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  1. #1

    Tutorial: Creating Skybox Textures *Template Included!*

    Hello!

    Welcome to the skybox texture tutorial for Blender. The objective of this
    tutorial is for me to share with you my method of making skybox textures of
    scenes made with Blender. First of all, you're going to need a scene to make
    into a skybox.

    So, lets start by removing everything that isnt necessary to the scene. Remove
    all cameras and empties, and put your scene (and all lights, etc.) on layer 2.

    Now, go back to layer 1. It should be a blank workspace with nothing in it.

    Step1: Press Shift+C to center the cursor and your view.

    Step2: Press Numpad 1 to get in front view. Now press Space, go to Add --> Camera.

    Step3: Go to the edit buttons window and copy the following settings:

    Link and Materials Panel:
    Rename the camera to "North" (the camera name is right next to "OB:")

    Camera Panel:
    Lens: 16
    Clipping End: 500 (You can adjust this according to your needs)
    Enable "Limits"
    Enable "Name"



    Why is this important? If you dont set the lens value correctly, your skybox
    wont line up at the seams. "Limits" displays how far the camera can see (based
    on the "Clipping End" value), 500 should be good enough even for big scenes.
    You can adjust the limit value to your needs. Enabling "Name" will reduce
    confusion in the future when you're rendering each skybox image.

    Lets move on...

    Step4: In the Scene Buttons window (F10), make sure "SizeX" and "SizeY" are
    both set to 512. You can adjust the resolution to fit your needs, but anything
    lower than 512x512 looks bad. If you want really high quality (provided you
    have a simplistic game) you can even go up to 1024x1024, but doing so will
    compromise performance.



    Step5: In the 3D window go to top view (NumPad 7), duplicate the camera
    (Shift-D) and rotate it 180 degrees (R-Key 180). Rename this camera to "South".


    Step6: Duplicate (Shift-D) the "South" camera and rotate it 90 degrees (R-key
    90
    ). Rename this camera to "West".


    Step7: Duplicate (Shift-D) the "West" camera and rotate it 180 degrees (R-key
    180
    ). Rename this camera to "East".


    Step8: In the 3D window go to side view (Numpad 3) and select the "North"
    camera. Duplicate (Shift-D) the "North" camera and rotate it -90 degrees (R-Key
    -90
    ). Rename this camera to "Up".


    Step9: In side view (Numpad 3), Duplicate (Shift-D) the "Up" camera and rotate
    it 180 degrees (R-Key 180). Rename this camera to "Down".


    If you've reached this point you can get an ice cold drink and pat yourself on
    the back. You're done with all the boring stuff. The rest is simple.

    Step10:
    Hold down Shift, and select layer 2. Now both your cameras and your
    scene should be visible. Your screen should resemble something similar to this:


    Step11: Select any camera, and press CTRL+Numpad 0. This will make the
    selected camera active. You should be looking out of the camera you selected.
    In my case, it's the "North" camera. Now render the scene (F12).


    Step12: Press F3 to save the render image, and name it according to the
    camera (ex. Skybox-North.jpg)

    Repeat Step 11 and 12 for each camera. You will get a series of 6 images that
    you can UV map onto a cube to create a skybox. If you dont know how to do
    this, you can follow Social's Skybox tutorial located here.

    Here's the end result:








    Thanks for reading my tutorial, I hope you guys enjoyed it. I have created a template for you guys to use instead of having to set this up every single time you want to make a skybox. I will upload the file soon for you guys to download.

    Happy Blending!



  2. #2
    haha nice one - thanks man



  3. #3

    Template Uploaded

    The Skybox Template is now available for download.

    Get it here: http://www.box.net/shared/uf3yagjbxx

    Here's some skymaps: http://blenderartists.org/forum/showthread.php?t=24038

    Replace the sky map with any of the images under "Angular Maps" for a different sky and you can modify the terrain or water settings to create your own unique skybox quickly and easily.



  4. #4
    Very interesting, but I haven't a real clue as to what one would use a box with landscape UV'd to it for. the game engine perhaps? Probably cool effects, obviously things I suck at.

    Thanks for the tutorial, when I learn what to use this for, I'd give it a shot.
    Software that is not open source, is difficult for me to trust. Though, there are credible companies out there, I am still slow to trust them.



  5. #5
    MagicMyshu: No problem, glad you liked it = )

    dukytyme: Skyboxes are a low-poly way to make a convincing sky atmosphere used in many games, especially in the Unreal series.



  6. #6
    Member Mr. Crunchy's Avatar
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    Nice.

    Trouble is, I couldn't get the UV'd cube to be seamless.

    When I did the same thing in terragen I could get it to be seamless.

    Maybe you should make the second half of the tutorial.



  7. #7
    Originally Posted by Mr. Crunchy View Post
    Nice.

    Trouble is, I couldn't get the UV'd cube to be seamless.

    When I did the same thing in terragen I could get it to be seamless.

    Maybe you should make the second half of the tutorial.
    Are the seams caused because the image dosn't line up or are the seams similar to the last image? If it's the latter, you can fix this by reading Social's tutorial on making your skybox seamless. If it's the former, you might want to check the camera settings. "Lens" must be set to 16 and the cameras must be in the center of the scene.

    Thanks for reading my tutorial Mr. Crunchy = )



  8. #8
    Member Mr. Crunchy's Avatar
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    The lighting didn't match up.

    What do you mean the cameras must be in the center of the scene?
    Do you mean they must all be in the same place?



  9. #9
    Originally Posted by Mr. Crunchy View Post
    The lighting didn't match up.

    What do you mean the cameras must be in the center of the scene?
    Do you mean they must all be in the same place?
    Yep, all cameras must be in the same exact spot, but rotated differently according to which view you want to have. To make it easier, you could just download the template I created, and remove everything on layer 2 (or modify it if you want, it's free for you to use with no royalties or credits) and insert your scene. Then use the cameras on layer 1 to render the images you need.

    To fix your lighting problem: Make sure the lights are away from the center of the scene. I've noticed strange lighting seams due to the position of my lights.

    I hope you can get your skybox working, if not, post some screens and I'll be able to further diagnose your problem.



  10. #10
    Member Stu_Flowers's Avatar
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    Very nice, Ven0m! Did you make the skybox for MGP then?

    Good work, see you around!

    ~~Stu
    Old MGP (Monkey Game Project) Website: --HERE--



  11. #11
    Actually to be 100% honest I didn't make that skybox because I didnt know how to back then. I followed a terragen tutorial and basically translated it into Blender to share with you guys. I do have plans to replace that skybox with an original one though.



  12. #12
    Banned Member p00f's Avatar
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    nice work. I like the sky you make

    how can we make this so that a player camera can also influence a camera in a backdrop scene?

    most of the time I have to just add a cube , or a cylinder with a panorama to the actual game scene, to make it rotate with the camera.

    even then I do not get desirable results.

    would be nice to make true sky boxes like the old quake games or halflife or unreal.

    the player camera rotates at a different rate than the sky box camera, to give the illusion of depth / distance .

    I have yet to fake this with a level scene+ a backdrop scene. please HELP!!



  13. #13
    Member Mr. Crunchy's Avatar
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    Actually, just vertex parenting the skybox to a vertex which is at the center of the camera gives a nice effect.

    I never played any of those games though so I can't be sure I know what you're talking about.



  14. #14
    Member Stu_Flowers's Avatar
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    When I've vertex parented the skybox to the player before, it seemed to slow down the game noticeably. Maybe not though. For a simpler game it would work for sure.

    ~~Stu
    Old MGP (Monkey Game Project) Website: --HERE--



  15. #15
    Member Mr. Crunchy's Avatar
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    You can animate one camera in each of the 6 positions in each of 6 frames then render an animation and you can render all sides in one click.
    EDIT: but make sure you know where you are saving your frames to (default "C:\tmp) so you can go get them later.



  16. #16
    How do you import it to a scene that ive already created? its for a game. thanks



  17. #17
    Member Doggie_B's Avatar
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    Nice tutorial, although it should be moved to the resource forum...



  18. #18
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    This thread is really old, velvtymouse. You can import stuff with Shift-F1 or Append / Link in the menu. Append creates a local copy in your file, link creates an instance (so if you edit in the linked blend it will change in your file)



  19. #19

    Skybox Addon

    Hi,
    i developed a blender plug in to create the 6 cameras and render the 6 texture. There is also a Skybox viewer able to display the render result automatically.
    It is for Blender 2.55 and upper.

    More informations at code.google.com in space-cronicles project.

    I hope it helps.
    Attached Images Attached Images



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