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UDK: How to Add a Skybox - Simple Room/Env Creation

Category: UDK
April 26, 2011

How to add a skybox to your UDK level/environment?

Tutorial shows you how to quickly add a skybox to your level.

In the following tutorial, you will learn:

  • How to add a skybox
  • How to replace sky material
  • What you need to turn off in the properties to make the skybox functional
  • Important tips to keep in mind on the type of sky you use in your level
  • Video and full notes for quick access are below

UDK Simple Room/Environment Creation Tutorial Series:

1. UDK: BSP Brushes Block In

2. UDK: BSP Workflow

3. UDK: Quick Lighting and In Game Testing

4. UDK: Using Static Meshes and Workflow

5. UDK: Applying Materials/Textures and Workflow (Parts 1 and 2)

6. UDK: How to Add a Skybox

7. UDK: How to Add Lights

HOW TO ADD A SKYBOX

Skybox in UDK is a sky material applied to the static mesh. You would add a skybox as you would adding a static mesh.

Note: There are a few skyboxes you can use that come with installation of UDK, but to get the best results for various environments you would have to create your own custom skybox material.

Open up the Content Browser and search for sky.

Make sure to filter by static mesh.

To place the sky static mesh, Left Click and Drag into perspective viewport.

MAKING YOUR SKYBOX WORK IN GAME

Making your skybox work in game we need to turn off few properties.

Double click on the sky static mesh, or select the static mesh and press F4.

Uncheck the following:

  • Cast Shadows
  • Cast Dynamic Shadows
  • Cast Static Shadows
  • Accept Lights
  • Accept Dynamic Lights

REPLACING SKYBOX TEXTURE

After you've placed sky static mesh into your level, you can replace the material of the sky to a different texture.

To do that, go into the skybox static mesh properties by double click on the sky static mesh, or select the static mesh and press F4.

Go to Static Mesh Actor, under Rendering, you will have Materials.

You can add a new field and apply a new material to your skybox by overriding current sky texture.

Click on the green plus, Add New Item.

Open up the Content Browser and search for new sky material.

Select the new sky texture and close the Content Browser.

With new sky texture selected, click on the green arrow, Use selected object in Content Browser.

Replaced texture of the sky.

To go back to default sky texture, go back into the skybox properties and press the red x under material inputs.

IMPORTANT TIPS ON THE SKYBOX

Few important tips on the skybox to keep in mind:

  • The type of sky you use will define the time of day of your level
  • The type of lighting you will use
  • The direction of your light source, based on the sun in the texture of the sky
  • The feeling and overall ambience of the environment

Preproduction Blueprint - How to Plan Your Game Environments and Level Designs

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