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[WIP] High quality skyboxes


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#221 Quanon

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Posted 17 August 2016 - 09:18 AM

Had a good start on that "circle" the landingbay is located. The detailing is simple, since this is a distance shot.

But I can't find a good texture from Manaan areas, that matches better, to the one seen in the real skybox.

 

It's close, but far to cluttered/ busy to work. Anyone any idea what texture would be a better fit?

Redoing the color to match, isn't an issue. But so far it doesn't look good enough to me.

 

Here are some preview shots, the fins in the background are a quick mock up ;)

Oh, and this is just 1/4 of the full circle/ tube shape :P

 

Prevver_zpsjopvqofq.jpg

 

 

Prevver2_zpsyvcsjaka.jpg



#222 Kexikus

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Posted 17 August 2016 - 11:17 AM

Wow, I wasn't expecting anyone to pick this request up after such a long time. Thanks for doing that :)

 

For the texture: Maybe it would be enough to simply reduce the contrast?



#223 Quanon

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Posted 18 August 2016 - 02:23 PM

Wow, I wasn't expecting anyone to pick this request up after such a long time. Thanks for doing that :D

 

For the texture: Maybe it would be enough to simply reduce the contrast?

 

Lol, I was planning on doing these waaaaay sooner. But I never got to it.

That's life I guess; it throws things in the way, so a modder can't get to his business :P

 

So, I spend most of my time creating a new texture to go with my model, closely eyeballing that one picture you posted.

To get the same feel and look; as best as I could. I'm not really all that well in the texture department.

 

Then adjusted the UVWmapping a bit. Playing with the render settings 

Picture time!

 

Also many thanks to Jorak Uln, he created the window texture; and I really love it!

Hope you don't mind me using it on this project Jorak :D

 

Prev003.jpg

 

Prev004.jpg



#224 Quanon

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Posted 04 September 2016 - 02:47 PM

Been working on the other structures for the Manaan skybox. Very much WIP, ugly shadows, need to fix up the smoothing groups and further tweaking the mesh.

But here's a quick preview on how it looks so far.

 

Prevver8_zpsubpuvcdo.jpg



#225 Kexikus

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Posted 04 September 2016 - 03:30 PM

This is looking sooo good (except for the shadows :P). I can't wait to get them ingame :)



#226 Zhaboka

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Posted 06 September 2016 - 10:14 PM

I know this has nothing to do with Quanon's (awesome) pending addition to this mod, but I just started playing K1 with the initial release of this and MAN it looks good. I'm finding myself just staring at the skyboxes, totally distracted from my quests.


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#227 Jango32

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Posted 07 September 2016 - 05:15 AM

The only skybox that doesn't really blend that well is Korriban's in the Valley of the Dark Lords, I'd say.



#228 Kexikus

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Posted 07 September 2016 - 07:43 AM

The only skybox that doesn't really blend that well is Korriban's in the Valley of the Dark Lords, I'd say.

 

How is that skybox not blending in well if I may ask? I personally think it's one of the best in that regard, so it'd be great if you could elaborate on that.



#229 Jango32

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Posted 07 September 2016 - 02:52 PM

It's one angle that always quirks me in-game...

 

Spoiler

 

 

That rock formation that isn't part of the skybox (so not your fault really) sticks out so much when you actually move in-game. The difference between the rock textures and the skybox is very jarring. In a screenshot you can't really tell, but once you get in-game and you are moving around with that part of the module on camera, it's a whole different story (at least to me). 



#230 Kexikus

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Posted 07 September 2016 - 06:01 PM

Once I get to do the next update for the skybox pack I'll have a look at it and see if there's anything I can do. But I fear it won't be possible unless I reduce the quality of the skybox as that's always an issue when only some textures are replaced with HD versions while others stay SD.

 

Thanks for the feedback :)



#231 Kexikus

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Posted 29 May 2017 - 09:41 AM

Attached File  Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic 2 05.29.2017 - 10.27.13.01.png   2.17MB   5 downloads



#232 DarthParametric

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Posted 29 May 2017 - 10:20 AM

Heh, the horrible low res nature of the foreground really stands out in that shot. Looking good though. You still using Terragen for these?

#233 Kexikus

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Posted 29 May 2017 - 04:44 PM

Heh, the horrible low res nature of the foreground really stands out in that shot. Looking good though. You still using Terragen for these?

 

Yeah, that's probably the worst scene when it comes to low quality foregrounds sticking out against high quality backgrounds...

 

And yes, I still use Terragen. But I upgraded from the free version of TG 3 to the full version of TG 4.

 

The main advantages are in the fact that I now have the full version. The upgrade to version 4 might or might not be relevant to my renders. The full version allows me to actually render 2048x2048 textures instead of stitching together four upscaled 900x900 renders. Also I can increase the quality settings and use Global Illumination Caching which should get rid of unwanted lighting changes between renders (i.e. visible seams). And I can use more than three populations (randomly placed objects) which might be useful in some cases (like Taris).

 

All in all, it's really fun to be back in the skybox business :)



#234 DarthParametric

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Posted 29 May 2017 - 05:55 PM

Out of curiosity, how useful would you consider switching from the current sky boxes to actual sky domes (in terms of level geometry)?

#235 Kexikus

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Posted 29 May 2017 - 07:06 PM

Sky domes = half spheres?

 

If so, then I'd say it would probably be an improvement but I'm not sure if it's actually worth the effort. The upside is of course that every point on the sky is then equally distant to the player (at least in the center of the dome) whereas skyboxes don't have that and thus have distortion. However that distortion is compensated for when rendering the skybox textures so it's not even visible unless you're actually close to the skybox (which you never are in the KotOR games). Not having that is the only real advantage of sky domes I see.

The disadvantage would be that you have to put a flat texture on a spherical shape which is of course not possible without distortion so that might even negate the advantages skydomes have.

 

But to be honest, I've never really thought about it. Skyboxes seemed fine for an old game like KotOR. Why do you ask?



#236 DarthParametric

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Posted 30 May 2017 - 05:24 AM

It was just something that floated across my mind. The sky boxes look pretty horrendous when you load them up in Max, but you're right that in-game they do a sufficient job and manage to hide the seams. But I thought there might be some edge cases, somewhere fairly open like Tatooine or Manaan.

#237 Kexikus

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Posted 02 June 2017 - 09:36 PM

I'd say that's definetly an improvement even though it's far from finished :D

 

Attached File  Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic 2 06.02.2017 - 21.02.44.01.png   2.13MB   2 downloads

 

I used elements from a Coruscant scene I found on scifi3d.com and used them to create the "building blocks" that form this scene. The sky and clouds are of course still missing and I'll also improve the terrain/cityscape. I also had to replace the actual skybox model with another one since the vanilla skybox has angled sides that ruin the skybox look for these textures. I'll probably just keep this new model for the final release, but I don't know yet.

 

Apart from that I've finalized the Telos Plateau terrain (for now) and I've been working on updating the Dantooine terrain. That includes better placed background mountains and more importantly those "cliffs" you see in the game. I'll post a screenshot of that later.

 

That's it for now. Till the next time :D



#238 LucyTheAlien

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Posted 02 June 2017 - 09:51 PM

What about the horrendous ground on Telos Polar Region visible in Widescreen- how are you approaching fixing that?


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#239 Kexikus

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Posted 02 June 2017 - 09:53 PM

What about the horrendous ground on Telos Polar Region visible in Widescreen- how are you approaching fixing that?

 

Are you talking about the foreground plateau that you walk on? If so, then not at all. This mod is about skyboxes and not a module reskin.



#240 LucyTheAlien

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Posted 02 June 2017 - 10:36 PM

Are you talking about the foreground plateau that you walk on? If so, then not at all. This mod is about skyboxes and not a module reskin.

 

No the bottom of the skybox that you can see when the camera does a flyby. 


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