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How Do I Create An Animated Sky Dome?

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    How Do I Create An Animated Sky Dome?

    Im not totally noob to UDK but i have been off it for a while and am trying to get back into it. My question to you all is How do i make an Animated Skydome? One with lightning shooting thru the clouds at night, or an aurora bearulis in motion or something....Any help is good help..thanks

    Depends on what "animated" would entail.

    You can for instance have a panning material, you could physically make the various effects, you can use matinee. There's lots of solutions. Searching for Day & Night system should bring up a couple of examples.


      You can do this many ways:

      1.Use RADTools Bink converter to make a BIK file out of any video you can find (copyright respected of course) with the desired effects, import it as a Material into UDK, apply to skydome surface.

      2. combine several Materials, Staticmeshes, and Particle Emitters to achieve the effect in a modular fashion. This one is the best option because it doesn't just "loop", it behaves in real-time, and you can control it in the middle of the game with UnrealScript or MaterialInstance parameters.

      3. Lame version: Flipbook texture

      4. StaticMesh InterpActors with Kismet Matinee controls.

      5. Simply panning textures for aurora and making lighting bolt InterpActors snap in and out of view, and turning bright lights on and off or matineeing their colors.

      6. Any combination of the above.

      Aurora would be best achieved through some pretty crazy Particle systems I think, but that's the complicated way if you're not a particle effects artist.
      You could achieve a similar effect by being a good Material effects artist, controlling the color and motion of the waves and lights with a Time-controlled system of nodes. I'm not too much of an expert on it but You'll probably need to map between coordinate systems and maybe use the vertex shader in the Material engine.

      Anyway, long story short: Best effect done with intricate particle and/or material systems, Simplest way to achieve similar with lower level of realism: Video Material
      middle ground: Matinee with static OR skeletal meshes that have transparent (probably two-sided and unlit) aurora and lightning textures on them.

      Your biggest challenge, then, is finding or creating the aurora and lightning effects or textures. EVerything else is a matter of putting them together in an artistic way.

      I think #4 and #5 would probably be the easiest besides a video material.


        thanx alot, 'specially to mightyenigma, i havent read all of what you put yet but i know about rad tools and will mos def look more into that....