Modular means pieces are made to fit together according to a common pattern, so just a few pieces can be reused multiple times to create a bunch of variety.
Modular Design & Workflow
How to plan out the development of modular environment pieces, and the workflow for creating them. The design of modular pieces is closely linked to game design; see Category:GameDesign for more.
Modelling Buildings with Interior (Question) Polycount Forum thread with advice on creating buildings.
UDK Modular Masterclass - Efficiently Creating and Entire Scene with Tor Frick - ($) an Eat3D tutorial by Tor "snefer" Frick. Abandoned warehouse modular workflow in UDK, using Modo and Photoshop.
Polycount Article: The Environment Art of Halo 4. Modular workflow for Halo 4.
Skyrim’s Modular Approach to Level Design - Transcript from GDC 2013 talk on Skyrim"s Modular Level Design. An excellent in-depth article on Bethesda"s environment art system.
Modular Environment Design.rar (12 MB) - by Kevin Johnstone. East Coast Game Conference 2011 slides of the talk "Modular Environment Design, Or how I learned to stop worrying and love the grid". More workflow explained in the threads Lack of Environment Artists, Gears2 Environment Art and Gears2 Environment Art Step by Step (ZBrush Central).
File:Investigation into modular design within computer games v1.0.pdf (8.6MB PDF) - by Scott Jones. Research paper on modular workflow. Definition, benefits, history of modularity, usage, methods, case studies, UDK and 3ds Max. See the Polycount forum thread Modular design within games.
Workflow techniques and modularity with Unreal game technology - by Epic Games. A guide to setting up your art-to-level-design pipeline and designing modularly.
Modular Environment Art applied from plaster tabletop sets - by Ben "Makkon" Hale. Polycount forum thread with great visual breakdowns of modular tabeltop models.
Creating Perfectly Tiling Meshes in Zbrush for use in Videogame Environments - by Owen "SHEPEIRO" Shepherd. Using ZBrush"s 2.5D canvas to tile stamped meshes, then using Maya to model tilable geometry.
- Level Design
- Texture atlas