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Creating Environment Art for Digital Production

SpeedTree, Substance Painter & Houdini Pipelines with Ciro Cardoso


Master professional environment art workflows using real-world studio practices. This 6-hour workshop by Lead Environment Artist Ciro Cardoso explores various topics, from modeling hero assets in Maya and creating vegetation using SpeedTree to creating your own look-dev tools in Houdini.

Each chapter of this workshop guides you through the entire process of creating a realistic environment, from selecting a concept design to assembling assets into a meticulously optimized scene. Delve into each stage of environment production, gaining practical insights into effectively navigating studio challenges along the way. Ciro shares many invaluable insights and techniques that are essential for thriving in a production environment.

The software used in this workshop includes Maya, ZBrush, Houdini, Substance Painter, SpeedTree, Arnold, and Fusion. As a bonus, included with this workshop are Ciro’s key Houdini project files provided with notes that offer in-depth explanations. By the end of the workshop, you’ll have developed confidence as a valuable artist who can deliver polished environments ready for other departments to work with and have learned how to keep your workflow as efficient as possible. The ultimate goal is to build your confidence and help transform you into a proficient and collaborative team player.

This workshop is geared toward junior and mid-level artists with a foundational knowledge of SpeedTree, Maya, Substance Painter, and Houdini. This comprehensive tutorial is ideal for artists entering the industry or taking initial steps within a studio setting.

Duration: 6h 07m

Format: HD 1920x1080

Ciro Cardoso

Lead Environment Artist at Axis Studios

Ciro Cardoso is a self-taught artist working as a Lead Environment Artist at Axis Studios. With over 15 years of experience across multiple industries, Ciro has contributed to projects for Wizards of the Coast, Bungie, Supercell, Amazon Games, and Blur Studio, among others. 


An author and mentor, Ciro passionately explores cutting-edge CGI techniques, willingly sharing his insights to inspire and guide fellow creatives. He thrives on challenges, finding solutions for difficult problems, and embraces the joy of creative problem-solving in his artistic endeavors.

Follow Ciro on X (formerly Twitter) @Cyrus3v, on Instagram @cirocardoso3v, and learn more about his career on LinkedIn

  • I met Ciro during my first job in the animation industry, when I joined Axis Studios. He was assigned as my “buddy” (mentor), and he answered every question I could have about the pipeline and about technical and artistic stuff. When it comes to Environment Art, Lookdev, Texturing, and Shading, Ciro is really good at what he’s doing; he knows how to be efficient in production, and his dedication is amazing and very helpful. He always comes up with a solution when you’re lost; it really helps to grow your artistic and technical skills. As a Senior and Lead Environment Artist, he is super friendly and helpful, and he knows what he is talking about. As a student or as a Junior, Ciro will help you understand professional pipelines much better, will help you have a keen eye when it comes to environments, and will explain to you how to get an appealing environment or material. On a technical point, he will help you optimize your scenes in order to be more efficient both on your personal projects and in your future professional endeavors.

    - Zack Osmond
    Environment Artist at Axis Studios

  • In my opinion, Ciro is a brilliant role model for our industry, not only a great artist but a problem solver and a team player. In our time together on projects, I've always felt like any problem or challenge for environments can be solved in a calm and constructive manner. Ciro always proposes suggestions and is able to take them in his stride, which I really respect! He also helps newer artists in the industry by sharing his knowledge and providing feedback, giving them a helping hand which will help them progress in this line of work.

    - Cameron Mitchell
    CG Supervisor at Axis Studio