Idea how to generate new skyboxes

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4 years 5 months ago #18 by Slippery Jim
Idea how to generate new skyboxes was created by Slippery Jim
Making new high resolution skyboxes is going to be a huge challenge. I want to try an experiment where I use GTA5 on the PC to take screenshots and then use a piece of software called Autostitch to combine the images.

Below is a video to explain the procedure (well except for the last part of his video. Ignore from about 37 second onwards when he talks about flipping the image upside down)




Why GTA 5? Well it is set in a fictional Los Angeles and the Rockstar editor is perfect for this sort of thing since you can record and freeze time.

Unfortunately with this process I can't use any FOV mods since apparently Rockstar detects mods while in the editor and will ban you. I will need to confirm this though.

Tips on taking 1080p screenshots in GTA5 with Steam:
steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=425705716

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4 years 5 months ago #19 by Slippery Jim
Replied by Slippery Jim on topic Idea how to generate new skyboxes
The first skybox that I am working on replacing is the Church map. I found a skybox on a gaming website that, while it looks fantastic in the game, isn't perfect because the surrounding hills have too many tall trees on it.

Here is a Streetview image of the actual location:

(click to enlarge image)

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4 years 5 months ago #20 by Slippery Jim
Replied by Slippery Jim on topic Idea how to generate new skyboxes
I tried out this process tonight and so far it has a lot of promise but there are problems to overcome.

Click image to enlarge

There has to be a bug in the Autostitch software. As you can see it always screws up on part of the image no matter what settings I change. All of my screenshots are good so I have no idea why it screws up like this.

I did learn invaluable lessons from this:

  • Don't even think about using the mouse to pan the camera when you are taking your screenshots. Even the slightest amount of tilting messes with the image. If you use your gamepad you can pan the camera without tilting at all.

  • The other lesson learned is only move the camera a tiny amount each photo. I took 58 screenshots to do a full 360 turn. This was a little excessive and when I deleted about 1/3 of them I still got a good panorama. I would say your goal should be about 40 images.

  • I forgot that the Rockstar editor gives you the ability to change the field of view. I changed the camera to about 0.55x and that gave a nice view without distortion.

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4 years 5 months ago - 4 years 5 months ago #21 by Slippery Jim
Replied by Slippery Jim on topic Idea how to generate new skyboxes
I used a different software package called PTGui and it worked perfectly right away.

I uploaded the image to a website that displays the panorama in a 360 view that you can spin the camera around (requires flash I do believe). Hope this works:

(sorry, link no longer works)

This hasn't been tweaked in any way. What I hope to do is add the clouds from a high-res skybox. Combined they might get us a really nice skybox for the game.

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4 years 5 months ago - 3 years 6 months ago #22 by Slippery Jim
Replied by Slippery Jim on topic Idea how to generate new skyboxes
I used a different software package called PTGui and it worked perfectly right away.

Here is a blog post regarding my first attempt at a new skybox:
www.swat3lastresort.info/index.php/last-...ments-october-1-2015

Here is a blog post of the final version:
www.swat3lastresort.info/index.php/last-...onest-october-4-2015

The final version consists of 3 layers
  • cloud layer
  • mountain layer for foreground
  • additional mountain layer for background

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3 years 6 months ago - 3 years 6 months ago #298 by Slippery Jim
Replied by Slippery Jim on topic Idea how to generate new skyboxes
I am still thinking of using this process to generate 2 new high resolution skyboxes for Mission A. If you may recall Mission A has two different skyboxes depending on which floor of the house you are on. This is easy enough to do in the GTA5 editor since you can move the camera higher.

I have located a good location in GTA5 that looks like Martin Brenner's neighbourhood. The only problem with using GTA5 is that there are a lot of wooden poles and powerlines that mess with getting a nice clean image. Some of the really tall palm trees are also a problem.

There is a map editor available for GTA5 that may be able to delete objects like this. I will need to do an experiment.

The final skybox would most likely consist of 3 layers
  • cloud layer
  • front of house GTA5 panorama scan
  • back of house GTA5 panorama scan

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5 months 2 weeks ago #1406 by PepeSilva
Replied by PepeSilva on topic Idea how to generate new skyboxes
I have an idea. Why not use Google streetview for skyboxes?

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5 months 2 weeks ago - 5 months 2 weeks ago #1410 by Slippery Jim
Replied by Slippery Jim on topic Idea how to generate new skyboxes
The image quality generally isn't that great. It would also probably feel out of place using photorealistic images in a cartoon-ish low polygon game like Swat 3. Perhaps photoshop filters could help with that?

Skyboxes would also have to loop around and it would be hard to make a seamless version for use in a game. Not impossible, but it would require a lot of retouching.

Streetview is great for reference stuff though.

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