this was made entierly in blender [but with the help of a python script I wrote]
essentially the technique is as follows:
- create and uvmap your sky cube [make sure center is at object center]
- create your environement, and place an empty or whatever at where the viewer should be in the skybox
- give the cube a shadeless material, and an EnvMap texture [of sufficent resolution, in my case 256 was plenty] using your Empty [mapped to orco]
- make it so the cube isn’t visible in its Environement map [my cube was just beyond the sky sphere, but you could use the dont’ render particular layer options for environment maps]
- select the cube and run my script, which should:
unfold the cube, and render it [bake the textures of the cube using the cube’s uv coordinates]
the shape being a cube is by no means a requirement, it is just one I found easy enough to uvmap well. it could be an icosphere, an octotoad, a tetrohedron, suzanne, or whatever else you want your skybox to be.
my script is very similar to jms’s which does the same basic thing, except mine extrudes the edges past those specfied in the uv coordinates, which makes the seams nearly invisible [and for some situations, completely invisible].
I plan on releasing the script when I have a reasonable gui on it, which should take me no more than a week (even considering how little motivation I have when the sun is out)
as for me, it is 2am, I’m going to bed
___ edit (in the morning) ___
for the adventerous, a seamless Octahedron
[this one looks better mostly because the whole texture is used [no big white block] which is simply due to how this is uvmapped]
I have a much improved script [still no gui, but it doesn’t really need it], see this file: