[REL] Custom Skybox

Discussion in 'Released Mods' started by superouman, February 16, 2014.

  1. DeathByDenim

    DeathByDenim Post Master General

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    I wrote up a tutorial for creating custom skyboxes. You can find it here: https://wiki.palobby.com/wiki/Example_Mod_Custom_Skybox
    It doesn't even require the use of the texture editor I wrote. Let me know if you run into any trouble and I'll update the tutorial.
  2. wpmarshall

    wpmarshall Planetary Moderator

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    I think I've noticed an issue with using custom skyboxes in that the explosion sprites - the sort of glow-ball has horrible edges on skyboxes other than the default.
    Not quite sure how to fix this.
  3. DeathByDenim

    DeathByDenim Post Master General

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    Do you have a screenshot? Or is it somewhere in your videos?
  4. wpmarshall

    wpmarshall Planetary Moderator

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    [​IMG]

    It can be a lot worse with obvious differences in colour and shading towards the edges.
  5. DeathByDenim

    DeathByDenim Post Master General

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    I tried the most ugly skybox I could imagine, and I'm not sure I see it:
    explosions.jpg

    Though I made this skybox with papatran instead of the texture editor. Or do you mean that the ball on the right in my image is so obviously a ball instead of something more smooth?
  6. wpmarshall

    wpmarshall Planetary Moderator

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    It's not with the nuke explosion. Some building/unit explosions and planetary explosion.
  7. wpmarshall

    wpmarshall Planetary Moderator

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    upload_2017-11-14_22-27-38.png
  8. DeathByDenim

    DeathByDenim Post Master General

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    I see what you mean there. Weirdly enough, I don't have that...
    explosions.jpg
    Do you have any mods that change the explosions maybe? Like Dark Nights or Bigger Explosions?
  9. lulamae

    lulamae Well-Known Member

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    I'm running on Windows.

    1. When I try to run papatran from the command prompt, I receive the error message
    'C:\Games\Planetary' is not recognized as an internal or external command,operable program or batch file.
    Is this because there is a space between 'Planetary' and 'Annihilation' ?


    2. Your command prompt instructions say:
    "where "pathtopa" has to be replaced by the Planetary Annihilation Installation Directory."

    My papatran.exe files are located deeper in that directory, so I adjusted the path to reflect this. (see screenshot)

    3. Do I not need to include the '.exe' extension for the paptran in the command prompt?

    [​IMG]
  10. DeathByDenim

    DeathByDenim Post Master General

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    Oh, that's because of the spaces in the path. Try this (so with quotes):
    Code:
    "C:\Games\Planetary Annihilation\Planetary Annihilation\stable\bin_x64\papatran"
    And sorry about the exact location. I only know where it is on Linux, but yeah you are right. On Windows it's in bin_x64. Also you shouldn't need the .exe part.

    Also, great show on the AbleGamers tournament. :)
  11. lulamae

    lulamae Well-Known Member

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    Thanks!

    I made some dummy skybox files to make sure I was doing it right. I can't tell if I got the rotation correct, but I could read all the words :) Pretty cool to see them floating around.

    I got some skybox images from Space Engine so tomorrow I'll work on converting their naming convention to ours.

    [​IMG]
  12. lulamae

    lulamae Well-Known Member

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    Gah! I'm having a tough time getting the image oriented correctly.

    I started with using superouman's image to relate the skybox coordinates to plain the language position so I could reorient them according to your image. Then I noticed that you seemed to have relocated the images by "rolling" the boxes around, the flipping horizontally, then vertically.??

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]



    At any rate, some of the images were mis-oriented once I went into the game and it's tough to tell what to do. One of my galaxies was split in such a way that I wasn't sure that just rotating/flipping the images could put it back together.

    Using superouman's directions even totalannihilation's (down thread) and still a mismatch.

    I think I'll export another skybox with loots of stuff in it and insert text in the images and color their borders so I can tell what I'm looking at.
  13. lulamae

    lulamae Well-Known Member

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    Since it looks like I'm going to be doing this multiple times, I created a .bat file in the com.pa.demo.mycustomskybox directory do create the .papa files. That's a big help.
  14. lulamae

    lulamae Well-Known Member

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    Yikes. I took a screen shot of the 'cube-view' from which I exported the skyboxes and when I matched up the images, the coordinates are different than superouman's. So I'm not sure what to call "left", "right", etc.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  15. DeathByDenim

    DeathByDenim Post Master General

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    Yeah, it really tricky. Especially with the mirror images... Maybe this will help?
    skybox_01_back.png skybox_01_bottom.png skybox_01_front.png skybox_01_left.png skybox_01_right.png skybox_01_top.png
    lulamae likes this.
  16. lulamae

    lulamae Well-Known Member

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    I had to step away from the computer for awhile, but while I was out I decided to do something similar to the images that I'm uploading as well as outlining the borders of each square in the color shown in the cube view. That way I can load the game and make sense of what needs to happen.
    Last edited: November 27, 2017
  17. lulamae

    lulamae Well-Known Member

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    Huzzah! I finally got it.

    Here is the conversion map that works for me. The image is the exterior view if you folded it into a cube, but we play inside the cube. Since there is no text on my skyboxes, I didn't bother doing a horizontal flip. You can't tell that you are looking at the back side of the images and keeps it less complicated.

    @DeathByDenim , thanks for your help.

    [​IMG]
    Last edited: November 27, 2017
    DeathByDenim likes this.
  18. lulamae

    lulamae Well-Known Member

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    What is it that tells PA to use these .papa files instead of the ones in the installation files?
  19. DeathByDenim

    DeathByDenim Post Master General

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    Mods use a shadowing technique, which just means that any file you put in your mod supersedes files from PA itself or any previously loaded mod. So basically, PA loads its files. Then it loads the mods. If any of the files in your mod have the same filename and path, then it loads that file instead. (I say load, but it's really loaded as needed of course)
  20. lulamae

    lulamae Well-Known Member

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    I understand that part. But what triggers that shadowing event? Or does PA automatically look for duplicate path/filenames in the Data files by default?

    I see that I have a lot of mod zip files in PA Data files/download directory. Is there a file someplace else that keeps track of what mods are installed/uninstalled and enabled/disabled?

    Where do those zip files get loaded to? That is, are they unzipped to my hard drive or just into memory?

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