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Skybox Creation?


Sotha

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I've noticed that the default TDM prefab skybox selection is quite limited.

 

I checked the wiki and there was simple instruction on skybox addition but no information how to create one.

Is there a tutorial on skybox creation somewhere?

 

How tedious a task creating one is? Does it require significant artistic skill?

Clipper

-The mapper's best friend.

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I think it depends on what you want really.

 

I think all you really need is 4 images for each direction. Could possibly build building, takes screens of model buildings and compile them. Get detailed and place light soures, etc...

 

Or just make a pitch black roofline.

 

I'd be more inclined to call that a 'skyline' than a skybox though.

---------------

There is the ability with this engine to make an actual skybox. Which is a 16th scale model (terrain) of a cityscape placed apart from the play area which gets rendered behind world geometry at 16x the size.

Properly set up it can look like it seamlessly blends into gameplay area, but has performance benefits because it doesn't require huge open spaces around gameplay area.

Current issue for this though is a script controlling headbob, which actually makes this terrain bob up and down too, also leans with players head...

So there are some camera stabalization issues that would need resolved.

 

------

I do believe I uploaded a skybox test map to SVN awhile back... I cn't look today though.

Dark is the sway that mows like a harvest

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You COULD make a skybox that was just a cube map, but you can do so much more. You can build in almost ANYTHING into a real skybox, including AI actually walking around, particle effects, clouds rolling by, etc etc etc

shadowdark50.gif keep50.gif
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So tinkering with the innards of the prefab is the only advice as the only Skybox wiki is to adjust an existing prefab:

 

http://modetwo.net/d...hp?title=Skybox

 

(might not be too hard anyway, haven't played with it...)

 

(I also haven't searched for any Skybox tutorial threads in these forums :P )

Edited by nbohr1more

Please visit TDM's IndieDB site and help promote the mod:

 

http://www.indiedb.com/mods/the-dark-mod

 

(Yeah, shameless promotion... but traffic is traffic folks...)

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I've already tinkered with the SB prefab with varing results, like adding clouds to simulate fog to the bottom of the box. But what I was aiming for was was some citty litles or a village way off in the distance. but I could never get it to look right..

 

Yes, I tinkered a bit with the prefab. I noticed the moon texture, but I never found out how to change the night stars etc. I mean the texture itself, which is pulled over the viewer.

 

Basically I wanted to see if it would be easy to create a skybox like this

Cubemap_example.png

But with the star night sky, moon, green fields, a lake perhaps and finally few towers in the City far in the distance.

In principle, if I build this area with dark radiant, make some landscape features with patches, the towers in the distance and use the existing star sky prefab without the clouds and then use the envshot command, I might get something useable.

 

Or awful. I dunno. Maybe I try it later.

Clipper

-The mapper's best friend.

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I've already tinkered with the SB prefab with varing results, like adding clouds to simulate fog to the bottom of the box. But what I was aiming for was was some citty litles or a village way off in the distance. but I could never get it to look right..

 

Yeah, that's why I want the head bob thing fixed so badly. But programming and me are like oil and water and we don't need another BP like disaster on our hands ;)

This is an example (not a good one) of a TF2 map I made. Everything up close is gameplay area, the canyon, trees, railroad bridge, power lines in the distance are all 16th scale models/terrain in a 'skybox' (a blue room with a camera). This is what we could have if the head-bob issue was resolved.

arena_hoover_b2_blu.jpg

 

 

Otherwise there is one small building that can be used as a distance prop. The main issue with doing things that way (faking perspective) is that perspective is easily broken if viewed from too many angles. So if you have one view up a canyon and see a building up there (that's twice as close and half as small as it seems) it works. But if you can see that same building from other angles it's easy to see that it's faked.

Dark is the sway that mows like a harvest

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But with the star night sky, moon, green fields, a lake perhaps and finally few towers in the City far in the distance.

In principle, if I build this area with dark radiant, make some landscape features with patches, the towers in the distance and use the existing star sky prefab without the clouds and then use the envshot command, I might get something useable.

I'd recommend to use external apps for creating those textures. Building something like that in DR probably won't look that good. For a terrain like you describe I'd use "Vue infinite", a landscape 3d studio renderer bundle. It's pretty easy to use (after 1 or 2 tutorials) and there is a trial version of it. The modeling of an actual city in that tool is harder though. For this step I'd simply grab an appropriate source image with a nice city skyline and add it to your texture in a 2D image editing tool like gimp.

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SkyPaint works well if you want to paint cube maps. It a plug-in that works with Photoshop so it should also work with GIMP. You can stitch photos together or paint the whole thing if you like.

 

One thing to note is that it's not designed to work with Doom 3 but it can be coaxed into doing so. Why? Because it supports Quake 2 style cube maps and the only difference between them is the naming convention and the rotation of a few images.

 

I've covered a bit about converting cube maps from Quake 2 to Doom 3 and vice versa on modwiki.net here.

Edited by rich_is_bored
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Haha. Here is the entertainment post of today: my pitiful attempt to make a sky-cube-map-whatever-thingy.

 

Method:

*Took Terragen and made a nightly plains with some hills in the edges. It looked decent.

*Rendered the images. I -of course- used the maximum allowed rendering quality. I also used maximum allowed square image size. This is 960*960: not very far from 1024*1024. Might be okay, I thought.

*I placed the terragen camera in a good spot. Roughly 2m above the ground. I turned the camera in 90 degrees and rendered the scenes. I paid special attention to pitch and bank so that they were zero at all times. Well, except the up and down images. Since the camera wasn't moved in between renderings and only the angle parameter was changed, the images should interlock just okay.

*The images looked okay in the GIMP when I converted them into TGA-files with correct names. I checked that the images are correctly named according to the post #7 in this thread. Looked fine.

*Then I created the material file and tested the sky-thing in game.

 

It looked like this:

awful1.png

 

awful2.png

 

This is probably the second most horrible thing I've ever created. The seams do not match. There are some grainy artifacts in the sky. Sheer awfulness.

 

Here is how the image looks in GIMP

hillsleft.png

Even I changed it to png for the imagehosting it is still not as bad as... that... that.. that horror in the sky ingame. Note that this image is in 1024*1024, because at first I thought that maybe the game uses some inefficient scaling to get the image from 960 to 1024. But it didn't affect anything.

 

Any idea what I did wrong?

Clipper

-The mapper's best friend.

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The seams are either the result of having the forward/back or left/right images swizzled, or needing to flip one or more images horizontally.

 

The color banding is the result of image compression. Try using the stage keyword forceHighQuality in the material shader.

Edited by rich_is_bored
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Half-ontopic: There are cityscape silhouettes in the decal section of textures.. I tried using them but they looked like if their alpha is set up wrong..or i just didn't get it how could those be used?

Those decals are for placing just in front of a sky texture background. They render like any normal geometry.
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Success!

betterg.png

 

Thanks for advice. The forcehighquality parameter improved the textures nicely.

 

Also I found out that terragen had its zoom parameter higher than 1.0. After changing it back to 1 and rerendering everything, I got the skybox working nicely..

 

Now the final problem is...

 

The compass!

 

Sunset to the north? Can I change the compass north-point by some spawnarg or do I have to change the skytextures accordingly?

 

And then I only need the artistic ability to add some details to the skybox: a city in the distance. Well, not a city, but maybe a clocktower roof and a few rooftops sticking from behind the hills.

Clipper

-The mapper's best friend.

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You are very fast Sotha!

That's what everyone keeps telling me, including my wife...

 

You really are taking up Aidakeeley's challenge to create two contest entries aren't you :laugh: :laugh:

 

Nope. I'm just playing around and doing everything-else-except-what-I-should-be-doing. .. But no maps for a while.

Clipper

-The mapper's best friend.

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You should turn the sky rather than the compass. North is a real direction being top of the map in the editor and any game maps created should reflect that. We to be consistent so we have the same directions in all maps. For instance in St. Lucia I turned the skybox around so the moon was in the right direction to shine through those windows into the church. I called it something like something_darkland_NE meaning the moon was in the north east. I'm not sure the moon (well Earth's moon) ever gets into the north east but the alternative was to rotate all of Saint Lucia!

 

My current FM the fake reflect sky the moon is in the wrong direction to the one in the sky! It's obscure anyway so I might abandon it. (the fake reflect not the FM!)

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@stumpy:

Worked! Turning the info_portalsky rotates the whole sky, not the compass. So the compass points to the direction it used to but the sky is rotated. By turning the sky I've got now the sunset in the west as it should be.

 

@Fidcal:

I've resolved the problem with a one click now. Changing the sky is a more tedious task.

Is there any other grounds for doing it the hard way than consistency? Why is this consistency required?

 

I'm slowly starting to understand how cool the skyportal system actually is.

At first I was planning to learn some graphic editing and add the city to the skytexture by painting it.

 

But then I remembered reading a wiki-article on model size scaling. I decided to put tiny toy building models in the info_portalsky -room.

 

It ended looking like this:

cityp.png

 

With scope:

lightc.png

 

Looks really nice. Far better what I could probably do with graphics editing. I instantly started thinking about candlelight torches in the distance. With correct lighting the city would look really living place, only a few kilometers away.

 

Now problem is visible in those images above. There is a light (with noshadows 1) in front of the church (scaled model) and the city wall (ordinary brush).

 

The ordinary brush lights up as it should, but the shrinked are not lit by the light. You can see this most easily with the banner on the city wall, which is dark even the wall is bright. Any ideas why this occurs? Is this because the shrinking does something to the model? Can I get it to work properly somehow?

Clipper

-The mapper's best friend.

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