Sky Writer future

Started by wallworm, December 25, 2011, 01:20:01 AM

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I'm working on a sky for a map at the moment so preparing to flesh out Sky Writer... including adding functionality to a couple of the buttons that don't yet work in the UI. I'm also going to try and add LDR into the export process (right now it only does HDR).

Since I'm using Vue xStream at the moment, I'm trying to figure out the best methods for making skies in Max with Vue. When I first made Sky Writer, I was using mainly Dreamscape. I have more experience with Dreamscape and have made many successful skies... but now I'm focusing on Vue since the overall design tools in Vue are so much more robust.


So I've been working a little more with skies and am now beginning to flesh out Sky Writer. There are several flaws with SW at the moment... one is that the skies are inverted in the current public implementation. I've fixed this in my dev version.

Another problem is a lack of LDR fallbacks. I'm working on that right now.

I've also found that the Sky Writer code is making masks in the TGA for the skies that it shouldn't. This did not happen in the past... so I do not know if it is a problem in Max 2012 SP2 (which is what I'm currently using) or something else--but I don't remember this problem in my original release of Sky Writer.

Also... I think that I will be able to make Sky Writer cubemaps be compatible with not only Source cubemaps but also the normal Max reflect/refract maps soon.

So, as everyone probably realizes... Sky Writer is still a beta. But I'm focused on ending the beta stage soon.

Only Mildly Related Rant...

I mentioned that I've been using Vue lately. I have. But the more I have used it, the more my excitement over its tools is waning.

I do like Vue at a certain level... but more and more I am dropping many of its tools. At this point, I'm really only using Vue for clouds and atmospherics. I've ditched making landscapes in Vue... as I really think it's just easier to make them with standard Max tools.

One thing that has started to really piss me off about Vue is that it won't work with the Render Preview in the Exposure Control rollout. Vue skies and objects aren't available in that window... so basically the whole purpose of being able to use the exposure control preview is ignored--and you waste time doing extra renderings for each change to the exposure.

I've mentioned my frustration in the Vue forums and in a tech support ticket... but e-on software has passed the buck and blamed it on the developers of Mental Ray. I'm not sold on that argument... but I don't know the technical backend of it; my gut tells me that e-on software just doesn't want to spend time on it since it is a feature specific to Max users... and they develop for a bunch of apps. But now it makes me a little irritated that I forked over a couple thousand dollars on something that was marketed as a tool that works seamlessly in Max.

That being said... I'm still using Vue and getting some beautiful results with atmospheric effects and clouds. I'm just not as satisfied with the app as I'd expected to be after using it for close to a year.

Grumble, grumble... :)

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