Kexikus

[WIP] High quality skyboxes

331 posts in this topic

Update time!

 

I've been working on the Telos surface skybox. It's not finished yet but I'm quite happy with how it's turning out. And since you don't actually see much of the terrain ingame ( :( ), here's a render.

 

6FQM8KB.png

 

The mountains are not quite finished, I'll add more sand on the coast (and brighten it up) for a better beach. The trees are just placeholders, the sun position might be tweaked and the clouds still need to extend further into the distance.

 

The clouds for the part behind the camera that's outside of the restoration zone are the one thing that I haven't worked on at all.

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That looks good! So photorealistic, it can give EAFront a run for its money!

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It can give EAFront a run for its money!

That's not really a difficult thing to do. Anything's better than their schlock

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That's not really a difficult thing to do. Anything's better than their schlock

I was talking about the visuals.

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This may be a horrible idea but in TSL you can set the module in the .are file to rain and thunder so if you wanted to, in an optional download, make HQ Skyboxes but make the Skybox with dark cloud's and add the rain and thunder in. You might need to edit some module files though so it isn't raining inside a building or in a cave for example as well as add lightning flares in the sky. I think Telos, Dantooine, Dxun, Onderon, Korriban, Nar Shaddaa and Malachor may work (If you, or anyone, does this make the installation modular so you don't have every planet rainy and stormy). Even if you don't want to do an HQ Skybox reskinning the vanilla skyboxes to have dark low res clouds and adding the rain and thunder will make a good mod.

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So you want dark clouds? You can have those:

 

EA7uJZBh.png

 

In other words: The Telos skybox is now (almost) done and it has a total of four cloud layers which result in huge render times. Rendering only the two textures seen in the screenshot above at 1024x1024 with pretty low details took about 3:30 hours and that's after I prerendered the global illumination for 1:15 hours. Rendering the full size textures will be fun xD

 

This may be a horrible idea but in TSL you can set the module in the .are file to rain and thunder so if you wanted to, in an optional download, make HQ Skyboxes but make the Skybox with dark cloud's and add the rain and thunder in. You might need to edit some module files though so it isn't raining inside a building or in a cave for example as well as add lightning flares in the sky. I think Telos, Dantooine, Dxun, Onderon, Korriban, Nar Shaddaa and Malachor may work (If you, or anyone, does this make the installation modular so you don't have every planet rainy and stormy). Even if you don't want to do an HQ Skybox reskinning the vanilla skyboxes to have dark low res clouds and adding the rain and thunder will make a good mod.

 

Yeah, that's certainly possible but nothing I'm going to do. With my skyboxes, I'll try and stay very close to the vanilla designs. Not to mention that adding different weather conditions would be a huge amount of work when it comes to creating the skyboxes and that's not something I'm going to do.

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I think I have a new favorite skybox:

 

bwFe0MWh.jpg

 

Not much has actually changed since I last showed you Dantooine, but those tiny changes did make quite a difference. Among those are changes to the vegetation, to help blending the trees and the terrain. I also fixed the lake, prievously it simply ended mid air. I added the moons (not visible in this picture). Currently I'm adding some boulders that lie around just like in the game area. Then I'll tweak the distant mountains some more and Dantooine should be done. And I really love how well skybox and area model blend in this one.

 

But there are some other news as well. I decided to share my work on the planetside forums (Terragen forums) and since those folks over there can't do much with skyboxes, I started making wallpaper renders of my terrains/skies. The idea is to make one or two renders everytime I finish a skybox. And since some are already finished, I'll go back to these and make renders as well.

 

The first skybox to get this treatment was Telos, followed by Tatooine and Manaan. Click on the small images below and you'll get to the Full HD wallpapers. Not quite sure what I'm going to do with them when they're all done. Maybe I'll release them as a wallpaper pack or something.

 

1vjEZP5l.jpg    INmj66tl.jpg

 

po2bkabl.jpg    NRE7HWOl.jpg

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Truly impressive!

 

I am looking forward to update your material within SW:KotOR: Upgrade!

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Any more news?

You are violation of Rule 6. This is the second time you've done this, this week. One more gets you a month long ban. Making a smart ass comment in response to this in this or another thread or by PM gets you a permanent ban.

 

 

6. Bumping

 

Please do not make posts simply to move the topic back up to the top of the forum. This is called ‘bumping’ and is not allowed. If people have something relevant to post on that topic, they will. Please be patient when waiting for replies. Don't worry if you don't get a response right away. People around here are helpful and friendly, and if someone knows the answer to something, they'll let you know.

 

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That's alright, I just genuinely wanted to know if this is still in ongoing progress as I don't believe the OP with the image has been updated for some time. 

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I'll update this thread when I have something to show, no need to ask.

 

I have started working on the skybox models and decided to replace them all with my own model that has a proper UVW mapping. I tested that new model on Manaan, where I rendered all skybox textures in full resolution but not quite full quality. You can see the seamless result here (that's a corner of the skybox model):

 

kNCwVHUh.png

 

I also applied these model changes to Korriban and finished that skybox:

 

0etaagIl.jpg     CvA4tBUl.jpg

 

And as I said before: I'll always post a render of each finished skybox, so here's the one for Korriban:

 

o1eXF5zl.jpg

 

Next up is creating the models for Dantooine and Telos to finish these skyboxes. I'll also work on Tatooine some more to get that one to blend better with the 3d ingame terrain.

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Next up is creating the models for Dantooine and Telos to finish these skyboxes. I'll also work on Tatooine some more to get that one to blend better with the 3d ingame terrain.

Would it not make your life easier to plan ahead with Dantooine and create both the K1 and the K2 versions of Dantooine at the same time?  You'll already have the models set up and (presumably) all you'll have to change is the lighting and coloring.

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I'll update this thread when I have something to show, no need to ask.

 

I have started working on the skybox models and decided to replace them all with my own model that has a proper UVW mapping. I tested that new model on Manaan, where I rendered all skybox textures in full resolution but not quite full quality. You can see the seamless result here (that's a corner of the skybox model):

 

kNCwVHUh.png

 

I also applied these model changes to Korriban and finished that skybox:

 

0etaagIl.jpg     CvA4tBUl.jpg

 

And as I said before: I'll always post a render of each finished skybox, so here's the one for Korriban:

 

o1eXF5zl.jpg

 

Next up is creating the models for Dantooine and Telos to finish these skyboxes. I'll also work on Tatooine some more to get that one to blend better with the 3d ingame terrain.

Might possibly be stupid to ask but would it be possible to have a comparison of the HQ Skyboxes as they are now and your new models so we can see the improvements between the two?

 

Other than that, those look great!

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Would it not make your life easier to plan ahead with Dantooine and create both the K1 and the K2 versions of Dantooine at the same time?  You'll already have the models set up and (presumably) all you'll have to change is the lighting and coloring.

 

Well yeah, that's what I do for the actual skybox textures. Those are done for K1 Dantooine and I have a WIP sky/coloring for K2 Dantooine. What I was talking about here are the actual ingame models/cubes for the skyboxes. I made one of those and now I have to copy that one into every module of both games (yeay...). That's what's up next for K1s Dantooine so that this skybox is fully done except for the final renders.

 

Might possibly be stupid to ask but would it be possible to have a comparison of the HQ Skyboxes as they are now and your new models so we can see the improvements between the two?

 

Other than that, those look great!

 

I could show you a comparison but you wouldn't actually see anything on it except for the improved sky, but that's coming from my better knowledge of Terragen and not the new models. But I might be able to explain it:

 

The skyboxes are obviously cubes with five textures assigned to the five visible sides of that cube. The problem with the skybox models in vanilla is that their edges don't always line up properly and that the UVW mapping is also less than perfect. And since that is different for every planet, I prievously had to stretch my textures to fit that so that no pixels are missing and I had to do that individually per skybox/planet. On top of that came the fact that the vanilla skyboxes are not centered vertically, i.e. the horizon is not where it should be which I had to account for by editing the rendered skybox as well. All of that was a lot of individual work for each skybox and lowered the quality due to the stretching. With my new skybox models, I no longer have to do any of that. I can just take the full quality renders straight from Terragen and they form a seamless skybox.

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Well yeah, that's what I do for the actual skybox textures. Those are done for K1 Dantooine and I have a WIP sky/coloring for K2 Dantooine. What I was talking about here are the actual ingame models/cubes for the skyboxes. I made one of those and now I have to copy that one into every module of both games (yeay...). That's what's up next for K1s Dantooine so that this skybox is fully done except for the final renders.

 

 

I could show you a comparison but you wouldn't actually see anything on it except for the improved sky, but that's coming from my better knowledge of Terragen and not the new models. But I might be able to explain it:

 

The skyboxes are obviously cubes with five textures assigned to the five visible sides of that cube. The problem with the skybox models in vanilla is that their edges don't always line up properly and that the UVW mapping is also less than perfect. And since that is different for every planet, I prievously had to stretch my textures to fit that so that no pixels are missing and I had to do that individually per skybox/planet. On top of that came the fact that the vanilla skyboxes are not centered vertically, i.e. the horizon is not where it should be which I had to account for by editing the rendered skybox as well. All of that was a lot of individual work for each skybox and lowered the quality due to the stretching. With my new skybox models, I no longer have to do any of that. I can just take the full quality renders straight from Terragen and they form a seamless skybox.

I know this might be asking a lot, but is it possible that you could include an optional modder's resource of the new skybox models for those of us who want to make our own skyboxes but don't know how to get past the seam limitations of Vanilla?

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I know this might be asking a lot, but is it possible that you could include an optional modder's resource of the new skybox models for those of us who want to make our own skyboxes but don't know how to get past the seam limitations of Vanilla?

 

The models will be included in the download, but I'll make sure to include instructions on how to use them. If you need that right away, let me know and I'll cook something up.

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The models will be included in the download, but I'll make sure to include instructions on how to use them. If you need that right away, let me know and I'll cook something up.

I know that would've helped out Quanon when he was doing his Malachor V skybox.

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I'll update this thread when I have something to show, no need to ask.

 

Say what you will but before I posted there was no updates and now volia.

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Say what you will but before I posted there was no updates and now volia.

Due to your admission of bumping, you have now been restricted from posting for 30 days.  And it's "voila" not "volia"

 

Update: It's a permanent ban now. 

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Oh my GOD I could stare at these for hours. Fantastic work.

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A few days ago when I was driving home, we had this really beautiful sky that you sometimes get when a storm is coming. The next day, I thought that something like this might work really well for TSLs Dantooine. So I opened Terragen again and tried to replicate what I saw the day before. It was actually surprisingly easy to get a similar result but it took some more days to get a version that worked as a skybox ingame as most tries just looked off in some way.

I only have a low quality test render of that latest version, but I figured I might as well share it here:

KF2fIfm.png

I'm currently rendering a higher quality test version with the updated terrain I created for K1s V2 Dantooine skybox. Once that's done, I'll probably have an ingame screenshot as well.

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And here is the ingame shot:

sGRApMeh.png

Getting there took quite a while. First I had to get the grass color right which is a really annoying thing to do as I can't just take the colors from the texture due to the different lighting in Terragen and the game. But I got there after about 10 iterations or so...

Then I noticed something that I already knew but had completely forgotten. The TSL Dantooine skybox is rotated compared to the K1 skybox, so my reused K1 terrain was also rotated ingame. To fix this inconsistency, I had to rotate the camera in Terragen, but then I also had to move the sun accordingly so that it stays where it's supposed to be. But then the sun disappeared behind my clouds and it's impossible to rotate the clouds in TG which was a real shame in that case because I liked those clouds a lot. Many cloud iterations later, I got new cloud shapes that look good again, so those are what you see in the screenshot.

Now I just have to fix the 3d grass in the skybox and fix the actual skybox model. Currently the horizon is still way too high.

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I really like the overcast feel, it makes Dantooine ever more depressing without it being too over the top.

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