Jump to content


Photo

[WIP] High quality skyboxes


  • Please log in to reply
258 replies to this topic

#1 Kexikus

Kexikus

    Jedi Master

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,345 posts

Posted 16 January 2015 - 04:55 PM

This is the WIP-Thread for my High Quality Skyboxes project.

 

As you probably know, the skyboxes in both KotOR games are very low in resolution and also not always interesting. These mods attempt to change this by creating entirely new skyboxes using Terragen 4 and rendering those in 2048x2048 (vanilla uses 512x512). Version 1 of the KotOR skyboxes has been released since October 2015 and can be found here.

 

After its release, I took a break to work on other mods but recently I came back to work on the TSL version and version 2 of the KotOR skyboxes. I've learned quite a lot since version 1 which is why I want to rework some of the skyboxes for KotOR and also, since I now own Terragen 4, I can render them in higher quality which will also be part of version 2.

 

You can follow my progress in this thread and in the following image which I'll (hopefully) update regularly to show where I'm at:

 

BuBQERm.png

 

Original first post:

 

As the title suggests I started working on some high quality skyboxes to replace the blurry pixelated ones used in both games. I actually wanted to do this for quite some time and two days ago I finally started working on them with this result:

 

[Deleted due to photobucket blocking embeding]
 
I'd say that while the clouds certainly need to be improved some more and I didn't render in full quality and some photoshop work has to be done, they actually look pretty good except for one thing. And that's the resolution.
The problem here is that Terragen 3 (which I used to make the skybox) only allows me to render in resolutions up to 900x900 in the free version. And since the cheapest license costs 200$ I won't buy it just for this mod^^ So, I decided to try my luck with Terragen Classic (which I'm pretty sure is what Bioware and Obsidian originally used for their skyboxes) but it has the same limitations and the registration to remove the limitation is no longer possible.
 
So, this mod is pretty much dead before it even started unless and that's where I need your help, someone here has access to a full legal version of Terragen and would be willing to render quite a lot of pictures for me. Or alternatively if someone knows of a good free tool to create skyboxes I could try it with that one.



#2 Quanon

Quanon

    Jedi Knight

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 346 posts
  • LocationHarelbeke

Posted 16 January 2015 - 10:01 PM

I think I still have a installation for a  full working version of terragen on my PC.... somewhere :)
 



#3 Kexikus

Kexikus

    Jedi Master

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,345 posts

Posted 16 January 2015 - 11:33 PM

Well, if you happen to find it and have a lot of render time I wouldn't mind some help :)



#4 Sith Holocron

Sith Holocron

    M4-78

  • Administrators
  • 3,911 posts
  • LocationKodiak, AK (Hoth)

Posted 17 January 2015 - 02:13 AM

The problem here is that Terragen 3 (which I used to make the skybox) only allows me to render in resolutions up to 900x900 in the free version.


How large were you hoping to make your skyboxes anyway?

"Release dates are for those that don't care about quality in mods." - Me
 
Here are my mods. Please rate and leave some feedback if you've liked any of them in your game!

Not approving mods.  PM one of these other folks if you mod is not reviewed within 24 hours.


#5 Malkior

Malkior

    Jedi Master

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,064 posts

Posted 17 January 2015 - 02:36 AM

Actually, I have to ask in regards to Terragen, is there a tutorial on how to render sky ceilings and edges so that minimal seams show up?

(By the way, that sky looks good :) )
____________________________
|_______________________>>___\
....But I digress....
__________________________
|____________>>_______>>__/

#6 Kexikus

Kexikus

    Jedi Master

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,345 posts

Posted 17 January 2015 - 10:12 AM

How large were you hoping to make your skyboxes anyway?

 

My original plan was 1024x1024 making them four times bigger compared to the original ones. And I'm pretty sure I could have upscaled the 900x900 renders without too much problems. However, when placing the 900x900 ones ingame they seemed just as pixelated as the original ones so now I'm hoping for 2048x2048 (and I'm not looking forward to uploading that filesize xD )

 

Actually, I have to ask in regards to Terragen, is there a tutorial on how to render sky ceilings and edges so that minimal seams show up?

(By the way, that sky looks good :D )

 

(Thanks ;) )

 

I think that depends on the terragen version you are using.

You obviously have to rotate the camera correctly in both programs (90° FOV etc) and in TG 3 you can either enable Global Illumination Caching which is unavailable in the free version or in TG 3.1 and newer you can set the "Ray detail region" in the Renderer's Advanced tab to "360 degree detail (highest)" (which is what I did). In both cases TG will calculate the lighting for the whole scene and not just for your field of view, preventing seems caused by different illuminations per tile.

But I also had some problems with a sky ceiling I tested and I don't know what happened there yet.

 

 

Edit: Here's a link for the original full HD screenshot I took, where you can see the low resolution even more:

http://i1346.photobu...52.jpg~original



#7 Kexikus

Kexikus

    Jedi Master

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,345 posts

Posted 15 February 2015 - 06:41 PM

Good news :D

I managed to get around the resolution issue I had with the free version of Terragen.

Now I have to render 17 instead of 5 images and have to edit them together but I can create skyboxes in 1800*1800 which I will rescale to 2048*2048.

 

And here is what Manaan now looks like:

swkotor%202015-02-15%2019-15-41_zpsa0q21

 

Full resolution: http://i1346.photobu...o4.png~original

 

Criticism is always welcome and now that I know that this method works I'll start remaking all skyboxes in the game :)



#8 Sith Holocron

Sith Holocron

    M4-78

  • Administrators
  • 3,911 posts
  • LocationKodiak, AK (Hoth)

Posted 15 February 2015 - 07:10 PM

Malachor V will break your heart.

"Release dates are for those that don't care about quality in mods." - Me
 
Here are my mods. Please rate and leave some feedback if you've liked any of them in your game!

Not approving mods.  PM one of these other folks if you mod is not reviewed within 24 hours.


#9 Fair Strides

Fair Strides

    Aurora Engine Operator

  • Administrators
  • 2,203 posts
  • LocationOregon, USA

Posted 15 February 2015 - 07:47 PM

Malachor V will break your heart.

 

Stated from personal experience and torturing Quanon with the dilemma...


(By the way, if you ever want to ask about one of the quotes, feel free to send me a PM)

 

My personal, made-up quote: "To know is good, but to act is better."

"Words are just words, thoughts thoughts, but actions...actions are progress." - Fair Strides

"Intelligence and respect are all it takes to get along fine. Not a bad trade off, huh?" - EwigD from GameFaqs

"And regarding butchering the language, I have been to the internet. The language is well butchered regularly." - Malkior

 

"You can either live with the lies or die with the truth. Who would rather lie to live than die for telling the truth?" - Fair Strides


#10 Sith Holocron

Sith Holocron

    M4-78

  • Administrators
  • 3,911 posts
  • LocationKodiak, AK (Hoth)

Posted 15 February 2015 - 07:53 PM

Stated from personal experience and torturing Quanon with the dilemma...

Yes, indeed.

"Release dates are for those that don't care about quality in mods." - Me
 
Here are my mods. Please rate and leave some feedback if you've liked any of them in your game!

Not approving mods.  PM one of these other folks if you mod is not reviewed within 24 hours.


#11 Kexikus

Kexikus

    Jedi Master

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,345 posts

Posted 15 February 2015 - 11:01 PM

Malachor V will break your heart.

 

Good thing I'm starting with K1 then ;)



#12 Red Hessian

Red Hessian

    Jedi Apprentice

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 31 posts

Posted 16 February 2015 - 08:51 AM

Looks great! Can't wait to see more!



#13 Kexikus

Kexikus

    Jedi Master

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,345 posts

Posted 17 February 2015 - 06:38 PM

Did some more Photoshop work for the Manaan skybox so that the horizon is less yellow and the borders now fit (almost) perfectly together. The later problem arises because one or two pixels of each texture are not used on the left and right so that I have to shrink them a bit to fit the skybox model. But it's not that big of a deal and with some more tweaking I should be able to make them look seamless.

 

I also did the Terragen work for Tatooine so that I can probably render it in the next days. Screenshots will follow once those textures are ingame but for now I only have a download of my (unfinished) Manaan skybox in case anyone wants to have a look.

https://www.dropbox....Manaan.rar?dl=0



#14 Quanon

Quanon

    Jedi Knight

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 346 posts
  • LocationHarelbeke

Posted 20 February 2015 - 02:06 PM

Stated from personal experience and torturing Quanon with the dilemma...

 

 

Yes, indeed.

I did mess around some more in PS with my Malachor skybox. Slicing off 1 or 2 pixel lines from left and/ or right. But never got it properly fixed. And got mighty frustrated with it all, to be honest  x-S

 

Oh, and sorry Kexikus for not getting back to you about Terragen. Manaan is looking mighty good though!



#15 HK-47

HK-47

    Jedi Padawan

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 101 posts

Posted 20 February 2015 - 08:51 PM

Observation: The effects of Malachor V go even beyond the SW universe itself.


"So long as you continue to be so predictable I need not face you at all. You are your own worst enemy".- Tassadar

~Observation: And if you did master, I could not prevent you. I would suggest that if my words are difficult to hear, then it is long past time someone said them to you. Speaking from the perspective of one who suffers considerable memory problems, repressing such horrific acts of slaughter, seems like such a waste. It is better to drag such delightful memories kicking and screaming into the open where they may be examined and replayed again and again savoring each beautiful moment. -HK-47 to the Exile KotOR2~

 

This is what I dream of when I see people whining about things, ignoring the facts. This is what whiny people look like. All I can say to whiny people on the internet is this, just not in so few words. If you don't like it, fill out this form.


#16 Kexikus

Kexikus

    Jedi Master

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,345 posts

Posted 21 February 2015 - 07:37 PM

As I said I'm currently working on Tatooine and I could use some more opinions.

Here are two versions of the terrain I'm going to use.

 

Spoiler

 

Would you prefer the first version where the dunes slowly turn into mountains in the distance or the second version with flat dunes and only a few mountains in the background (as in vanilla)?

 

 

Oh, and sorry Kexikus for not getting back to you about Terragen. Manaan is looking mighty good though!

 

No problem. I think in the end it's better if I do the renders myself anyway.



#17 Fair Strides

Fair Strides

    Aurora Engine Operator

  • Administrators
  • 2,203 posts
  • LocationOregon, USA

Posted 21 February 2015 - 07:40 PM

I like the first version better.


(By the way, if you ever want to ask about one of the quotes, feel free to send me a PM)

 

My personal, made-up quote: "To know is good, but to act is better."

"Words are just words, thoughts thoughts, but actions...actions are progress." - Fair Strides

"Intelligence and respect are all it takes to get along fine. Not a bad trade off, huh?" - EwigD from GameFaqs

"And regarding butchering the language, I have been to the internet. The language is well butchered regularly." - Malkior

 

"You can either live with the lies or die with the truth. Who would rather lie to live than die for telling the truth?" - Fair Strides


#18 Sith Holocron

Sith Holocron

    M4-78

  • Administrators
  • 3,911 posts
  • LocationKodiak, AK (Hoth)

Posted 21 February 2015 - 07:41 PM

I also like the first version better.

"Release dates are for those that don't care about quality in mods." - Me
 
Here are my mods. Please rate and leave some feedback if you've liked any of them in your game!

Not approving mods.  PM one of these other folks if you mod is not reviewed within 24 hours.


#19 Constar

Constar

    Jedi Padawan

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 76 posts
  • LocationCologne, Germany

Posted 21 February 2015 - 07:47 PM

In my opinion the second version just has more of a Star Wars feel to it, especially considering all the canyons and rocks shown iin the movies (Episode4, when Luke meets Obi; Episode6, Jabba's palace and surrounding area; Episode1, the Race; Episode2, when Skywalker was avenging his mom)



#20 Quanon

Quanon

    Jedi Knight

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 346 posts
  • LocationHarelbeke

Posted 21 February 2015 - 09:08 PM

 

 

As I said I'm currently working on Tatooine and I could use some more opinions.

Here are two versions of the terrain I'm going to use.

 

Spoiler

 

Would you prefer the first version where the dunes slowly turn into mountains in the distance or the second version with flat dunes and only a few mountains in the background (as in vanilla)?

 

 

 

No problem. I think in the end it's better if I do the renders myself anyway.

 

Nice work on those renders! Love both of them, don't you need 4 to 5 sides anyway, its a skyBOX? :P
Suggestion, could also render out some sand; just the floor at, say 1024x1024. Because the old kotor sand texture applied to the dunes is going

to look very different to what appears  in the skybox.

 

Just so it matches nicely ^_^






0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users