Named Game of the Year by over 50 publications, Valve's d├ębut title blends action and adventure with award-winning technology to create a frighteningly realistic world where players must think to survive. Also includes an exciting multiplayer mode that allows you to play against friends and enemies around the world.

Post tutorial RSS Adding a Skybox

The Skybox is the Image around your map - This tutorial is 100% Necessary if you are making an outdoor map.

Posted by on - Basic Mapping/Technical

The Skybox is a vital element of mapping for Half-life Mods.
There are most of times, a lot of different skyboxes for standard in Half-life Mods.
Here, i can mention the ones for Half-life and CS (You can always use the Half-life ones)

The ones of Counter-Strike are (Thank you for this list, Slowhand :) ):

Slowhand wrote: * 2desert
* desert - backalley - badlands - blue - city1 - cliff - cx - de_storm - Des - - doom1 - DrkG - dusk - forest - green - grnplsnt - hav - morningdew - office - show - showlake_ - tornsky - TrainYard - tsccity_

Okay here's the deal: I Don't really know any names of the Half-life Skyboxes.

If you leave it blank, you will get the Rock Formations of the map, cs_militia.

I know one:

Gecko wrote: Space

Thank you gecko :)

If you know any Skyboxes from Half-Life, please Email Me at

Now, lets continue...

[page=Making the Map itself]
You will start by making a map. I made a courtyard with some barbed wire (Check my "Making { Textures Invisible"-Tutorial for more information on how to do this - I will prolly make another tutorial showing how to Rotate/Bend objects).
Just make something basic, like a room without the Roof.

User Posted Image

Looks Pretty, dun it ?

Add some little light entities around your map to prevent it from being all dark.
When you're ready, maybe add some dirt underneath the floor and such (Just so that there are no leaks whatsoever in your map. If you just made a yard w/out anything stretching further out than your walls, skip this step (Barbed wire is pretty for adding details and such in your map - think about using it).

User Posted Image

Move on to the next step...

[page=Making the Skybox]
Next up, scroll through your textures list and find the texture called "Sky".
Select it and make some walls all the way around your map - make them pretty high - like mine:

User Posted Image

I'm here going to add the extra wall which is removed in the pic above. Inside of the big 'cube' it looks like this:

User Posted Image

Right now, it doesn't really look like anything in particular.
Now you go up - find the label called "Map" In your 'Topbar' I'd call it.

User Posted Image

Click it, and this screen pops up, looking about the same as if you were editing an entity.

Select the text-strip called "environment map (cl_skyname)". Write the name of the skybox you want.

HINT wrote: If you don't know what skyboxes are for the particular mod you're mapping for, go to the Mod's folder. Let's try and select The Specialists for example. Go to your TS Folder. For example: C:\Program Files\Valve\Steam\SteamApps\\half-life\ts - Proceed to the folder: C:\Program Files\Valve\Steam\SteamApps\\half-life\ts\gfx\env
-The environment (Sky's) Folder. All the files there are .tga's. Windows won't open Targa Files (As far as i know :)), i use Photoshop. Find a series of images you like (Or if you can't see them, find a title you like ^^). For example i can find some images here:

3dm_bikiniBk, 3dm_bikiniFt, 3dm_bikiniDn, 3dm_bikiniLf, 3dm_bikiniRt, 3dm_bikiniUp.

Notice the names are the same, except for the 2 different letters in the end of the name.

Bk = Back. Ft = Front. Dn = Down. Lf = Left. Rt = Right, Up = Up.

Okay. That was some info about skynames.
Choose the skybox you like, and imprint the 1st part of the name, excluding the last 2 letters of the name.
I Selected 'dusk' in my example.

Sae your map, and hit the compile button.

This is what i got:

User Posted Image

-Enjoy :)

Making Skyboxes aren't difficult at all. The trick is, how do you apply them. If you make a map with loads of walls around, like a maze, it is recommended that you place the skybox so that it is put - actually as a ceiling. This will help keeping the w_poly's down, and make the map playable on more computers :)

-Good luck mapping :D


You can find a list for the skyboxes by searching on Google, type in "skylist" and choose valves list of skyboxes.

And there happens to be a much better tutorial on YT Shirk.

Reply Good karma Bad karma+1 vote

i cant see the images

Reply Good karma Bad karma+2 votes
Post a comment
Sign in or join with:

Only registered members can share their thoughts. So come on! Join the community today (totally free - or sign in with your social account on the right) and join in the conversation.

Follow Profile
Windows, Mac, Linux, PS2
Send Message
Release date
Game watch
Related Games
Half-Life First Person Shooter
Related Engines
GoldSrc Commercial
Related Groups
Sierra Entertainment
Sierra Entertainment Developer & Publisher
Valve Developer & Publisher