Skyboxes with Terragen 2

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Terragen 2 is much more powerful software then Terragen Classic, and is far easier to use. This tutorial will explain how to create a skybox and put it into Hammer.

The program can be downloaded here: Terragen 2 free version.


Here is a quick run down of what everything does.

The top bar has several options:

  • New project is the paper
  • Open project is the folder
  • Save project is the floppy disc
  • Render project is the picture with the R in the corner
  • Preview project is the picture with 3D at the bottom
  • Objects is the option that deals with objects inside your scene
  • Terrian is the option that deals with terrain on the "earth"
  • Shaders is the option that deals with any coloration you wish to add to the terrain
  • Water option deals with water on the "earth"
  • Atmosphere option deals with the sky and the "air" around your terrian
  • Lighting option deals with the lighting in your scene
  • Cameras option deals with any aditional cameras in your scene
  • Renderers option deals with the rendering of the scene
  • Node Network deals with how the objects in your scene interact with each other (Warning: messing around with this improperly can really mess with your scene)

Within each option you will see a list of those objects in that category. To add to it, there is a button inbetween the New, Open, Save, Render, Preview; and the list. If you click it you will see a list that will tell you a list of objects you can add and once you add it you can edit the options of that objects (messing around with each "new thing option" will tell you what you want. advice: start with a scene in mind; forest covered mountains with snow on top on a 3d cloudy day)

Importing into Hammer


To put into Hammer, first you will need to render each view.

Tip.png Tip: To change view, use the button on the bottom of the preview screen with a camera next to a picture and select bottom, top, or sides.

Then, render the project and wait a few mintues for that view to render. Once fully rendered, save the file as a .bmp with the following name convention:

  • Skybox name
  • A side postfix
    • Front = ft
    • Back = bk
    • Left = lf
    • Right = rt
    • Top = up
    • Bottom = dn

For example, if your skybox name is "carrotsky", you should have the following .bmp files:

  • carrotskyft.bmp
  • carrotskybk.bmp
  • carrotskylf.bmp
  • carrotskyrt.bmp
  • carrotskyup.bmp
  • carrotskydn.bmp


Once you have your six pictures, use AVS image converter to convert files into .tga files then use VTEX to create VTF's.

Head over to your new VTFs. They'll be in ...materials/skybox for whichever game you're editing. Now create six VMTs with the same names as the VTFs using this format:

    "$basetexture" "XXXX"
    "$nofog" 1
    "$ignorez" 1

Where XXXX represents the name of your VTF file without the .vtf extension.

(taken from skybox(2d) with Terragen)