Today we are going to learn how to create a custom skybox, which is game design lingo basically for a cube map which means we need to create 6 different images. The images will make up left, right, top, bottom, front and back of our 6 sided cube, imagine the player inside of this cube looking around at all sides and this is what video games use to make environments look much larger than they really are.
This trick has been around since the inception of 3d accelerators but has not died out yet because engines allow for higher and higher resolution textures so the trade off is you cannot have animated skybox with clouds moving but you could make a very high resolution image for your space scene, or a mountain range to compliment your heightmap terrain mountains. The possibilities are limited by your imagination, in this two part video you will learn the following:
- Use terrain generation software Terragen to create random land mass.
- Custom script for Terragen to automatically create the 6 skybox images required.
- Tip on how to make Terragen render the textures directly to cubic sizes for games like 512x512 instead of default 640x480.
- Convert all Bitmap (BMP) images that Terragen creates with program DDS Converter with a few clicks instead of manually converting each side of the cube 1 by 1.
- Process on how to correctly name each file so that NeoAxis Engine will properly recognize them.
- Placing a SkyBox entity on a map, and setting it to display custom texture.
Links to Software Used
TerraGen (terrain generation software, not free):
TerraGen Script to render SkyBox Automatically:
DDS Converter (batch convert DDS files with style!):
Links to Video