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Everything related to BIMx and BIMx Docs: functionality, platforms, features, etc.

Moderators: ejrolon, Barry Kelly, Karl Ottenstein, LaszloNagy, gkmethy

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By Eric Batte
I'd like to see some work you guys have done in AC and "rendered" in VBE. Perhaps there will be some inspirational techniques demonstrated that would benefit everyone.

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By Eric Batte
How to get rid of the nuclear winter sky that comes with VBE:

1. Find a good 360 degree cube map of a sky online. A good source I found was There you can get a single image of a cube map which is six sides of the cube, but all in one long horizontal image.

2. Crop and save the individual sides of the cube map and replace the images that come with VBE. The file names tell VBE where each image goes so they all get stitched together correctly. Attached is a diagram of how I deciphered the faces of the VBE cube map.

The files are located in:
MAC: Applications:Graphisoft:Virtual Building Explorer 2:Data:Textures:Skybox

WIN: c:\Program Files\Graphisoft\virtual Building Explorer\Skybox

In windows they are .bmp files and on mac they are .tga files with names like XN.tga, YP.tga, etc.

It is important you save the original files before you alter them in case you screw up. You have been warned.

[NOTE: for some reason I had to flip each image of the cube map (flip vertical command) so they would stitch correctly. I'm not sure why because the original images that came with VBE are oriented with the sky up. Mine are sky down, but appear sky up in VBE...whatever.]

3. Save out your model from AC to VBE. Now it will use the new sky

4. If you find a few skies you will want to use, just make the cube map for VBE and save them somewhere on your computer and you can swap them out in VBE whenever you make a new VBE file.

Have fun
cube map.jpg
Last edited by Eric Batte on Tue Jan 19, 2010 7:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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By Eric Batte
Thanks Karl

For some reason the forum isn't allowing me to post images... still trying to post pics of the sky before and after.
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By Karl Ottenstein
Fantastic result, Eric - changes the whole atmosphere (pun intended) of the image - especially with the added info in the distance at the ground line. Looks rendered ... and must make the VBE experience much nicer.
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By Karl Ottenstein
Well, I thought I'd be ever-so-clever and generate a sky cube from Artlantis, since it has parametric clouds for its sky. If it worked, then one camera set-up could generate any number of different skies by changing the cloud parameters.

I set up six cameras, each names with the names Eric gave, with 90 degree view angles. While the clouds/etc do stitch ... the illumination of each image varies so that the seams are quite noticeable. I did have radiosity enabled, but Artlantis does auto-exposure which would prevent getting matching images anyway I think.

Attached is a VBE screenshot after having substituted the images via Eric's instructions - looking at a cube corner ... with the lines of the cube clearly visible.

So, there is more to making these sky maps than just panning around...