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Report RSS HD Video Tutorial - 3D Skybox

Learn how to create a 3D skybox, you will also learn the basics of visGroups. A 3D skybox is used to create the illusion that the level is larger than it actually is to add detail and immersion.

Posted by on - Intermediate Mapping/Technical

We start by creating a sky_camera entity, then we select a few pieces of geometry we will use as reference for the 3D skybox. We copy the reference geometry and the sky_camera and change the size to 1/16th of it's normal size (default skybox size).

Then we visGroup the reference geometry for easy hiding and create the geometry we want in our 3D skybox.

Please give me a comment telling me what you think.
Also, don't forget to give me tutorial requests!


really helpfull and its very good shown!

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You sir are awesome.

You really must open up your own blog and write there (if you don't already have one, sure :P)

Excellent work, well explained!

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your tutorials are the best ive watched i gave up on hammer a while ago but thanks to you ive started again keep them coming (can you explain visleafs and occluders and **** next?)

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Silverfisk Author

I'm really glad I got you to pick up Hammer again and that you like my tutorials! It's very motivating for me. Thank you for the request, it has been added to the request list.

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I don't understand it's hard

but why can use geometry?

and it all use scale box 0.125?

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how do you make a weapon for half life blue shift?

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Better than 3kliksphilip

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That'sfor sure, althoug that guy thought me some good stuff but it was hard to understand, yeah Silverfisk does best.

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You should note if your making a seamless real map to skybox seam if you make your ground or w/e texture divisible by 16(ie: use .32 > .02 instead of .25 > .015625 because hammer only carries over 2 decimal places, though texture scale will keep it good you just cant edit it) it makes editing thing to match your skybox much easier.

Then you also have to make sure your light map scales are divisible by 16 so you can scale them as well and make them match up between the real map and the 3d skybox.

I don't have a great picture but this one is alright,
where the green grid appears is actually the map seam between real map and 3d skybox(grid is there so people dont run into invisible wall they don't see, map is max extents). Doing like this will give you a seamless edge between the map and the 3d skybox.

Also I generally build a layer of the 3d skybox in my real map before I scale it down. Just make sure you have 16 grid unit on for easy editing.

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