BIS has been working on a project that entails (among other things) the creation of
skyboxes. We wanted a quick and easy way to view these skyboxes as they will eventually
be used; i.e., as the background in a 3D virtual world OpenGL application, seen
from a viewpoint at the center of the box. Other solutions available rely on a number
of third party applications and involve some image processing (producing equi-rectangular
textures) which isn't necessary for a simple skybox. We also wanted a viewer written
in native C++ that we could tweak as we saw fit, and we didn't want to spend a lot
of time on it; this is our solution.
The solution consists of two parts; two separate .exe's. The first is written in
C# with Visual Studio 2008 and requires Ver. 2.0 of the Microsoft .NET framework.
The second is written in unmanaged VC++, again using Visual Studio 2008. These programs
come with full source code, free of charge. By downloading them you agree to the
license terms outlined here. In a nutshell, the only restrictions are that
you don't sell the programs and you don't claim the work as your own. If you do
use them and happen to find a bug or make an improvement, we'd like to know. Click
here to drop
us a line.
The first program, 'SkyBox Stuffer.exe', takes 6 (or 5, omitting the ground) skybox
images and packs them into a single file with a .bisb extension. The images aren't
compressed or stitched together; they're just stuffed into a single file for convenience.
This program will accept images with .bmp, .png, .jpg, .jpeg, .gif, .tga, .ppm or .ppg
extensions. For detailed instructions on use of the stuffer, source
code and a pre-compiled .exe, click here or on the navigation bar at left.
The second program, 'SkyBox Viewer.exe', takes a .bisb file output by the stuffer
and creates a skybox textured with the images stored therein. The observer is placed
at the center of the skybox, and can pan in any direction by clicking and dragging.
The app can optionally run in full-screen mode. For full instructions,
source code and a pre-compiled .exe, click here or on the navigation bar at left.