Skybox (2D):fr

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In Source, the skybox is a series of six images, joined together to make a cube. The cube is then locked to the player's viewpoint and acts as the most distant area of a map, usually the sky. Because the skybox is fixed to the player's viewport, it never changes perspective, allowing the cube to appear as a seamless whole.

Adding sky to a map

Simply texture a hollow world brush (not a brush entity) with the tools/toolsskybox material.

In-game, the skybox will be seen through each surface that toolsskybox is applied to.

toolsskybox Brushes do not need to be box-shaped.

Note:In HL2 the default skybox has visible seams. This is not your fault. See the next section for how to change the default.

Changing the displayed skybox

If you don't like the standard sky_wasteland2 sky, you can change it by setting the skybox name in Hammer's Map Properties dialog. Follow these steps:

  1. Make sure the correct map is opened.
  2. Go to the Map menu and choose Map Properties...
  3. Select the Skybox Texture Name field.
  4. Enter then name of the skybox you wish to display. You can find a list of available skyboxes in the Sky List.

Skybox Lighting

Skyboxlight is projected into the World from every toolsskybox surface, and represents Direct Sunlight (or Moonlight) and the Diffuse light reflected from overhead cloud, etc.

These lighting settings - direction, colour, brightness, etc are fairly specific to the actual image used for the 2D skybox. The Sky List article suggests some settings for some of Valve's skyboxes. Note also that env_fog_controller settings will look wrong if they don't correspond to the particular skybox used.

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Toolsskybox.gif
Skybox Lighting enters the Map through every toolsskybox-textured Brush. Its basic properties are controlled by three Entities used in combination:
  • light_environment defines (a) the color and intensity of the Diffuse Skylight and (b) the direction, color and intensity of the Direct Sunlight.
  • It also creates (buggy, unconfigurable) Dynamic Shadows which can only be overridden/controlled by the shadow_control Entity.
  • env_sun places a glow sprite in the skybox to represent the Sun's apparent position in the sky.

To make sense of it all, just make sure you have only one of each of these entities in your map, and that the Pitch and Yaw <angles> are set the same for all three of them. (Pitch is equivalent to the Sun's Angle of Elevation from the ground, and Yaw is its Compass Bearing.)

The Sky List article suggests some settings for some of Valve's skyboxes. The worldspawn entity defines which skybox to use. Note also that env_fog_controller settings will look wrong if they don't correspond to the particular skybox in use.

Warning: Unfortunately Valve introduced a Pitch override parameter to the light_environment and env_sun entities, but not to shadow_control. Even more unfortunately, the Pitch override cannot be switched off and its rotation is measured counter-clockwise from the horizontal (so straight down is -90°) whereas the <angles> Pitch is rotation is clockwise (so straight down is +90°). The workaround for this is to make sure your Pitch override merely repeats the <angles> value; for example, if your shadow_control, light_environment and env_sun <angles> are "45 -60 0" set the Pitch override to "-45".

Creating a 2D Skybox

These are instructions on how to create custom (i.e., not default) skybox textures.

  1. Prepare your image files (i.e. skynameBK.tga, skynameFT.tga, skynameUP.tga, skynameDN.tga, skynameRT.tga, skynameLF.tga)
  2. Convert them to VTF
  3. Create a VMT's with the textures' desired names (which should be the same as the VTF's) containing:
"sky"
{
	
	"$hdrcompressedTexture" "skybox/<filename>"	
	"$nofog" "1"
	"$ignorez" "1"
	"$basetexture" "skybox/<filename>"
}
  • Replace <filename> with the name of the file, and remember to append the appropriate suffix to the sky name (i.e. bk, ft, rt, lf, up, dn)
  • Now go into your mod's materials folder and create the folder skybox.
  • Copy your new VTF and VMT files into the skybox folder.
  • In Hammer, go to Map > Map Properties > Skybox Texture Name and type in your skyname, without the side tags.