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    Starfield Skybox

    Hi guys, i'm making pretty good progress with my project so far, i've searched around and it seems that UT3 has a starfield entity for space-like environments.

    I don't have the game so i can't see how it's done. I've tried many things to try to simulate it but i can't get anything to look nice enough. I've tired making my own sphere with a sphere-mapped starfield texture but it doesn't look any good because it still seems warped and low detailed when in-game.

    How exactly is this starfield entity made? Any tips and help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Gatts

    #2
    IIRC, the UT3 starfield is a pretty low poly mesh (an icosahedron maybe). It is setup the same way as the sky domes in the sample maps.

    I am not a modeler but it might be that your mesh doesn't have smoothing turned on.

    Post a screenshot.

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      #3
      Well my main problem is the texture seems warped and low detailed, and i'm finding it hard to actually make it feel like it's space. I've deleted the actualy model so i can't post a screenshot. But any help is appreciated, thanks.

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        #4
        It's all about the material. Make a nice star texture with stars preferably only a single pixel. Try to use the texcoord modifier and tile it so u get a lot of really small points. Blend different versions of that together. Use another texture like noise from photoshop and use that as alpha in a lerp expression or something to smooth things out. Create twinkle effects. Etc

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          #5
          hi there...

          I've been trying to create a skybox using textures created procedurally rather than using asset files. I've looked into how skyboxes are described in the .material files, and I wrote some code to do this. The problem is that when I tell Ogre to apply the skybox, all I can see is one smeary texture instead of a nice, rich starfield. What am I doing wrong, please?

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            #6
            Well i think i've determined my main problem. The fact that as far as i'm aware true skyboxes aren't in the UT3 engine, the fact that we have to place a physical skydome above our levels is my main limiting factor.

            Does anyone know if it's possible to implement a true skybox like in the older UT engines?

            Thanks,
            Gatts

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              #7
              I may be wrong here but I think it's possible if you create your map as subtractive rather than additive.

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                #8
                My suggestion is to turn off mipmapping, and make the image as large as you can make it without causing performance issues. Also you may want to turn off filtering, as this can cause some blurring, even from a distance (also slows performance).

                The reason why your 'field' looks warped, is because of your camera angle. You'll want to choose a camera angle that doesn't put your sky 'sphere' into deep perspective. You need to make it somewhere in the 70 degree range for your FOV, which can drastically affect your interior shots, so you may need to script a variable FOV.

                I'm actually trying to do a lot of these things. I know how to do these on the proprietary engine at my studio, but I can't use that for personal projects. If anyone knows how to do what I suggested. Give us a heads up. Dire straits brosefs!

                Also here are some nice images to get you started on making your texture:
                http://maps.jpl.nasa.gov/stars.html
                You may want to edit them a bit, because I'm not sure if they're royalty free.

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                  #9
                  Have you tried to make the starfield a cubemap instead? This way the camera position doesn't affect the material.

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                    #10
                    this might help http://wiki.beyondunreal.com/Legacy:SkyBox

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                      #11
                      Did you pick right LOD group when importing your skybox texture? No need to do fancy tricks you can make skydome so huge that it is no difference from real (old fashioned) skybox. Also turn off accepting lights, collision and shadows for skydome mesh, and make sky meterial unlit.

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