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How to: Convert a Skybox to a Skydome

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  • replied
    Awesome! 2 new sites bookmarked here. =)

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  • replied
    I have around 100 more skies and sky objects coming...
    I'll be constantly uploading them to the site over the next few weeks as I get them ready for use.

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  • replied
    Fantastic information and skydomes, should come in useful in the future! Keep up the good work !

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  • replied
    The other things you may wish to mention in your tutorial:

    1. Skip a step and create the Material during import according to the settings as seen on my Skies page. See the notes on that page also regarding this.

    2. Using FDR/HDR in UnrealEd is for RGBE images (.float), not for RGB images, so compression should be standard DXT1. Unless you are wanting to convert, warp and save the image out of HDRShop as RGBE and import that into UnrealEd. Best is probably to leave it as RGB compressed as DXT1 as that uses less texture memory etc.

    3. Certain cubic skyboxes don't clip well to the horizon and should be used in their entirety with a spherical mapped sky mesh instead of the stock Epic hemi-sphere meshes.

    4. For best mapping with the stock Epic hemi-sphere meshes, the sky texture should actually be warped in PhotoShop/PhotoPaint with a mesh warp or cylindrical warp so that the upper half is stretched and the lower half is squeezed. This provides a better perspective correction. So you may notice that mapped cubic textures from UT2004 still look "too close" on the horizon compared to stock UT3 textures.

    5. Instead of attempting to edit out the four curves of error pixels that appear in the final warped texture from HDRShop, simply open the cubic/cross texture into PhotoShop/PhotoPaint and duplicate the very edge pixel on each of the four quadrants over one pixel into the blank edge space. Save that then run it through the warp.
    The issue is that during the warp, rounding errors cause the pixel grabbed to include some pixels past the very edge of the cross, and then mix those into the final lat/long image. So if the blank area in the four quadrants is black, you will get a slight curve of black mixed into the lat/long texture along the warp path. Duplicating the edge pixels of the cross into the blank space in all four quadrants eliminates the error since the pixel grabbed is always relevant.

    Feel free to link to my Skies page on my site in your tutorial if you like, so that others can download the content there.
    I should have more textures and meshes online soon.

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  • replied
    Originally posted by DGUnreal View Post
    Preliminary UT3 Skies page is online soon.
    I'll have the current file download links working shortly (probably later tonight), and there is still another 100+ textures to go...

    P.S. The tutorial by outpt actually has a few steps that can be changed or eliminated to speed up the process of cube-to-spherical conversion.
    You've got a lot of knowledge and experience DG - let me know and I'll be very happy to amend or make changes. I've already noted from your page that you can create a material when importing, and will update shortly.

    Skybox page looks great so far - I'll definitely spread the word once its all up.

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  • replied
    Preliminary UT3 Skies page is online soon.
    I'll have the current file download links working shortly (probably later tonight), and there is still another 100+ textures to go...

    P.S. The tutorial by outpt actually has a few steps that can be changed or eliminated to speed up the process of cube-to-spherical conversion.

    Leave a comment:


  • replied
    Which ever is easier for you DG, this would be a great asset no matter which way you choose to go. But if i had to really pick one way or another i guess i would rather learn how to make them and have the source files availavble. Then i can concentrate on the actual design process thus eliminating one step anyway.

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  • replied
    That would be great.

    Just having the raw images ready for construction in UT3 is certainly enough and well appreciated. Thx

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  • replied
    I will make them available as individual zipped .bmp or .tga files then, plus zipped .ase meshes as required.
    Newbie mappers will just have to learn how to construct things in the editor as I won't do both source and package formats at this time since there is probably 120 or more total assets.

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  • replied
    Well, FilePlanet allows files up to 1gb

    I'd love simply the raw images. But they are only allowed in the Unreal Universe, then I could always settle for a map or package format.

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  • replied
    Originally posted by warriorlax5506 View Post
    I will be posting some awesome skys I found online soon.
    I hope that we are not duplicating any efforts, and that the skies you "found" are in fact free from copyright issues.

    Originally posted by outpt.co.uk View Post
    I'd be for any solution that didn't restrict the use of these textures to UT3, or those with knowledge of the Unreal Editor.

    For me, a pack of panoramic textures in something like .png format would be great; or even the ability to download individual textures from a webpage. I don't want to have to download a large pack of 75 textures when I'd probably only want to pick a single texture per map.
    The issues here are that newbies won't know how to import the texture and mesh files, create the material, etc., which means I would have to write a lengthy fool-proof tutorial page also which takes more time, and some of the textures or portions thereof are sourced from other Epic content so they cannot be used in other non-"Unreal Universe" games.
    The source files even in compressed format such as PNG are going to be probably close to 3/4 of a GB. Hosting and bandwidth may become an issue if they are available in source-only or both formats.
    So any additional comments on this are appreciated before I go too far...

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  • replied
    I'd be for any solution that didn't restrict the use of these textures to UT3, or those with knowledge of the Unreal Editor.

    For me, a pack of panoramic textures in something like .png format would be great; or even the ability to download individual textures from a webpage. I don't want to have to download a large pack of 75 textures when I'd probably only want to pick a single texture per map.

    Personally, I like Hazel.H's setup.

    Leave a comment:


  • replied
    Originally posted by DGUnreal View Post
    Would everyone prefer this large package be something that is linked to for download for use with their custom maps, as opposed to having to uncook and duplicate various assets from it into their own map file? This would reduce any duplication of the large textures among mappers.
    My regular server, my high-speed mirror, and a few other official mirrors could be set up so that people can download this package for use with their community maps.
    I'd prefer it! I'm about as new as somebody can get to the world of modding, let alone modding in UT3. I don't even know how to create a skybox/skydome yet, but I can see the value in having these assets set aside.

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  • replied
    Originally posted by outpt.co.uk View Post
    Apologies - this package was already loaded when I opened my map, so I assumed it was there as default.

    You will need to open the package from your generic browser by clicking 'File > Open'. It's located in X:\XXXX\UT3\UTGame\CookedPC\Environments (Where 'X' is your game directory).

    Thanks a lot for pointing this out - I've updated the page.
    Thank you. I will be posting some awesome skys I found online soon.

    Also, if anyone can get them because i dont know how to take them from one editor to the other, there are some pretty sweet ones from Gears of War

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  • replied
    Originally posted by outpt.co.uk View Post
    Excellent, would love to see people releasing skydome textures - there's a shortage out there (believe me, I've searched...).
    The package I have been working on includes probably 75+ skies in it with proper skydome meshes (2k and some 4k textures), sky objects and mesh sheets (cloud panners, moons, etc.), interstellar anomalies and mesh sheets (nebulae), various sphere meshes for real planet maps, plus LensFlares, etc., all very high quality.

    I was planning on just using these assets in my own maps, but I can release it as a proper full package for community use.

    Would everyone prefer this large package be something that is linked to for download for use with their custom maps, as opposed to having to uncook and duplicate various assets from it into their own map file? This would reduce any duplication of the large textures among mappers.
    My regular server, my high-speed mirror, and a few other official mirrors could be set up so that people can download this package for use with their community maps.

    Leave a comment:

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