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How do I replace rebellion's skyboxes with diplomacy's?

By on April 2, 2014 5:07:16 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Landgrab

Join Date 02/2014
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Hi, I like the colors of the skyboxes in diplomacy alot better than rebellions (like the greens). How do i replace the default ones in rebellion with diplomacys? Any help would be much appreciated.

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April 3, 2014 12:23:14 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Here are the files involved:

\GameInfo\SkyBoxProperties.skyboxbackdropdata
\GameInfo\STAR_*.entity
\Mesh\Skybox*.MESH
\Textures\skybox*environmentcube.dds
\Textures\skybox*irradiance.dds
\Textures\SkyboxBackdrop*.dds
Skybox.manifest

For meshes and textures, you can probably copy from diplomacy and edit from there.

- MESH files: Rebellion meshes have an extra line "maxDiffuseMipLevel 0"

- Textures: Probably no changes needed.  I am not sure if diplomacy had irradiance.dds files, because they were not referenced in Diplomacy's SkyBoxProperties.skyboxbackdropdata file.

For other files, it would be better to edit from the Rebellion files.

- STAR_*.entity: Update coloredSkyboxMeshInfoCount and meshInfo.  Rebellion has extra line "shouldPrefer".  I think the general trend in Rebellion is: FALSE for deepSpaceSkybox and nebula-type skyboxes, and TRUE for others.  But it should depends on your personal preferences.

- SkyBoxProperties.skyboxbackdropdata: Copy the properties from Diplomacy file to your mod.  If Diplomacy does not have irradiance.dds, you can probably set environmentIlluminationMapName to "skybox06irradiance.dds" or "skybox07irradiance.dds".  (In Rebellion, the unused red skybox03 uses "skybox06irradiance.dds", but the deepSpaceSkybox is Skybox07 so I suppose "skybox07irradiance.dds" is the most neutral in colour?)

- Skybox.manifest:  Update "meshFileName" (if necessary).

If you managed to do it, don't forget to share it.   I still haven't seen the light blue skybox in Rebellion.

And I would also recommend ripping the Skyboxes from SOA2 and STA3 (only for your own use; it is not nice to rip and re-release other people's work), because they are quite spectacular.

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April 3, 2014 1:32:30 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting ,

Hi, I like the colors of the skyboxes in diplomacy alot better than rebellions (like the greens). How do i replace the default ones in rebellion with diplomacys? Any help would be much appreciated.

You know that obnoxious green skybox is still in Rebellion right? 

 

Quoting Valpheus,
- Textures: Probably no changes needed.  I am not sure if diplomacy had irradiance.dds files, because they were not referenced in Diplomacy's SkyBoxProperties.skyboxbackdropdata file.

That is correct. The Irradiance texture is a new addition to Rebellion that is used in the updated lighting engine. You will have to simply reference the closest Rebellion skybox irradiance texture for skyboxes that were not ported to Rebellion, or make your own.

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April 3, 2014 1:38:25 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Thanks for the help Valpheus, but does that fix mean i cant play on ico? Because of different checksum or something like that?

 

Goafan77- It is? I have never seen it. The only ones i see are like black and purple. I checked and unchecked both of the skyboxes option numerous times but that is all i get.

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April 3, 2014 1:46:10 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting Landgrab,
Thanks for the help Valpheus, but does that fix mean i cant play on ico? Because of different checksum or something like that?

I'm afraid that is correct. Changing the Star entity files, even for a cosmetic change, would result in a different checksum because it is an entity file. If you wanted to use it online, you would simply have to try replacing one of the existing skybox textures with an old one, though the lighting on starships might look off.

Quoting Landgrab,
Goafan77- It is? I have never seen it. The only ones i see are like black and purple. I checked and unchecked both of the skyboxes option numerous times but that is all i get.

It is. It may simply have been unavailable for the star in your system. I do not remember which color Stars can have the green skybox, but perhaps make a map with a green star and do that and you should get it.

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April 3, 2014 2:58:45 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

You're welcome Landgrab~

If you wanted to use it online, you would simply have to try replacing one of the existing skybox textures with an old one, though the lighting on starships might look off.

Yeah, if you wish to keep checksum at zero, you can still try partial skybox replacement, by only changing the textures.

The texture .dds go hand in hand with its respective mesh.  If there is a mismatch between the texture set and the mesh, you will see graphical glitches.  Good news is that some stock skyboxes have virtually identical meshes.  Rebellion comes with the following skyboxes:

skybox02
skybox03 (red nebula, not used by any stars in rebellion.)
skybox04 (green nebula)
skybox05
skybox06
skybox07 (deepSpaceSkybox)
skybox08 (purple nebula)

03 04 07 have identical meshes.
02 05 06 have identical meshes.
08 is on its own.

Therefore, to get rid of the green skybox, you can simply copy skybox03environmentcube.dds, SkyboxBackdrop3.dds to your mod.  Also, copy skybox06irradiance.dds (03 does not come with irradiance).  Then rename them to skybox04environmentcube.dds, SkyboxBackdrop4.dds and skybox04irradiance.dds.

This will replaces the green skybox with red skybox.  However, the planets/asteroids colouring is mostly dependent on the definition in SkyBoxProperties.skyboxbackdropdata, which you cannot change if you want to keep checksum at zero.  Therefore the planets/asteroids will have a green hue over them (this is true in the latest Bailknight's Graphic Mod).

The ships are also affected by SkyBoxProperties.skyboxbackdropdata, but in my experience, it seems their colour mostly depends on the textures, so they should look quite ok.

It is. It may simply have been unavailable for the star in your system. I do not remember which color Stars can have the green skybox, but perhaps make a map with a green star and do that and you should get it.


In Rebellion, all stars except red use all skyboxes 02 04 05 06 07 08.  Red star only uses 02 06 07.

 

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April 3, 2014 3:20:36 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

I hate the green skybox too...still dont understand while this one was kept, while the red one was dumped.

Bottom line, the skyboxes in Sins are generally underwhelming. The only ones that stand out for me are the new blueish and brownish ones. 

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