Terminal 1 is a little confusing at the beginning.
You're right; ride the CDGVAL to the terminal first.
In most airports, departures are on the upper level and arrivals on the lower one. But here, the thing is reversed.
As you get of CDGVAL you'll end up on the lower floor, which is the departures area with the check-in counters.
To get to the arrivals, find the elevators to the upper level.
The arrivals area is rather small for an international airport. The building is like a big donut, and the 6 baggage belts are arranged around the available surface. An outer ring in that donut is the landside where the public can wait for arriving passengers.
AFAIK there are only a couple gates from which passengers may walk out. And there is no distinction between international and domestic/Schengen baggage belts; both go through the customs. The distinction only happens before the baggage claim, at the immigration counters.