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BaukjeSpirit

Your technique to make skybox textures?

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Hi there,

 

I'd like to be able to make skybox textures, I tried making my own but it was really time consuming so I'm looking for a better way of making them. smile.png

Is there a good way or maybe a handy tool/program to make these kind of textures?

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Skyboxes.... ugh. My nemesis. Like all Cubemaps... almost no tool to easely convert images to cubemaps, or help paint them... and trying to create cubemaps by hand is a very time consuming and frustrating process that will only net you a subpar result (tried that multiple times for point light cookie cubemaps... even in black and white its a PAIN).

 

Then you can render out your cubemap from a 3D Scene (this is what most people do AFAIK)... but then you need to setup the scene first, and for a a low quality cubemap (reflections, for example) that is a huge overhead.

 

 

But if you are interested in space skyboxes, have a look at this tool: spaceScape

Its a very good tool to create your own space scene with stars, nebulas, and even free sprite objects of your own design. You define layers, configrue them (object type (for example stars), object size, color, scattering of objects, object count and so on), and mix them together.

In the end the tool will calculate 6 cubefaces for you that tile perfectly with all the layers procedurally filled according to your specification, and the best part is, the tool actually will calculate the sphere -> cube distortion into the generated images, so you use the images generated for your cubemap instantly, and it will all fit together perfectly.

 

 

Another way to go is drop the cubemap and switch to a more complex geometry like a skydome... uses more GPU chops, but much easier to texturize than a cubemap.

Edited by Gian-Reto

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There also can be a thing called a 'Skydome' which is a more circular set of faces (not just 4)  -- 8 or more sides and the top arching over in a few tiers till the topmost is a pieslice of triangles.  (if there no 'ground; then there is a 'Skysphere ??)

 

That should allieviate corner distortions.    Tools to help make those?   A UV unwrapper might be good enough (if you dont lay out your own strips around the skybox) and then your favorite texture editor to build upon the unwrapped surface.

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There also can be a thing called a 'Skydome' which is a more circular set of faces (not just 4)  -- 8 or more sides and the top arching over in a few tiers till the topmost is a pieslice of triangles.  (if there no 'ground; then there is a 'Skysphere ??)

 

That should allieviate corner distortions.    Tools to help make those?   A UV unwrapper might be good enough (if you dont lay out your own strips around the skybox) and then your favorite texture editor to build upon the unwrapped surface.

 

IMO, for PC or even Console games today that should do fine.

 

Of course for mobile, the additional polygons might be a waste, depending on how tight your polygon budget is.

 

 

AFAIK, modern AAA games use MUCH more than just a skybox for the backdrop. Most use polygon objects for mid distance and sometimes far distance objects on the ground outside of the playable terrain, some games started using actual particles, geometry or at least additional texture layers for celestial objects like clouds, the sun, effects, whatever.

 

Especially when you are trying to implement a night/day cycle, a simple skybox alone will not do anymore. And when you factor in the additional polygons used for these background objects, the additional cost of a skydome becomes negligible.

Edited by Gian-Reto

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Actually,

 

Photoshop has a tool that will help with the cube map setup. (I know this because of having to make cube maps for Unity) I cant find the link just yet but when I do I will post it here. That said, I try to avoid making cubemaps all together. SkyDomes are much more powerful and are on the rise in many games. If you can afford it or your engine can support it I suggest this method instead.

Edited by riuthamus

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