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Making skyboxes not look like cubey garbage?


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I've been trying to port some skyboxes from one game to another, but I've run into some trouble. I figured this might happen because they look like garbage in the original, but I think it might be even worse here. The images I have building the skybox are:

http://puu.sh/3UHgC.png

http://puu.sh/3UHgF.png

http://puu.sh/3UHgG.png

http://puu.sh/3UHgH.png

http://puu.sh/3UHgA.png

http://puu.sh/3UHk7.png

The end result has hilariously visible seams on the level of something I would expect to see in a Game Maker game.

http://puu.sh/3UHl0.png

I've searched fruitlessly for a method to make these come together smoothly, and I'm at the end of my rope or whatever the saying goes at this point. Does anyone have any suggestions for techniques for ways to achieve good looping? If it helps any, here's an example of a good skybox.

http://puu.sh/3UHAq.jpg

http://puu.sh/3UHAN.jpg

http://puu.sh/3UHAC.jpg

http://puu.sh/3UHAH.jpg

http://puu.sh/3UHAv.jpg

http://puu.sh/3UHAm.jpg

 

http://puu.sh/3UHyc.png

Edited by Ego Eram Reputo
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I'm sure TechnoRobbo can give you a technical answer, but here's what I think is happening:

 

You're (mostly) using a flat gradient to mimic the sky.  When these are folded to form the box the seams are apparent because the gradients abruptly change direction in the corner.

 

So what's the answer?  Texture.

 

The images you like have texture.  This disrupts the apparent changes in direction at the corners of the box because the change is never linear.

 

I would add some texture to the flat blue sky (think "clouds") and try to cover as much as possible the linear gradient.  Another option might be to remove the gradient and go with a flat blue sky with some ornamentation (moons/individual clouds/great big ringed planet on the horizon). 

 

Your images will still need to seamlessly join.  There are two plugins which might help you achieve smoother transitions:

 

BoltBait's seamless texture maker

 

MadJik's seamless texture maker

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...and make your gradients smoother. My god those lines are ugly... ;)

No, Paint.NET is not spyware...but, installing it is an IQ test. ~BoltBait

Blend modes are like the filling in your sandwich. It's the filling that can change your experience of the sandwich. ~Ego Eram Reputo

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You could just redraw the sample images you posted.

Open the image, add a new layer and begin customizing. Remember to use File > Save As... to rename it so you don't lose the original.

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The foreshortening of the image is created because Game Maker's graphic engine renders skyboxes inside of  a cube. I would stay away from any horizontal lines that extend between panels when re-doing the image as ego suggested.

Edited by TechnoRobbo

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