posted February 12, 2001 12:07 PM
[i started this topic to discuss sky boxes in general, but if Jim or Philippe would start it off with a few words...]
first, a question for LDA - i noticed that sky planes were probably tried out for the game. can you share your experience with them?
why were boxes chosen over the plane method? (the answer is obvious - boxes apparently worked better, but can you elaborate? what were the specific issues with the plane?)
were sky spheres ever experimented with? if so, how did that work?
next, i have some tips for creating custom skyboxes. there are many ways of creating skies in the freeware raytracing package POV-Ray (it is very easy to use). see www.povray.org one of the most popular ways is to texture a sky shpere with the myriad of texturing options in the program. you can get some fantastic effects!
then, to ray-trace the images for the skybox texture, render 5 different times with a camera with a 1:1 aspect ratio and a 90-degree viewing angle (camera at the origin). render four times: once facing north, once east, then south, then west. POV-Ray has a hard time aiming a camera exactly vertical, so to render the top, leave the camera facing north and rotate the skybox texture so the top is in view (as if you "rolled" the skybox forward).
you should end up with seamless textures for a custom skybox! if the top texture isn't rotated correctly, rotate the bitmap in a paint program.