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Myst3: How'd they do that?

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I just recently started playing Myst III: Exile for the first time. If you've played it, you know that it has large pre-rendered scenes in which you can look in all directions. Any thoughts on how they did that? The reason I ask is that I think you could make a pretty cool looking sky/background that way. Are they just really well done skybox type things? or are they some kind of panoramic type images? perhaps polar coordinate images?

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Well, my guess is that rather than pre-render the scene on a skybox, they pre-render it on some sort of sphere. That way you might not get any funny distortion when you look around.

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I haven't actually played it (got it on CD but never got round to installing it, let's just say that if Warcraft 3 is opium, World of Warcraft is heroin) but I'd guess it's something along the lines of Quicktime VR. As in, a 360 degree panoramic image that you can pan around, with video clips linking viewable locations to give you more of a 3D view.

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It's been a while since I played it, but they probably used large panaramic images, then made a (relatively) simple script to decide what part/which image to show.

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They're rendered to a skybox, effectively. You can look around it (turn the box), but you're always at the center.

It's just six 90 degree views of the scene that you can pan around. There was a bug on my video card way back when I played it that in one specific room, the floor wasn't drawing. There was one quad cut out of the thing, so you could see that it was a cube.

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