Sunday, 13 April 2014

FMP - UDK - Sky Box

It was time to create my skybox for my level. The default UDK one, quite suited my level with the early morning pre-set. The early morning pre-set would be suitable if I could emulate the default skybox but adapt better cloud formations.

First off, I created a sphere to which I sliced it in half and stretched it out slightly. After I unwrapped it in the UV modifier, I rendered out the UV and started texturing it in Photoshop.

I gathered panoramic pictures of the sky to begin the sky box process.

In the layer channels in Photoshop I was editing the panoramic image by adding my own custom cloud brushes and in the channels themselves R.G.B I was creating different versions which the above image shows how the result of each channel differed from each other. The channels are important because in UDK each channel will have a specific function assigned to it.

Here is where I went to filter > distort > polar coordinate, which creates this fish eye lens.

This is where I was setting up my shaders of my skybox,  the skybox texture that I created will  be  saving texture memory because of the way it has used the channels instead of having them on a separate image.

As you can see, I was starting to create movement with nodes, learning about the nodes functions and how combining them in a specific way and changing their values to get the desired result.

As you can see I have finished setting up the nodes to create movement of the clouds as a material and assigning it to the sphere model.

The images above are the final result after tweaking their scale and size and the rotation speed through the properties.

A screen capture of the new skybox in my level. The next task now to create a sun, because light is still coming through but no sun is appearing.

Started to create a window for the sun, as you can see there is a mist of light in the top left, but no actual sun silhouette yet.

Eureka! There is a sun in my level. Still a little tweaking needed of the size, position,  it's rays and colour tint, to suit a more subtle early morning rise, but nonetheless a sun in situ.

These images here are just some fun experimenting with the size of the sun, it looks like it is engulfing the forest and having that morning dew feel to it.

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