How does one Create the textures for a skybox?

I've been in games for a long time and I've never had o build my own skybox textures. I always had someone else to do it. No I need to build my own. The question:

What method would you use to create the six required textures for a skybox?

I'm using Maya but I can haul out 3DS MAX if I really need to.

The net is full of tutorials on how to MAP a skybox but not so much on the actual texture creation and warping.

Any ideas?


If your environment is setup in Maya (say, using the builtin sky shader mapped to the inside of a sphere...I think thats the right name, but there is an enviro shader that lets you set sky colors, clouds, ground textures, sun position, etc), you could place six cameras at the world origin facing out to the six directions and render a still image from each cam.

I've always had good results from Terragen. It's quite an old program (although they have a new version out now which is quite different). Looks like they now call the old version "Terragen Classic".

Find it here:

There are also lots of tutorials out there for making skyboxes with Terragen.

we've tried bryce and vue, and both should do it.

For two reasons, we dropped the 6 sided skybox, and instead use a simple skydome attached to the primary camera.

  1. On the iPhone, this only uses 1 draw call instead of 6. While this isn't as much of a concern on other platforms, it is still a waste of draw calls, especially if you have reflections, etc, that value can be multiplied.

  2. You can use premade sky textures right out of the box, and it is trivial to make your own. Plus polar distortion is typically not very noticeable. (unless of course the poles feature prominently, but a solid color at the top 10% of the texture can eliminate any noticeable distortion.)

If you are worried about frustum size, you can write a simple shader to make the skydome always render first, and not obscure anything behind it.

If you are worried about poly count, use a tessellated icosahedron. You may need to increase the tessellation at the poles to remove distortion.

use Blender 3d . and make Animation of Smoke or particle in sky.
then save in Animation mode as “Animation1.Blend”

open unity.and goto Assets->import New Asset
import Animation1.Blend to add into Project panel/.
drag it from project panel to Hierarchy.
Play game:D


Make a looping panorama, project it onto a sphere in maya, use 6 cameras to get the forward backward right left and up direction.

looping panorama:

  1. Once you have a panorama in photoshop (iphone, drawn, or digital collage, pick your technique - I usually go for something that is of a 1:4 ratio size), go to image>canvasSize…

  2. click the box to the left of the document icon (so the document grows to the right),

  3. then increase the size of the document by some number of pixels (I ususally will change the new size to a percentage and make it 125 percent)

  4. copy the panorama layer and move the new layer to the right to be adjacent to the old layer (the snap option helps)

  5. use the heal tool, the stamp tool, and whatever else to patch that awkward line between the old and new layers (you may have to merge the two).

  6. copy it all with the marquee tool, and move it to the left till it is exactly lined up with the previous layer

  7. canvas size it all again so it goes back down to it’s original size (80 percent) make sure the side that gets cropped off is the side that was originally added

Sphere in Maya:

  1. make a sphere at the origin with a 10 radius

  2. select the cylindrical uv mapping option from the uv projection topbar menu under the polygons menu genre

  3. make the sphere’s material’s color that of the finished panorama file

  4. make all the cameras, I usually make one at the origin with rotation 0’d out, then duplicate it a bunch making the y rotation 0, 90, 180, and -90 for four then make two more with 0 y rotation but 90 and -90 x rotation

  5. make all the cameras have a film aspect ration of 1 and then an angle of view of 90 (the order here is important)

  6. then take a 1k render of all the cameras