileable textures, and tileable meshes and then demonstrates how to create other assets, such as rocks and props, using ZBrush.

To conclude this workshop, Giovani builds the final house and environment in Unreal Engine 5. He also assembles a corner of the environment to demonstrate his full process for creating organic landscapes, providing tips for finishing up a full environment using Unreal Engine.

The workshop focuses primarily on making the assets needed to build a game environment; Giovani’s Substance Designer and Unreal material graphs are shown in the workshop but are not detailed step by step.

Duration: 4h 10m

Format: HD 1920x1080

Giovani Magana

Senior Environment Artist at Respawn Entertainment

Giovani Magana has been working professionally as an environment artist for seven years, with credits including God of War Ragnarök and Star Wars Jedi: Survivor. Giovani is passionate about fantasy and sci-fi-style environments where he can take reality to the next level with his imagination. He enjoys making the large architectural and organic elements of game environments while also enjoying creating small props that tell a story through their unique details.


Giovani finds that being an environment artist gives him a greater appreciation for nature and has taught him to pay closer attention to how things work in the real world.

  • Giovani is a one-stop shop environment art machine! Dedicated and talented, and able to push the bar to achieve fidelity — which is not common in the game industry. From sculpting to hard-surface to layout, he can do it all.

    - Nate Stephens
    Art Director at Respawn Entertainment

  • Giovani is one of the most talented, friendly, and dependable artists. Great eye for color, attention to detail, and ambition to take everything he does to the next level.

    - Nathan Lange
    Sr Environment Artist at Impulse Gear

  • Always hard-working and dedicated, he was one of the artists that I always had the confidence would produce high-quality work. His passion for art and his craft is very apparent.

    - Jake Geiger
    Studio Art Director at Skydance Interactive