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Making a Skybox

By: arramus
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Warp Zones
Let's open the last map with the zones and:
1. Create a skybox
2. Display sky
3. Align the skybox


4. Play the map
1. We are going to open the zoning map and add sky to the large room that doesn't have any colored lighting.

Create a 512x512x512 room that doesn't touch any other rooms in any way.

Next texture it with a sky looking texture. In Unreal Touament there is a specific Skies file but Republic Commando doesn't have one. What it does have is some sky looking textures hidden in other areas. Have a good look through the textures and find something you like. I'm selecting LowerKashyyk_Textures > Unique > Texture SkyPanelup. It has a night sky look with some cloud cover.

Now we will add an actor to this new room. Go to Info > ZoneInfo > SkyZoneInfo and add this to the new room. Right click on the SkyZoneInfo icon and go into properties. In the Unreal Tutorial it asks to go to Advanced, set bDirectional to true but there is no bDirectional in Advanced for Republic Commando. However, it is listed in Display so we'll set it to true in there. The actor now has this appearance.

Now go into ZoneLighting and set AmbientBrightness to 160.

2. Let's display the sky now. To display the sky in the main room, right click on the ceiling and go into properties. Make sure the fake backdrop box is ticked.

Now Build All. You won't be able to see the sky applied in the 3D window. But if we test the level.

All will be revealed.

3. You may have noticed that the sky looks very 'boxy'. To make it look more real, play around with aligning, panning and rotating the textures inside the skybox, also play the zone actor itself, try moving and rotating it. This is the best I could get with this texture. :( I'm going to change texture.

Wouldn't it be nice if there was a texture made specially for a box measuring 512x512x512. 4 side panels and a ceiling that would all fit snugly into place. WELL THERE IS. Go to Arena_Textures > SkyDome and select Texture GEO_MID0001* to 0004* and place them on the 4 sides. Align them to Face. Now add 0005* to the ceiling. Rotate it until you have a nice fit. These textures measure 512x512 each and will fit into a perfect jigsaw puzzle sky. Wow. Don't worry about what you have as the bottom texture because it won't be seen.

Now Build All and play the level. It doesn't look perfect as it's still possible to see a seam. I'll try to find a way to clean up the seam so just bare with it for a while.

To clean up the skybox I went into an existing retail map and copy and pasted it over to my map. The box they use is further split into triangles to resolve the seam issue. I suggest you do this too (unless you can make your own).
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