Help with a couple things ue4 level design and environment art

I am getting into level design and environment art in UE4 and its a blast but just need some help on a couple things. Anyone know any good tutorials on environment art and level design or is it just something you have to do yourself and learn on your own? Also what is a good way to get started if im not good at 3D modeling to create assets for my level and if i do not have the money to buy big asset packs? 3rd i have 3ds max is it better to model out my level in 3ds max and then import it into the engine instead of creating the whole level in UE4? or should i just learn and make assets in 3ds max and then build the level in the engine. Just asking because ive seen that UBISOFT uses 3ds max to create their environments. Lastly this is the biggest one i saw this video on vertex painting i will link it below. How would i go about making a material like this so i can paint things like grunge, broken wall type stuff instead of using decals. Can someone send a screen shot of their material BP or something cant find anything on it really. Thanks so much!!Lets paint old - Unreal Engine 4 Vertex Paint Shader - YouTube

Level design is a pretty wide ranging topic. A lot of this is in your vision for your game, and what you wan’t the player to do, go, think, and feel. I really like listening to one UE4 youtuber on level design. Mostly because he makes me think about it. Not to take ideas from him as im not building the same game. He likes to look at things from the players psychological perspective. An FPS Platformer Prototype In Unreal Engine 4 [Old Project] - YouTube Excellent Architects designed buildings in the way that they wanted people to move about in them. People are mostly attracted to objects that stand out, or are welcoming. If theres a windows at the end of the hallway, or light coming from one door. Think about it. If there were a hallway full of open doors, and one door was well lit. where would you go? Whatever 3d modelling software you prefer to use, and is productive for you is the best answer anyone could give you. Everything is achievable with blender, and 3ds max. I prefer Maya because it’s such a simple, and productive tool for me.