Post tutorial RSS For Modders: Overview of Skybox Shader (v1.00+)

An explanation of the new texture format required for the Sins: Remastered skybox shader and explanation of the mechancis of the the new features.

Posted by on - Intermediate Textures

Sins: Remastered has implemented several advanced features for skyboxes. These include parallax depth effects, mid-field parallax procedural stars, bloom masks and procedural distortion effects.

Mesh Preparation

Your skybox mesh should be set up to use an equirectangular UV projection.


An equirectangular UV projection of a sphere.

Texture Channels:

  • DiffuseTextureFileName
    • RGB – Skybox diffuse backdrop
    • A – Skybox backdrop alpha
  • SelfIlluminationTextureFileName
    • R – Unused (fill with black)
    • G – Bloom mask
    • B - Unused (fill with black)
    • A – Height map (depth from camera)

Mesh variables:

Mesh variables have been repurposed to control specific additional effects. Note that mesh variables are in hexadecimal ARGB format and will be referenced as value pairs.


Hexadecimal ARGB Pairs

  • Diffuse
    • AA – Enables parallax nebula support
    • RR – Parallax depth effect intensity max
    • GG – Parallax star intensity max
    • BB – Parallax star scale max
      • Higher values mean smaller stars
    • Ambient
      • AA – Enables parallax mid-field stars
      • RR – Parallax star count max
      • GG – Parallax star blackbody curve control
        • Controls color shift
        • Higher means more red, colder stars
        • Lower means more blue, hot stars
      • BB – Seed for random pattern generation
  • Specular
    • AA – Skybox bloom intensity control
    • RR – Skybox bloom curve control
    • GG – Star bloom intensity control
    • BB – Star bloom curve control
  • Glossiness
    • The integer and decimal values are treated as separate variables and control two different aspects of the procedural distortion effect.
    • Values of 0 = disabled.

A Sins: Remastered demo of the depth of field effect

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