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[VIDEO TUTORIAL] Creating High Resolution Space Scapes

Hey folks

I haven’t used UE since 3.5 which was about two years ago and now I’m finally getting back into it :slight_smile: Hopefully some folks remember me on the old Epic Games UDK forums. I used to post up YouTube video tutorials on my channel, feel free to check it out www.youtube.com/darthwilson

Anyway onto the point. . I was trying to get a high quality Space Scape working in UE4 using a tutorial which implemented cube maps. Personally I think it’s an awful way of working for large images as .dds files are huge and you loose a ton of quality as well. So back to the old fashioned skybox / skyspheres and standard unlit materials I have put up a tutorial of my method.

I really hope it helps someone out there.

https://youtube.com/watch?v=l3sN0ZQDEpY

Here is the end result.

http://i577.photobucket.com/albums/ss212/darthwilson/endresult.png

Very cool thank you so much

http://alexcpeterson.com/spacescape

No problem! Thanks for linking the space scape generator. I think it’s linked in the video description incase people can’t find it.

Hope it helped.

Thanks… the space scales looks awesome !

Clueless rookie here… can’t I just put these textures on a hollow box in the UE editor? Why do I need an external editor (Max, Blender, etc) to make a simple box model?

I tried to follow this tutorial to the letter but I am still getting low-res starscapes.

I exported the Starscape as PNG and UNREAL 4 with 4k resolution,

Did everything right in 3ds as far as I know but I end up with DOOM level starscapes.

After importing cubemap you need to change its lod or compression setting to nomipmaps. It is somewhere in texture properties, long dropdown list.
All you need to do in 3ds is creating geosphere (one with big triangles is better, uses fewer faces than standard for same quality), you do not even need to uv map it.

Yes that dds cubemap is huge, for small game this texture will be like 50% of data. Mine is around 90mb. Better way is with procedural sky and blueprints. But it takes so much more time to learn and make.

PS. i used similar UV mapping technique for texturing planets, this removes problem of stretched polar regions.

Thanks for the help, can you provide a picture where to change the LOD or compression settings? Is it the texture, material, or mesh itself?

Still searching, thanks.

Just wanted to say I found the minmap option under textures but it gave me errors or did not show a difference.

Incredibly frustrating and interesting problem with the amount of time I have spent trying to make or buy an Unreal 4 skybox.

One solution I found was making the sphere really large, 5500; but I am worried about performance.

Another way to go about making a spacebox, without ever actually having to make anything in 3DsMax or Maya is to use Nvidia Texture tools and create a Texture Cube. It removes any and all seems and allows it to basically be placed on any shape of object to achieve the effect.

30b95711f9b9965d5f6f88c6851967c98a502510.jpeg
Screen Shot 2014-11-03 at 5.07.03 PM.png

Links:

http://www.cgtextures.com/content.php?action=tutorial&name=cubemaps //This is an older link but still works perfect for Spaceboxes.

Thanks for the info and reply,

looking into more tutorials for Nvida Textures tools with Photoshop

I found that AMD/ATI tool is easier to use than nvidia and photoshop. Spacescape is great for rendering some stars and nebulas. If i remember when you export from it for ogre engine all pictures have correct rotations for ATI tool and all you need to do is importing those pics to ATI tool , then cubemap to Unreal.

One weird thing that keeps happening is that the whole cubemap from the ATI tool is turned by 90 degree. I try to make a painted skybox and whenever I import the cubemap that looks perfectly fine in the ati tool to UE the horizon goes straight up. Any ideas what the problem could be?

zL7loLB.png

Hi Darthwilson,

Thanks for your tutorial on YouTube. I use Blender but was able to figure out the equivalent steps pretty quickly. In your video, you mention a couple of issues that it looks like you solved in the intro but there was no explanation. I am not sure this is how you dealt with these issues, but this is what I did:

  1. I was also to get rid if the seams by Setting “X-axis Tiling Method” and “Y-axis Tiling Method” to “Clamp” on each of the 6 textures. This did not work immediately. After this, I had to rebuild each of the 6 materials. For some reason this was not automatic. Once the materials are rebuilt, the seams disappear. Yeah!
  2. I was able to deal with the space texture getting brighter automatically due to auto exposure. To resolve this, I went into the details panel for my player’s camera and changed the “Auto Exposure > Min Brightness” and “Auto Exposure > Max Brightness” to “1.0”.

I have a couple of questions:

  1. What is your recommendation for place the space box in a level so that players never get closer/further from the edges?
  2. Does the recommendation for #1 cause issues for levels with multiple players?

Again, thanks for your tutorial. I enjoyed it.

I followed the steps you did in your tutorial, but I used Blender to make the sphere and export it. When I imported the FBX file to Unreal it said something like “smoothing is not found on the object” or something like that, and when it finished the import, all my materials were pure white and the textures were not displaying. I’m not sure how to add a texture to my materials so after fiddling a bit my double clicking them, I managed to do this on each of my materials:
7e7674f404c3e1e64cdffe5db5afaeb3c9b3a323.jpeg
But the results are ugly :frowning:
dc4048e70d431ad6b851ece2da9c4d47.jpg
3963d00749ab2f9a30333dfa35f7eff2865c8a17.jpeg

In Blender my textures looks nicely placed and when you get inside the “spaceball” everything looks alright, no seams. Do I need to do another step? I see from the date of the tutorial and how UE4 looks now some things are a tad different so I was wondering if something was amiss.

Still no new tutorial how I can easily do this in Blender? I mean, do I just have to add 6 materials slot in Blender and assign every face a material? Are there no step-by-step tutorials? <3

Pretty cool, thanks for making this :slight_smile:

This is my attempt a while back at a space scape
Wireframe stars by Expression2

downloaded it from github. cant access the app.