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40oz

Reflecting ocean horizon sky

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Just a thought, wanted some aesthetic related input on this.

In source ports where you can look up and down, you see the sky repeat vertically. Many vanilla/boom wads with new skies don't account for this behavior and as such are not designed to tile vertically, and obviously, if you have mountains or city skylines or whatever, getting a sky to tile vertically isn't possible

I've played a few wads that use purely a cloudy sky with no horizon line, and sometimes when you look down, the clouds (at first glance) give the illusion of an ocean horizon reflecting the clouds. This gave me an idea.

I was thinking about the plausibility of creating a sky where the horizon is a body of water reflecting the sky. (to do this simply, copy the sky, flip it vertically and resize it to the height between the bottom of the image and your horizon line,) and perhaps with a little bit of editing to the upper sky part of the image, you could potentially (in part, due to Doom's limited pallete) make the sky blend seamlessly into the ocean so that the ocean horizon and the sky isn't completely discernible. The top part of the sky image wouldn't necessarily look like water, and the bottom wouldn't definitely look like sky, so you could potentially have a sky that literally tiles vertically and also has a horizon line (unless your source port allows you to look up so high that it repeats more than once, then it will look a little more obviously unrealistic.)

Here's a quick mockup I did with Doom 2's sky to test it out. There's probably more I could do in the way of distorting the image so that the water reflection fades better into the sky, like with some rounded cylindrical effect or something, but I didn't want fuck it up or spend too much time on it in case you guys don't like it. It would probably look better in a custom sky with smaller slim clouds intentionally made with this idea in mind too.



This is what it looks like when tiled.



Thoughts?

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If I understood well, this is intended for source ports that allow you to look up and down? Because these source ports support 256 tall textures, so you don't need to tile them vertically. Also, there is a "stretch short skies" option on menu.

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I think Roger Ritenour's "Phobos" made use of a horizon effect similar to this, though with a standard 128-tall vanilla sky (err...) it looked a bit strange.

Darch said:

If I understood well, this is intended for source ports that allow you to look up and down? Because these source ports support 256 tall textures, so you don't need to tile them vertically. Also, there is a "stretch short skies" option on menu.

When sky horizon effects are used in maps with sky textures that aren't designed to seamlessly tile vertically, it's sometimes possible to see the sky tile when looking out a high window.

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my intention is more for vanilla or limit removing wads that are also friendly to source ports that permit looking up and down in software mode (without the need for stretching skies which distorts them and makes them look horribly pixelated)

I'm just curious if the optical illusion is there, or if this gave anyone ideas on how to better execute it.

EDIT:

1. Does it look like an ocean?

2. Does the scene tile vertically?

3. Can you identify where water stops and the sky starts?

4. If so, did this at all imply that generating such an illusion is possible?

5. What do you suggest?

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40oz said:

1. Does it look like an ocean?

Kind of, if it's not tiled.


2. Does the scene tile vertically?

Not too well.


3. Can you identify where water stops and the sky starts?

Yeah, in the middle, I think.


4. If so, did this at all imply that generating such an illusion is possible?

Probably. If someone does it well enough.


5. What do you suggest?

Needs a bit more tweaking to make it seem seamless.

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hard to judge by a pic, maybe post the wad so people can see it ingame?

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Here's a sky I've been working on for a few days, maybe this is a better example. The clouds at the very top start to ripple a little bit



When tiled it crossfades from water to sky pretty well.

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It still looks a bit off for some reason. I think it's because the sky and its "reflection" in the ocean are both the same color. But it would seem impossible to be able to make it change color at the bottom.

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Now, it would be cool if a slight rippling and shimmering effect (check out some 16-bit era platform games) could be coded for skies, applying to specific (by vertical positions) portions of the screen. In those old games, it was used to simulate either sea movement/shimmering or air turbulence at a distance. It should be easy to code, and add a subtle yet effective feeling to Doom. In general, the effect might amount to little more than shifting scanlines around. Ofc, there's the problem that Doom's rendering is not scanline-based....maybe a modified invisibility column renderer?

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Its funny you mentioned it because I thought of that. With boom transfer specials you can transfer wall textures to the sky. Including animating textures. So if I could get it right, I could edit the ocean to have that wavy ocean effect that's more active towards the horizon and slows to a stop towards the bottom of the image.

I tried it once but you gotta be careful considering the implied distance of the ocean. Just a slight modification can make it look way too active in game. It looked more like a growth or a caterpillar or something than a wavy ocean. Shimmering is an approach I hadn't tried. Maybe it could look cool with some random pixel sized light flickers. Hopefully not too stupid without a light source like a sunset or something.

Crasger said:

It still looks a bit off for some reason. I think it's because the sky and its "reflection" in the ocean are both the same color. But it would seem impossible to be able to make it change color at the bottom.


a sky that transitions from one color to another is doable, but tough to do because dooms color pallete doesn't smooth into other colors as well as the light and dark gradients of a single color. Using some kinda dithering effect looks cheap on skies because they're stretched a bit and are unaffected by light values, which makes the sky look grainy or like a cheap photograph. It could perhaps be doable with a sky that had a grey sky as the base with blue or green clouds in the foreground, with the cloud density getting heavier as you move up. That way you could have a gray sky with a blue water or nukage ocean.

the reason I chose brown on brown is because realistically speaking, the color of water is a reflection of the sky. The reason ocean water is blue is because the sky is blue.

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The water furthest from the viewer should be very opaque and reflect the sky; the water closest to the camera should be largely transparent. To replicate this, it might be better to have the water near the camera gradually turn into solid black. It'd tile easier with the sky line too, as seeing the ripple effect in the sky looks really weird.

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Perhaps a slightly bleeding bland flat as your 'ocean' meeting a regular sky texture..? Although a bit silly to account for port features when you're aiming for vanilla compatability ;)

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Yes, it's an interesting idea. I would definitely want this to be an algorithm, built into the source port, that could generate the extra parts of the sky automagically...

Could such an algorithm work most of the time? An interesting question, indeed. Sounds like some research/test rig work is in order...

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kb1 said:
built into the source port


Except the point is that it has to work for vanilla. If this level was aimed at ports, you would just use a skybox and call it a day.

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I tend to design my levels for limit removing or boom because of the multi port compatibility. I want my users to play in any port that makes them feel comfortable. I don't think players that play vanilla maps should only play in chocolate doom, or dosbox, etc., at the expense of visual or gameplay flaws created by updated source ports. For the same reason I use impassible lines on windows you normally can't walk out of just in case players accidentally "jump" out of them or something. In this case, mouse look up and down or not, the sky should still look good.

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Mordeth said:

Except the point is that it has to work for vanilla. If this level was aimed at ports, you would just use a skybox and call it a day.

Ah, I mis-read. I was hoping for some code that would let me play vanilla wads in a source port, with reasonable, untiling skies during freelook. A sky-fixer, without just stretching the sky like crazy.

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