Master 3D Environments in Blender

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Learn how to create epic large-scale environments using free tools only.

Latest Update (September 2023): Chapter 4 fully updated
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Did you ever want to create movie like environments for your 3D projects?

Everyone likes epic movie shots of beautiful landscapes, right? Well, now you can learn how to create those in Blender. No paid add-ons, assets or other expensive software needed.

You will learn how to create mountains, oceans, forests, deserts, clouds, weather effects and much more. What ever type of environment you’ll need, we probably cover it.

Master vastly different workflows, from using real-life satellite data to generate 3D terrain to smart node-based approaches.

In the end, you will have a huge arsenal of tools and workflows at hand to create any large-scale environment you can imagine.

What’s inside?

Get an overview of the course journey.

Part 1 – Environment Workflows

  • 10 Chapters
  • 110 Lessons
  • ~9 hrs running time

Chapter 1 & 2 Theory & Preparation

The 1st chapter will get you up and running with Blender, the various tools we will be using, and you will get more info on what to expect from the course.

In the 2nd chapter, we will dive into some theory behind natural environments, different types of landscapes, we will talk about dunes, clouds, erosion and all those wonderful processes happening in the nature, forming the beautiful landscapes we will try to recreate.

6 tutorials | ~12 minutes running time

Chapter 3 Basic Workflows

If you aren't too sure about your Blender skill set, you can jump into Chapter 3, where I will explain different methods for landscape creation that we will be using throughout the course.

We will also go through various basic modeling, particle and node-based workflows. Whenever the need arises, you can come back and freshen up your skill set in this chapter.

14 tutorials | ~55 minutes running time

Chapter 4 ANT Landscape: Lone Mountain

In this first workflow chapter, we will learn how to use the ANT landscape add-on, which comes built into Blender.

We will make use of its displacement, erosion and weight map generating capabilities. Also, we go over some basic shader node creation and texture mapping, and put everything together into a final lake scene, complete with rendering and compositing breakdown.

16 tutorials | ~1:34 hrs running time

Chapter 5 Node Workflow #1: Desert

The first node-based displacement workflow will guide you through the creation of a desert environment.

We will combine various Shader Editor node textures, and mix them all together to form a desert vista, complete with dust, cloudy sky, cloud shadows and more.

18 tutorials | ~1:34 hrs running time

Chapter 6 Node Workflow #2: Mountains

The second node-based workflow will expand on the Desert chapter, showing you even more ways to combine your node in the Shader Editor, to produce unique displacement effects.

We will then add clouds, mist and particle snow into the scene.

14 tutorials | ~55 minutes running time

Chapter 7 Combined Workflow: Arctic

Chapter 7 will teach you how to utilize A.N.T. to generate a base mesh, use texture-based sculpting to add details on it and finally, use the node-based shading methods to create a snow-ice material blend.

On top of it, I will of course breakdown my final scene, its rendering and compositing. You will also learn how to make a neat translucent water volume!

11 tutorials | ~56 minutes running time

Chapter 8 Displacement Workflow: Highlands

If you have your own displacement maps ready, there is nothing easier than using it with the Displace modifier directly on your mesh, no node work needed.

In this chapter, we will use several such displacement textures, to make a misty highlands environment, full of trees and rocky shapes.

8 tutorials | ~45 minutes running time

Chapter 9 GIS Add-on: Scottish Lake

This chapter will teach you all about the GIS add-on in Blender, allowing you to get satellite images and elevation directly into your 3D scene.

We will then proceed to dress up the landscape, add particle trees and bushes and finish it up by adding atmospheric effects and some free scanned elements.

12 tutorials | ~55 minutes running time

Chapter 10 Treescape

Mysterious tundras filled with endless forests, glittering under the thick cover of snow and the light of Aurora Borealis. Such environments always captivated the imagination.

In this lesson, we will learn how to make such an environment, by filling a landscape mesh with both 3d and 2d tree particles. In the process, you will learn how to properly utilize 2d tree cards and make them look more three-dimensional. On top of that, you will learn how to make a starry night sky and Aurora Borealis from scratch.

11 tutorials | ~1:08 hrs running time

Part 2 – Scene Elements

  • 5 Chapters
  • 40+ Lessons
  • 3.5+ hrs running time

Chapter 11 Water Types

In this chapter, we will focus on creating various types of water elements, from simple reflective water surfaces to complex ocean waves, animated ripples and stormy waves.

We will also learn a bit about translucent water types for your shallow-water environments.

17 tutorials | ~1:34 hrs running time

Chapter 12 Cloud Types

What would be an environment course without a chapter about clouds?

This chapter will teach you how to quickly and easily add various types of node-generated clouds into your shots, as well as how to utilize the power of VDB volumes.

9 tutorials | ~32 minutes running time

Chapter 13 Atmospheric Effects

To make your environments believable, you don't need just good textures, great displacement maps and lots of details. You also need a layer of atmosphere, covering your scene, the further away from the camera you get.

In this chapter, we will learn various ways to achieve this, both by using volumes and 2D elements.

3 tutorials | ~9 minutes running time

Chapter 14 Custom Trees and Vegetation

Having a library of vegetation and tree assets is extremely important for creating your large-scale scenes quickly.

In this chapter, we'll have a look at how to build such a library using free tools and add-ons.

You'll also learn how to convert computational-heavy 3D trees to much lighter 2D planes with 3D properties.

5 tutorials | ~31 minutes running time

Chapter 15 Weather Effects

Snow and pouring rain, lightning and hailstorm, all these are going to be the topic of this chapter.

We will learn how to utilize particle effects and dynamics to achieve such effects.

7 tutorials | ~42 minutes running time

Part 3 – Bonus

  • 2 Chapters
  • 19 Lessons
  • ~2 hrs running time

Chapter 16 Add-ons

Blender is well known for amazing free and paid add-ons that can boost your workflows and save time.

And even though the base course is not dependent on paid add-ons, I will introduce some of the products I use all the time in this chapter. Most of these are paid tools, nevertheless, these have a potential to streamline your work substantially.

8 tutorials | ~46 minutes running time

Chapter 17 Geometry Nodes: Grassland

Blender 3.0 created a lot of buzz especially because of its brand-new Geometry Nodes. Everybody was talking about its possibilities, everybody commented the development, and then stared sharing jaw-dropping results achieved with those little nodes.

So let's dive deep and include some of the geometry node techniques into our landscape workflows! Apart from GeoNode scattering, landscape displacing and more, you will also learn how to get any models directly from Google Maps into your scenes.

11 tutorials | ~1:06 hrs running time

Course History & Updates

  • Early Access Release in January 2021 testing and gathering feedback
  • Official Release in July 2021 with many new chapters and lessons added
  • Polishing Update in September 2021 some problematic lessons were re-done
  • Geometry Nodes Update in January 2022 new "Grassland" chapter added

Our students, their feedback and results.

Student results

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Who is this for?

Is this course right for you?

Some basic Blender knowledge is recommended to have fun with this course.

Even though we cover every step on the way, we highly recommend to at least finish our free Blender Beginner course.

You can also get our Blender Launch Pad course with a discount at the checkout, to learn the fundamentals.

Beginner’s Bundle

Enroll now and get 20% off our Blender Launch Pad course at checkout.

Master 3D Environments in Blender
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Your guide(s) on this journey.

Martin Klekner

Martin Klekner


I’ve started out as a film student in 2008, but soon found my true calling in 3D. Since then, I've had the luck to work as a visual effects freelancer, director of cinematics for an AAA game, and now I'm making my own short. Sharing what I've learned along the way with students of CG Boost is a passion that only makes me want to learn more.


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Master 3D Environments in Blender

Here is what you'll get:

  • All you need to learn about environment creation in one place!
  • 170 lessons (14+ hrs running time)
  • All project files for download
  • Stream online or download the course for offline use
  • English captions for each lesson
  • Access to the CG Boost community
  • Get a certificate on course completion
  • Pay once, future course updates included
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Frequently asked questions.

When does the course start and finish?
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Does this course work with Windows, Mac and Linux systems?
Do I need a powerful PC for taking this course?
Is this course suitable for beginners?
Will I learn how to created detailed environments for close up shots?
Is the final animation rendered in Cycles or Eevee?
Can I export the scene to game engines?
Does this course work with the latest Blender version?