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Myst III engine related question

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I would like some information about the graphic engine of Myst III Exile. I know that it's basically 2D using prerendered images, but I would also to know how can I render with a 3D modelling program a picture which will represent the 3d environment, something like a skybox, but I don't think that's a skybox exactly. General question but any info about the engine would be helpful. Thanks

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I haven't played MYST III but if you can look around with the mouse, then I have a guess of how they did it. The key google words here are: rendering panoramic/panorama images. Basically you render the scene specially so that it can be mapped to the inside of a cylinder or sphere (if you can look up or down).

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In Myst 4 afaik they just used cubemaps which were rendered to none other then a cube! They also store depth info along with the colour info to enable a DOF effect and nice blending between the many layers on animation (10-15 layers). Then there are a number of other 3D objects and effects inserted into the scene as well (although personally the low quality of these effects really ruins the atmosphere of the game).

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Basically you render the scene specially so that it can be mapped to the inside of a cylinder or sphere

Theres no point in using a sphere or a cylinder. A cube is easier to texture, and works just as good.

Rendering panorama images for a box, like in Myst, is easier than you think. In your modelling program just set the cameras field of view to 45 degrees and then render one image for every face in the cube. One where the camera is looking straight forward, one looking left, one right, up and one looking straight down. Then make a cube and use these images as a texture. One image for each side. When you test this, remember to set the camera exactly in the center of the cube. Otherwise the image will look really weird.

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Theres no point in using a sphere or a cylinder. A cube is easier to texture, and works just as good.


Really? You wouldn't be able to see an abrupt change of perspective at the corners and edges?

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Really? You wouldn't be able to see an abrupt change of perspective at the corners and edges?

Really, really.
If the cam is in the center point of the cube its impossible to know if its really just a cube.

Its proplably easier to find info on skyboxes than panorama-cube-things. Thats where i would start, because skyboxes and Myst's panoramas both are basically the same thing if we simplify it. Just different kind of textures.

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