Creating a custom skybox

TigTig Members, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Silver Join Date: 2010-05-08 Member: 71674Posts: 977
edited January 2011 in Mapping
I've been asked this three times now, so I thought I'd make a tutorial for it, it's a work in progress (i'll get pictures up to help soon).

Hey tig, I saw your skyfalls map and thought the skybox looked great. Could you explain how to use a custom image for sykbox use like you did?

relevant link

other people have used, but i used photoshop. you need to use a 32 bit version if you happen to have cs5. there's an nvidia export plugin that will allow you to save your files as .dds as well as open and edit them in photoshop. i used the dxt5 setting but i'm not sure it matters.

so if you're starting from scratch, make 6 1024 x 1024 images (72 dpi) and save them as something easy to remember, like skybox_up, down, east west north south.

flatten each and save as a .dds, it'll ask you a bunch of options, but i think you can leave the settings as default even though i had success with dxt5 (with the 8bpp interpolated alpha.

then you have to create a material file for each .dds (copy a material file from another one and open it up and change the path and save it to the same name as the .dds you are working with.

        <map type="texture" value="materials/ns2_skyfalls/" />

mine looks like that. 6 .dds files, 6 .material files with matching names. open up the builder and if you havent used it, follow the wiki setup (involves loading the ns2 gameset and setting file locations). run the builder, you'll probably get errors but its cool, it should work anyway.

now you can test your texture files out in spark, but to get the skybox to work you have to make a .cinematic file. open the cinematic editor, drop a skybox entity into the open space, click on it and change the texture files to your texture files and you should see your skybox. if you see purple and teal checkers, you messed up something in your material file (probably the value path).

once you have your cinematic saved, drop it into your level in spark (note that default placement has the east skymap texture as the north side in the editor.


  • CamronCamron Members Join Date: 2011-01-06 Member: 76356Posts: 305 Fully active user
    You should add "[TUT]" to the beginning of this thread's title.
    Here are some other tags proposed here

    QUOTE (Crispy @ Dec 6 2010, 09:09 AM) »
    [CON] (concept - exploring ideas)
    [REQ] (request - if you would like someone else to make something for you)
    [REL] (release - something that you can download and experience for yourself, warts and all)
    [WIP] (work in progress - a thread showing everything up to first release, including feedback, discussion, etc.)
    [TUT] (tutorial - teaching others how it's done)

    You could also link here in the "Tutorials" section on the wiki. Or better yet, make a wiki page for this tutorial.
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