Kexikus

[WIP] High quality skyboxes

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Thanks for the free wallpapers! 🤣 Excited for M4-78 in particular, as it was SO bad in the game files. Looks good so far! Definitely the right mood.

Would love a high-res version of your below Kashyyyk creation if you're feeling generous! 😀

blupSB5h.jpg&key=11ab085eb07a5d27c0f3d69

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Hey, not sure if it's been brought up before, but be aware of color management. Because the 2.2 gamma curve that monitors have, most games before 2010 render in a colorspace where light loses intensity too fast. KotOR renders in-engine content with that curve, whereas photoreal-rendering operates in linear space with much more light range. If you're trying to recreate the look of in-engine content, you need to render with color management off. If you want light to behave realistically, you need to use color management.

This link has a helpful breakdown of how gamma messes with rendering. I only really got this concept about this a month ago!
https://developer.nvidia.com/gpugems/gpugems3/part-iv-image-effects/chapter-24-importance-being-linear

Your work is terrific by the way, you're committed to getting all the subtleties looking just right

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Thanks for the kind words everyone!

On 6/4/2020 at 3:58 PM, DarthParametric said:

Looking good. Nice work.

How do you think you are placed to make ground textures? The Dantooine shot shows how dire some of the vanilla textures are.

Right now I would say: Not at all. I'm pretty sure that I could learn how to make such textures but at the moment I lack both the skill and the tools for it.

21 hours ago, Zhaboka said:

Thanks for the free wallpapers! 🤣 Excited for M4-78 in particular, as it was SO bad in the game files. Looks good so far! Definitely the right mood.

Would love a high-res version of your below Kashyyyk creation if you're feeling generous! 😀

All of those wallpapers are actually rendered in Full HD but I only ever posted lower res versions here and completely forgot that you cannot simply click it to get to the full version on imgur. In any case, I'll release them all in an archive once I'm done. But for now, here's Kashyyyk: https://imgur.com/blupSB5

14 hours ago, tjsase said:

Hey, not sure if it's been brought up before, but be aware of color management. Because the 2.2 gamma curve that monitors have, most games before 2010 render in a colorspace where light loses intensity too fast. KotOR renders in-engine content with that curve, whereas photoreal-rendering operates in linear space with much more light range. If you're trying to recreate the look of in-engine content, you need to render with color management off. If you want light to behave realistically, you need to use color management.

This link has a helpful breakdown of how gamma messes with rendering. I only really got this concept about this a month ago!
https://developer.nvidia.com/gpugems/gpugems3/part-iv-image-effects/chapter-24-importance-being-linear

Your work is terrific by the way, you're committed to getting all the subtleties looking just right

Thanks for that link. Very interesting to read and it might have helped with some issues I had if I had seen that about three years ago. But I think I managed to work around that pretty well so I guess I'll stick with my current method xD

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On 6/5/2020 at 9:06 AM, Kexikus said:

All of those wallpapers are actually rendered in Full HD but I only ever posted lower res versions here and completely forgot that you cannot simply click it to get to the full version on imgur. In any case, I'll release them all in an archive once I'm done. But for now, here's Kashyyyk: https://imgur.com/blupSB5

Thanks!!

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I just cannot stop myself from tweaking stuff. So while preparing skyboxes for and doing the final renders, I reworked K1 Korribans colors. Not because the old ones were bad but they strayed quite a bit from vanilla, making a seamless blend much harder. So I tuned them closer to vanilla and thus got a way better blend and overall look.

Here's what it looks like now (final high quality renders and correct colors):

9GkpRLHh.jpg

And the old version with low quality test renders:

CvA4tBUh.jpg

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huh, I never noticed how reddish the old version was. The final version look better to me too - closer to stock is always good, imo.

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On 6/11/2020 at 10:50 AM, Kexikus said:

I just cannot stop myself from tweaking stuff. 

I know that feeling all too well. ^^

The new SB looking much more refined, i especially like how the Taris clouds turned out.  Kashyyyk looks spot on, except for the the dustrays:  Is it possible to blur them out  to mask the single rays a bit,  like shown here?

sun_fog_forest_nebel_rays_dust_wald_sonn

Anyway, i always enjoy your artwork!

 

On 6/4/2020 at 3:58 PM, DarthParametric said:

Looking good. Nice work.

How do you think you are placed to make ground textures? The Dantooine shot shows how dire some of the vanilla textures are.

If you dont mind the textures being from another author,  i just finished Dantooine in UHQ  while keeping things close to vanilla, tell me if you want to check it out.

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It's getting somewhere:
Pfmx8Qhl.png

The background buildings are partially from the game, partially self modeled after game models and partially from SWTOR. There's still some models and details like smoke from the chimneys missing but the overall look is pretty much what I want already.

I'll also add some 2d backdrop buildings to bridge the gap and blend between the ingame terrain and the skybox. Otherwise the difference is just too obvious especially in the Central Zone.

Now, I don't know alot about the lore of M4-78 so if this industrial and dirty look is somehow completely wrong, please let me know ASAP and I'll try to design something new.

On 6/14/2020 at 7:51 AM, Jorak Uln said:

 Kashyyyk looks spot on, except for the the dustrays:  Is it possible to blur them out  to mask the single rays a bit,  like shown here?

sun_fog_forest_nebel_rays_dust_wald_sonn

Anyway, i always enjoy your artwork!

I will make them a little softer but not as much as in your image. I personally prefer them with hard edges and that way they match the ingame godrays better as well.

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Oooooh yes, I like where that's going. I feel like while the human-occupy-able areas of the planet are clean (whathisface the overzealous cleaning droid haha), the air would be somewhat polluted given its purpose as a planet to be stripped of resources, so this feels right.

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Thanks, that's exactly what I was going for but I wasn't quite sure whether it fit the lore.

What do you guys think of this background smoke?

ajjMEYih.png

It's not animated of course, unlike the ingame foreground smoke and I'm not quite sure whether I like it.

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Hmmm. if it's not animated, it might stand out a bit. I may be an outlier on this so let's hear more opinions.

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I think the smoke looks really good in that still shot, but if it's static, it would stand out if you looked at it too long.

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Thanks for the reply guys. Upon checking the skybox again after a good night of sleep I agree with you. The static smoke doesn't work.

However, I found a way to get animated smoke instead: Particles

Below you can see a video demonstration with the vanilla particle smoke in the foreground and both the old static smoke on the skybox in the background and the new animated background smoke. I'll tweak the particle settings some more and remove the static smoke of course but I think this is already going in a very nice direction.

You can also see the changed fog color that blends much better with the skybox now (Look for that round building in the middle of the screen and compare it to the screenshot in my last post.)

 

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I think it's a nice addition there.

My only criticism may be to the number of such smoke pillars in the sky. I'd rather see fewer of them and with much more distance between them than it currently is.

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16 hours ago, DarthParametric said:

Looks like you might need to increase the falloff a bit.  It seems to me that it fades out a bit too quickly at the top of the plume.

I did just that. Tweaked th column some more.

15 hours ago, Salk said:

I think it's a nice addition there.

My only criticism may be to the number of such smoke pillars in the sky. I'd rather see fewer of them and with much more distance between them than it currently is.

It's only that one particular direction where I have a lot of smoke and that's the direction of the Industrial Zone. As you can see in the video below, there's much less smoke in the other directions and I might even reduce it further for the other modules.

 

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26 minutes ago, KnifeMaster said:

Your second version looks really good to me. I agree that there was too much smoke in the first one.

Uhm, not to disappoint you but there's actually more smoke in the second version. It might look like less because I recorded the second one from a different location but it's actually four plumes now where it was three before (two of which were still static in the video).

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On 6/11/2020 at 1:50 AM, Kexikus said:

I just cannot stop myself from tweaking stuff. So while preparing skyboxes for and doing the final renders, I reworked K1 Korribans colors. Not because the old ones were bad but they strayed quite a bit from vanilla, making a seamless blend much harder. So I tuned them closer to vanilla and thus got a way better blend and overall look.

Here's what it looks like now (final high quality renders and correct colors):

9GkpRLHh.jpg

 

I can confidently say that this is a perfect upgrade of the original texture in every way. It increases the detail and adds visual scope yet doesn't radically stray from the original design (In my opinion, this looks better than SWTOR) Are the rest of your skyboxes going to be color corrected to the original pallet as well?

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4 hours ago, Malkior said:

I can confidently say that this is a perfect upgrade of the original texture in every way. It increases the detail and adds visual scope yet doesn't radically stray from the original design (In my opinion, this looks better than SWTOR) Are the rest of your skyboxes going to be color corrected to the original pallet as well?

It's always been one of my main goals to stay true to the vanilla look. Whether I've been successfull in that endeavour you can judge for yourself by looking at the screenshots posted in this thread.

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20 hours ago, Kexikus said:

It's always been one of my main goals to stay true to the vanilla look. Whether I've been successfull in that endeavour you can judge for yourself by looking at the screenshots posted in this thread.

Sorry. Didn't mean to imply that you don't try to maintain the utmost of accuracy. There's just something about that color correction that elevated the look. If such a change could be replicated, then perhaps other skyboxes could benefit from it as well.

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9 hours ago, Malkior said:

Sorry. Didn't mean to imply that you don't try to maintain the utmost of accuracy. There's just something about that color correction that elevated the look. If such a change could be replicated, then perhaps other skyboxes could benefit from it as well.

I didn't take it as an offence, sorry if I came across like I did.

But to your point, as I render the final versions of the skyboxes, I'm going through them and when I see something like the previous mismatch on Korriban, I fix it before rendering the full version. Right now, I'm doing the same for Manaan and I'm pretty sure Telos will get a similar treatment as well. With the goal always being to get the best blend between skybox and terrain that I can achieve while maintaining the vanilla atmosphere.

And as I said, feel free to go through the screenshots I posted and if you find a skybox where you feel that I missed this goal, please let me know and I'll keep a close eye on that one once it comes to its final render.

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