Skybox: Entire map, or by area?

Discussion in 'Mapping Questions & Discussion' started by rmccue, Jan 8, 2010.

  1. rmccue

    rmccue L1: Registered

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    I'm just wondering, what is better in terms of optimisation: creating one large skybox, or having separate skybox brushes for each area?

    For example, suppose I have a map with three areas, the middle of which is an indoors area. Would I be better off having a large skybox, or having essentially 2 skyboxes?
     
  2. Freyja

    aa Freyja ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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    Having each area seperate is much better for optimization, as skybox brushes cut Vis, so only one area is rendered at a time (if you do it right)
     
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  3. grazr

    aa grazr Old Man Mutant Ninja Turtle

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    It all depends. Using an areaportal is just as effective as using a skybox to seperate areas. Some additional objects may be rendered when using an areportal, but at the same time you wont get vis error's that cause only parts of tall/high objects to render over and beyond low lying structures through the skybox brush.

    Check your SDK_Content folder, in the tf>maps folder should be several pre-compile vmf's of official TF2 Valve maps. Not all, but around half of them. You can check them out in Hammer to see for yourself how it was done by the pro's.
     
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  4. rmccue

    rmccue L1: Registered

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    Durp, completely forgot to check those. Thanks.
     
  5. grazr

    aa grazr Old Man Mutant Ninja Turtle

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    It's becoming something of a frequent recommendation for me, to people. I wouldn't worry about it. It seems hardly anyone coming onto the scene realises they are there.. which is a shame. It's such a useful resource. I'm just surprised that the majority of official HL2 mods came with sample vmf's included by default. The TF2 community had to ask for them many months after retail release. We've only had them for 2 or 3 months.

    You can learn what you see in those what might otherwise take reading several tens of articles over a week or even more to understand. Plus they complement many online tutorials; if an article doesn't make much sense, you can just peek into one of these and it's usually staring you in the face.

    Good luck!
     
  6. rmccue

    rmccue L1: Registered

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    I knew they were there (and I've looked at them a lot), I just didn't think of looking at the skybox in them. :blushing:

    Thanks again. :)
     
  7. Pseudo

    Pseudo L6: Sharp Member

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  8. Pocket

    aa Pocket func_croc

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    To avoid creating a separate thread for this, I have been wondering, if the map is split up into multiple skyboxes, can each one have its own 3D skybox and/or light_environment? Because I have this one idea that puts each stage of the map in a different geographical location.
     
  9. The Political Gamer

    aa The Political Gamer

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    Not really, you can fake it but it looks like utter crap.
     
  10. Pocket

    aa Pocket func_croc

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    Another related question. What exactly are the rules as to what items placed behind a skybox render and what don't? Because Well, for example, completely hides a good part of the bases behind its skybox, even when it's at eye level (noclip/sticky jump). But then I tried a similar trick on a smaller scale, and the building (well, its interior, since the exterior was nodraw) was in plain view from outside.
     
  11. Tapp

    Tapp L10: Glamorous Member

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    The multiple skybody lights was added in left 4 dead, but not it tf2. Individual skyboxes take a bit longer, but at better for optimisation, particularly since it auto-nodraws all the faces you need to.