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Skybox Creation?


Sotha

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Okay, I think that's it.

 

I couldn't get the scaled models lighting to work, so I created my own toy buildings with normal brushes. They light up in moonlight quite nicely.

 

Here is my artistic view, how the City might look from the outskirts. I'm planning to add later some more distant buildings on the hilltops right and maybe a keep on the left.

 

city1s.png

 

scopea.png

 

Conclusion: it doesen't take very long to create a decent custom skybox. Plus, it was quite fun. I also have a sunset and crescent moon properly aligned.

Clipper

-The mapper's best friend.

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I remember positioning my parallel moonbeam light to EXACTLY match the location and angle of the moon I placed in the skybox - very nice effect to look up and see the moon, step over near the building and see the moon go behind the roof line, and then look down and see that I am indeed stepping into the moonlight shadow of the building

shadowdark50.gif keep50.gif
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Quite cool. The thing I always wonder about these is on the technical side: how much (and why?) performance benefit does this add over simply creating the things for real in your map? I assume it has something to do with being ultra optimized, skipping draws, or maybe some other stuff.

 

So why is throwing a ton of stuff into a skybox more efficient than throwing the same amount of stuff into the outskirts of a map for real?

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This is an interesting question...

 

I have this superstitious feeling that something about the mathematics of CSG makes long distance a performance problem.

 

If so, by boxing in the views these mathematical issues are minimized.

 

So perhaps another way to improve performance would be to use Serpentine's Visportal Cube-Map Patch method but use a Portal_Sky for the Cube Map. Then break the map into chunks that are feed to Portal_Sky views. This way the CSG algorithm doesn't have to parse the distance of the entire map... (crazy??????????? :unsure:)

 

(would love to see the result for this experiment... :()

Edited by nbohr1more

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

 

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Experiment:

 

1) Create a generic map with a bunch of buildings and a long view

2) Break the map in half

3) Render half the map locally

4) Render the other half to a Portal sky

5) Compare FPS to just plain rendering

 

:huh:

 

(can we have more than one portal sky per map????)

 

Update:

 

OK a little sanity....

 

1) The Skybox geometry has no collision correct?

2) Also no AI Pathfinding?

3) It's rendered to a lower resolution

 

So those factors would have to be equalized...

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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(can we have more than one portal sky per map????)

 

1) The Skybox geometry has no collision correct?

2) Also no AI Pathfinding?

3) It's rendered to a lower resolution

 

So those factors would have to be equalized...

 

yes you can have more than 1. read about this somewhere. Pretty sure it involves use of info_location's.

 

1) no, works as normal. i went swimming in my skybox once after noclipping into it.

2) can't reach the skybox, so no pathfinding I think.

3) .....dont know, but judging by sothas experience, yes, unless specified otherwise.

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I wish I had an oodle of ability in Dark Radiant... I'd do the darn test myself instead of hoping someone would humor my superstitious nonsense :laugh:

 

(my wife approaches... so any pipe-dream of tinkering long enough vanishes... PC time is short now... :()

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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Hi Sotha

 

I would like to test this prefab in Fm if thats ok...?

 

Thank you for your interest, but the skybox is still incomplete and -since I'm a bit of a perfectionist- I want to get it finished first.

 

I've been building this skybox specifically for a mission I am currently envisioning. (Envisioning, not building.)

 

I suppose the way I will proceed is that I'll finish the skybox and use it in the mission. I need it to be original for the mission. And after that I'll happily provide it for anyone to use.

 

Estimated time for the above conditions to be met is 1-4 months. You could easily prepare anykind of special sky in a few days, as this thread points out.

 

The information required to make one is cluttered in all of the following links:

Theory:

http://www.modwiki.net/wiki/Cube_maps

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

 

Practice:

For creating the scenery: http://www.planetsid...ent/view/16/28/

The skybox texture creation guide: http://www.doom3worl...opic.php?t=3571

 

And then you need to make in DR a room with the sky texture, place an info_portalsky there and place miniature buildings and objects at a position sligthly lower that the info_portalsky.

 

Hey, would it be beneficial if I wrote a wiki guide on skybox creation? Would someone be interested if I tell exactly how to make this kind of box using terragen scenery?

Clipper

-The mapper's best friend.

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A wiki would be great!

 

I believe that the last performance question is about the "real-time" camera view in the Portal_Sky rather than a regular Cube Map texture...:huh:?

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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Hey, would it be beneficial if I wrote a wiki guide on skybox creation? Would someone be interested if I tell exactly how to make this kind of box using terragen scenery?

 

 

I'd like to see one. I spent 2 days trying to make a "look down on the city from a height" skybox, and gave up when I got tired of creating itsy-bitsy buildings. I went to Plan B, which is a single graphic that represents the city from a height. I don't use any modelling programs, but I was thinking of trying to create a model city in POV-Ray and shooting that from a height. Maybe after the vert contest is over. I used terragen once in a POV-Ray scene, so it would be interesting to see how it relates to skyboxes.

 

 

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On the topic of performance differences between using skyboxes or just putting the items directly in the play space, this would at least suggest there's no difference:

 

Two maps showing the same demanding scene (just lit AI, don't get excited), one with the objects directly in the play space (sbtest1.map) and the other in a skybox (sbtest2.map). I get about 20FPS for both.

 

sbtest1.map.txt

sbtest2.map.txt

 

So mappers shouldn't necessarily load up skyboxes with tons of stuff assuming that it's free detail. But even if there is no performance advantage (and I still guess there might be somewhere in there; maybe static scenes cut corners... hmm, idea, brb), skyboxes still offer design advantages of course.

 

 

Edit: I switched out the Builders for Lucias (no animation, no movement, no thinking, etc), and it didn't change much. If it changed at all, it was to suggest the skybox was actually slower, but only by a few FPS. So a bit more evidence suggesting skyboxes aren't cheap detail.

 

On a positive note, I was able to get almost 20FPS while looking at 108 dynamically lit Lucias.

post-58-127971863672_thumb.jpg

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THANKS!!! :)

 

I kinda figured the real-time stuff should be the about same. The other factors like AI, resolution, and crude LOD meshes are probably most of the magic.

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 suspect it will be bupkiss but what happens if you put half of those statues in the skybox and render both in the same scene?

 

(Looks like a chess game :))

 

(Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone FM?)

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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All the stuff in the skybox still has to be rendered, so there's no reason to expect it would have any performance improvement. The main benefit in terms of performance is that you can use much smaller models and far fewer lights with a skybox, and can more easily create the illusion of distance without actually adding to the area of your map.

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All the stuff in the skybox still has to be rendered, so there's no reason to expect it would have any performance improvement. The main benefit in terms of performance is that you can use much smaller models and far fewer lights with a skybox, and can more easily create the illusion of distance without actually adding to the area of your map.

 

Yep... LOD essentially ;)

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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sweet Ill have a look at this tonight.

Have fun. Here are also a few prefab toy houses I made for the skybox seen earlier in this thread. Basically they are simple brush versions of the models seen in architecture/buildings/

But they'll react to light much better than rescaled models.

 

I hope they get you started! Remember to rename them to .pfb

toy_church.txt

toy_house.txt

toy_house_small.txt

toy_tower.txt

Clipper

-The mapper's best friend.

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Have fun. Here are also a few prefab toy houses I made for the skybox seen earlier in this thread. Basically they are simple brush versions of the models seen in architecture/buildings/

But they'll react to light much better than rescaled models.

 

I hope they get you started! Remember to rename them to .pfb

 

Sweet, can we please add them to SVN so they get distributed with v1.03?

"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man." -- George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950)

 

"Remember: If the game lets you do it, it's not cheating." -- Xarax

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