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Part of building a game world that's believable in it's immersion is to have a sky. We can only build so much and after a while we need to actually be able to look up and see something besides the default unity blue. Now if you're making a game that's set all in caves or Only inside and can avoid a sky, that's fine. But chances are even if we're dealing in the insides of buildings like we will be in these galleries, we're going to see outside and see a sky at some point. What we'll use then is a sky box and the idea is essentially we have 6 images that form a box that are infinitely far away from the camera.
They don't really exist as an object but are visible depending on where we look and they change. Like, well, on Earth. When we look around, the sky is different from every viewpoint. The skybox does the same. You may also find sky domes being used. And even lapping domes to get moving clouds. For now, though, we'll use a simple skybox to get one established. Later, we'll get terrain in, and see how our skybox looks. And if we need to fine tune it. And also balance out the colors.
To start though, I'll input in a skybox package. I'll go into the assets folder, and I have my other folders for animations, meshes and so on. And in standard assets are things that I brought in as packages. My character controllers and my scripts. The skyboxes we'll import into here initially although we can move them around. What I'll do is right click in the standard assets folder. And choose import package, and skyboxes. With skyboxes we get a bunch of different pieces.
There's the skyboxes themselves which are materials that are made to have six textures, and then there's the six textures for each one. Now we don't need to bring all of these skyboxes in. Unless we like to experiment around with them. However we know we're dealing in daylight. So we can eliminate things like the eerie background in Dawn To Dusk and probably the moonshine as well in Starry Night. To do this to be selective in importing a package then we can check none and then find just the ones we want. I'll bring in sunny three.
It's a good, bright blue sunny day, with clouds in the sky and a sun. In addition to the material, sunny three sky box, I'll scroll down and there's sunny three and I'll check under standard assets, the textures. This checks all the textures that go with that Skybox. We can be very selective then with a package, although we may make a package that has lots of different pieces that we'll use regularly, we can bring in just the ones we want, and thereby, keep our project size down. I'll click Import and Unity will bring in those textures and that Skybox.
It made a folder automatically in the standard assets folder called Skyboxes. And in here, in Skyboxes, Is the Sunny3 Skybox material. And a folder called textures. And we can move these around as needed, or keep them separate, depending on how we want to categorize what we're doing. Right now, I've got all the default, or standard unity pieces still in standard assets. And anything I'm doing, or bringing in uniquely for this game is going in my other folders. Let's take a look at the Sunny3 Skybox material over in the inspector.
It's a render effects skybox shader. And what that means is it's made to look like a sky. It's not a standard material with six textures, it is a special material on it's own. Essentially, it is, we can call it either unlit or self-luminated, depending on how you want to judge it. But all it does is display these images and they don't shade because it'd be kind of weird to see a sky shade and have a corner. Each texture slot has the texture for that particular place.
Front has the front texture and so on. And they're set to tile at one by one. Again we don't want to see the clouds in our sky repeat. Now, what I'll do is tint this a little bit. We have a tint color here, and by clicking on that color swatch, we can bring up the color picker. It's up to you how you like to work in this. We can either work by RGB, or click on the slider choice icon, and change over to HSV. Personally, I prefer to work in hue saturation, and value. I'm going to look actually at value and saturation first and then come back to hue.
When we start to tint that, we can slide around hue and then bring up saturation. And as we bring up this tint, we'll see our sky change. If the sky value's bright the sky gets brighter and we can see in that preview. As we bring up saturation we get more and more of that tint color coming in. What I'll do is leave saturation fairly low but bring the hue a little more towards purple. It's going to balance out some of the blue green in the sky. I'll bring value down a touch and then I'll click and drag in that preview to see how it looks.
There's the sun and some of the clouds. It's working nicely and I'm ready to get my sky implemented. So keep in mind even with the defaults we can also tint them or alter them. If you like to make your own, you paint the six images that wrap around the sky box and stitch them together. We can do this in a program such as Adobe Photoshop or even stitch together photos and have a custom sky, even from a certain locale if we'd like to get that detailed. I'll implement my skybox. Choosing edit, and render settings.
Here in the render settings. At the moment, there's no skybox material. We can see, in the skybox material slot, it says none. I'll click on this choice button next to the none. And in my select material dialogue, I've got assets and scene. So I can actually choose from a scene if I need. In assets though, there's my sunny three sky box and I'll click to select it. The sky around changes and I can see I've got that bright blue sky going. It actually flows completely around, well everything. Because I haven't put in any terrain yet.
But I have my sunny sky box in my scene. Now I'm going to add some fog in to complement the sky. We use fog for a couple of reasons in a game. The obvious one is there's a fog in the distance. But really, its that, our environment is technically a vacuum. There is absolutely nothing in there. Until we put it in. So what we'll do a lot of times with fog is use it really as a tint in distance to add atmosphere for perspective. A little de-saturation in blue tint, so things will get a little bit murkier as they are far away.
Not that there's a thick fog in the scene, but just we don't want everything to read with the same clarity. For fog then, I'll check fog in the render settings. And eyedropper the sky color. Then I'll click on that fog color and just pull out the saturation. Instead of being a bright blue fog, it's going to be, well, a pale gray with a little bit of blue. We can always adjust the linear fog end as well if we're getting too much blue in there. I'll close this color picker and hit play to see how it looks.
Im still inside my building which is exactly unlit and hence kind of grey. I'll run right through the doors and take a look out, looking over the railing I can see my sky, and everywhere I look, that sky seems to move and change. And it appears to be infinitely out there it's working nicely and I can see that tint. I can also just barely see especially off in the far off parts of the building a little bit of that blue fog coming in. I may need to edit that Linear fog end at some point.
But I'll reserve that fine-tuning until I get the terrain or other far-off objects in place. That linear fog end is 300 meters out, which may be too much at the moment, but it's adding a little bit of, well, blue shift, atmospheric perspective in my rendering. It looks good so far. I'm still able to fall right off the world but the sky is in, and I've got a colored tint that really adds a richness to the scene. I'll press play again to stop playing and I'm back at my scene editor.
And I'm ready to fine tune my character controller and probably start getting some material in lights end because the gray is getting to be a little bit much.
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