Question about 3D skyboxes

01-29-2006, 10:44 PM
I've found a ton of tutorials on making 3D skyboxes. There's just one thing I'm stuck on and it's right at the end of the process.

My question is: what do I delete and what do I keep?

Basically, as some of you may know from the screenshots that WidowsPeak is one big outdoors map. I've created a background all the way around it. (Hills, trees etc), I copied all this outer stuff, plus the sky cam and light, scaled it down, made the 3D skybox and now I'm thinking OK do I now delete my outer background geomtry from my MAIN BIG MAP that I started with, or from my SCALED DOWN MAP? Which one do I delete it from and why?

That's the part I can't grasp and it's killing me. I don't want to try and compile this until I know which to do.


otF yetihw
01-30-2006, 02:09 AM
Right I shall attempt to answer this...:)

Just to check.. you've placed a sky_camera entity at 0,0,0 on the map? Then selected it and selected areas of geometry (no models), then copied it to a seperate sealed area of skybox on the map, then scaled it down to .0625 for x, y and z.

Once you've got this done, and you have the sky_camera entity and your scaled down geometry in the 3D skybox area, go back to the actual full scale map, find 0,0,0 and delete the sky_camera entity which is there, but leave the one which is in the 3D skybox.

Then you do this: using the main areas of geometry that you copied and have now scaled down, build your 3D skybox around it. Once you've added everything you want to the 3D skybox, delete the scaled-down geometry.

Hopefully that's a little easier to read than most of the tutorials on the subject..

(ps. don't forget if you use brushes in the 3D skybox to adjust the texture scale to something along the lines of 0.02)

(pps. and also make a duplicate of the light_environment from your map and put it in to the 3D skybox)

prone ranger
01-30-2006, 12:07 PM
I found that 0.01 was a closer match to the texture size

is a shame that the skybox textures aren't scaled to 1/16th already so that they can be used with the same settings as the normal maps

*****edited to make sense******

01-30-2006, 01:54 PM
I thought you were going to work for EA? Shouldn't you know this? Unless it's something like an art director position? Or is it just new stuff to you in Source mapping?

01-30-2006, 04:50 PM
otF yetihw - Thanks a lot for the help, yes you explained it great.

What I did though was kind've ass backwards?: I made all my background/outer stuff first in my main map, copied and scaled IT down (instead of my inner main stuff). So essentially I already have the 3D skybox done, unless I want to add more later.

So since I copied my outer/background stuff and scaled it down into the 3D skybox, then I CAN delete my main outer background geometry that I started with, since It's now in the 3D skybox, correct?

You're right, a lot of those tut's aren't very concise.

deceiver - Yep it's not a mapping/level design position. It's actually an Interface Design position, and I'll be starting as soon as the position reopens. :) It would be my 1st job in the game industry. SDK's are brand new to me. WidowsPeak is my first map ever.

01-30-2006, 07:46 PM
Waaaait a second, I have another question about this stuff.

Now that I have a 3D Skybox, can I delete my big-ass 2D skybox that's surrounding my map? It's a big outdoors map with only two houses so I cant use them as blockage. I read on the Valve Dev that those big box suckers slow down the game.

If I can't delete it, is there an alternative?

otF yetihw
01-30-2006, 07:58 PM
No you still need to have your map surrounded and sealed in by skybox brushes. Sounds like you have a box round the whole thing which is not a good idea, leads to longer compile times and slower gameplay.

Take a peek at this:

At the very top of the page, I assume you're doing it like the third example, wheras you want to do it like the first or second ones.

01-30-2006, 11:30 PM
Ahh I was looking for this page, thanks. Yep you're right.

One thing I noticed though now that I have this 3D skybox is that my background where my 3D Box starts is all white because of my fog controller. It never did that without it. Hmm...I do want fog, is there a fix? Or is the only fix to have the fog start really close to you.

*Ah the sky camera's fog settings. I'll try that.

01-31-2006, 06:49 AM
Not sure if this is what your looking for?

For my new level which has fog, I wanted to completely conceal the sky. It looked odd having a foggy level and a nice clr sky above. I found a simple solution to have a level lit by an env_light without having the skybox visible (which is needed for env_light to work).

If this is not what you want, someone else could use this i'm sure.


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