Author Topic: Skyboxes just became 1000x easier  (Read 14664 times)

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Offline sigtau

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Skyboxes just became 1000x easier
http://alexcpeterson.com/spacescape

^ A tool that allows you to create your own space-themed skyboxes.  Now, this means we can't use in-game nebulae, but hey, this is still a really cool toy.

Textures produced are to be mapped to a cube, not the common spherical skyboxes.  Can generate skyboxes with resolutions up to 4096² in either JPG or PNG format.

Here's a link to a tutorial written by HerraTohtori on how to generate FSO-compatible skyboxes, comes complete with a generic skybox model.

Added link to the Skybox thread --The E
« Last Edit: January 07, 2011, 02:03:12 am by The E »
Who uses forum signatures anymore?

 

Offline Herra Tohtori

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Re: Skyboxes just became 1000x easier
I wonder if it supports 4080^2 resolution for each face of the cube.
There are three things that last forever: Abort, Retry, Fail - and the greatest of these is Fail.

 

Offline Unknown Target

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Re: Skyboxes just became 1000x easier
Cool, what format does it export to for conversion into FS2? How'd you find out about this?

 

Offline Solatar

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Re: Skyboxes just became 1000x easier
So, I downloaded it and could answer those questions within 3 minutes of seeing this thread.   :nervous:

It will apparently export your skybox to either 6 .png or 6 .jpg files with a resolution that you choose, up to 4096.  I'm playing with it right now; it's really cool. Good find :yes:

EDIT: Now I just have to find a skybox that's actually a cube, instead of all the "modern" spherical ones.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2011, 06:38:26 pm by Solatar »

 

Offline sigtau

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Re: Skyboxes just became 1000x easier
I found out about this while browsing the forums for the Unity 3D engine, something I've been working with a lot lately.

I believe Solatar answered you guys' questions.
Who uses forum signatures anymore?

 

Offline jr2

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Re: Skyboxes just became 1000x easier
Sticky?

 

Offline Droid803

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Re: Skyboxes just became 1000x easier
(´・ω・`)
=============================================================

 

Offline Herra Tohtori

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Re: Skyboxes just became 1000x easier
Thanks for testing Solatar, I was not in a position to test it myself. Stickied for the time being though posting this in some modding tools thread could be better for the long term. Also cubic skyboxen are the new standard (or they should be) since the technical issues with them were resolved. I'd link you to the thread but am posting from mobile. Search for "seam issue nullified", in that thread there's a generic cube model and instructions on how to manipulate the textures to produce a seamless end result.
There are three things that last forever: Abort, Retry, Fail - and the greatest of these is Fail.

 

Offline Solatar

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Re: Skyboxes just became 1000x easier
Thanks for that Herra.  I was looking for that exact thread, but I couldn't find it.  :yes:

 

Offline esarai

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Re: Skyboxes just became 1000x easier
Ooh this looks bamf
<Nuclear>   truth: the good samaritan actually checked for proof of citizenship and health insurance
<Axem>   did anyone catch jesus' birth certificate?
<Nuclear>   and jesus didnt actually give the 5000 their fish...he gave it to the romans and let it trickle down
<Axem>and he was totally pro tax breaks
<Axem>he threw out all those tax collectors at the temple
<Nuclear>   he drove a V8 camel too
<Nuclear>   with a sword rack for his fully-automatic daggers

Esarai: hey gaiz, what's a good improvised, final attack for a ship fighting to buy others time to escape to use?
RangerKarl|AtWork: stick your penis in the warp core
DarthGeek: no don't do that
amki: don't EVER do that

 

Offline MetalDestroyer

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Re: Skyboxes just became 1000x easier
Just great ! However, I'm wondering, how can I display the skybox I selected in FRED2 Open ? I don't see any option.

 

Offline Enioch

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Re: Skyboxes just became 1000x easier
DL'd it, played with it, made some backgrounds.

Writing a review for those interested.

Ok, here we go:

 :yes: THE GOOD: It is a very nice app, which allows for some amazing skybox graphics. The quality of those graphics is, of course, proportional to the time spent working on them ( NO! Really? :eek2:), with the really realistic and awe-inspiring ones probably requiring a few days' work.  Since I didn't have a few days, I just made a few mediocre skyboxes, but I can see what Peterson made with a mere 10 layers and I can only imagine what is possible if you get your mind to it.

 :no: THE BAD: Sadly, the app has some problems, too, which seriously limit its usefulness.  :(  Procedural generation is all fine and dandy if you need some quick and dirty nebulae or starfields, but it has its drawbacks too. For one, it is exactly that: procedural. That means that there is absolutely no way you can fine-tune the shape of those pretty nebulae, the position of those stars, or the location of any other billboard graphics you use.

For example: there is no way one can create a galaxy-plane effect (the 'Milky-Way-Band' one can see in the Earth night sky). There is no way you can place a green nebula next to a red one, but NOT inside it, but there on the side, with those nice yellow stars and the pink polka dots or whatever billboards you use.

TL;DR: A very nice app, that, unfortunately, limits itself to the making of basic skyboxes; amazing skyboxes, but basic nonetheless. What you can do is slap up a good starfield or faint nebula, and then go to work on it with another 3d app, or image editing software of your choice, to add those necessary planets/ galaxies/ whatever.

All in all, a 3 out of 5; one point off for lack of all but very basic tutorials/documentation and another point off  for the -more important- lack of billboard placement options.

Cheers, and good spacescaping.
'Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent'  -Salvor Hardin, "Foundation"

So don't take a hammer to your computer. ;-)

 

Offline Herra Tohtori

  • The Academic
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Re: Skyboxes just became 1000x easier
DL'd it, played with it, made some backgrounds.

Writing a review for those interested.

Ok, here we go:

 :yes: THE GOOD: It is a very nice app, which allows for some amazing skybox graphics. The quality of those graphics is, of course, proportional to the time spent working on them ( NO! Really? :eek2:), with the really realistic and awe-inspiring ones probably requiring a few days' work.  Since I didn't have a few days, I just made a few mediocre skyboxes, but I can see what Peterson made with a mere 10 layers and I can only imagine what is possible if you get your mind to it.

 :no: THE BAD: Sadly, the app has some problems, too, which seriously limit its usefulness.  :(  Procedural generation is all fine and dandy if you need some quick and dirty nebulae or starfields, but it has its drawbacks too. For one, it is exactly that: procedural. That means that there is absolutely no way you can fine-tune the shape of those pretty nebulae, the position of those stars, or the location of any other billboard graphics you use.

For example: there is no way one can create a galaxy-plane effect (the 'Milky-Way-Band' one can see in the Earth night sky). There is no way you can place a green nebula next to a red one, but NOT inside it, but there on the side, with those nice yellow stars and the pink polka dots or whatever billboards you use.

TL;DR: A very nice app, that, unfortunately, limits itself to the making of basic skyboxes; amazing skyboxes, but basic nonetheless. What you can do is slap up a good starfield or faint nebula, and then go to work on it with another 3d app, or image editing software of your choice, to add those necessary planets/ galaxies/ whatever.

All in all, a 3 out of 5; one point off for lack of all but very basic tutorials/documentation and another point off  for the -more important- lack of billboard placement options.

Cheers, and good spacescaping.

That's pretty much par for the course. For making planet skyboxes, you should be rendering the planet in 3D environment anyway, with an alpha channel - then just paste that on top of the background textures of the skybox.

Doing more complex stuff would probably still require manual image editing to make first a spherical texture of resolution of your choice, then rendering that into cubical format with a 3D app of your choice.
There are three things that last forever: Abort, Retry, Fail - and the greatest of these is Fail.