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Tutorial-- Creating a 360 Space Engine Image As a Background for Iclone

Posted By pedrosura Last Year
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Tutorial-- Creating a 360 Space Engine Image As a Background for...

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pedrosura
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Hello Friends,

This is a quick tutorial on how to create the background for a Space Shot using the great Space Engine software.
Space Engine is a simulator of the ENTIRE UNIVERSE. Yes, 200 Billion Galaxies and trillions of comets, asteroids, planets etc... The objects we know about are simulated and the ones we think are there but have'nt been discovered are simulated. It is the greatest piece of software I have ever played with and it's free. Please make a small donation if you use it. The developer (one guy) deserves it. 

Thie process goes as follows: go to Space Engine and place the camera where you want to create the Skycube, Create the Skycube. The you have to modify 2 sides of the Skycube, then you have to use software to convert the six images that are the sides of the Skycube into a single 360 panoramic picture, then you take this picture as an IBL image in Iclone 7 and you are done. 
STEP 1
Get Space Engine from en.spaceengine.org Install it and learn to move the camera and do the basics. Search Youtube for "Space Engine tutorials"

STEP 2
In Space Engine, find the place where you want to create your Skybox size 2048 and PNG, it could be in space, on a Moon, Asteroid, etc.. I used for this demo Kepler 452 b Terra which you can access by going to Space Engine, Planetarrium, Keyboard shortcut "F6" select it from the list and hit "GO TO"

STEP 3
Create Skybox by hitting escape key "ESC", click on "EDITOR", click on "EXPORT SKYBOX"

STEP 4
     STEP 3 created six files located in C:\SpaceEngine\export named:
sky_neg_z.png
sky_pos_z.png
sky_neg_x.png
sky_pos_x.png
sky_neg_y.png
sky_pos_y.png

STEP 5
Go to Youtube and search "

How to Convert a Cubemap To a 360° Image (Panorama) Tutorial"



There is a standalone utility called cubemap get there or here:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/5luc6qvwg4ztx0l/CubemapTo360-64bit.exe?dl=0

Here is an image containing the input to Cubemap utility (look at the window where it says "360Tech":
https://forum.reallusion.com/uploads/images/ff2f10e8-611c-4b5e-9c18-48c3.jpg

In Space Engine the skybox is 2048, in Cubemap I also make it 2048
The input to Cubemap
Top=sky_pos_y (Rotate image 90 deg Clockwise)
Bottom=sky_neg_y (Rotate image 90 deg CounterClockwise)
Left =sky_pos_z
Right=sky_neg_z
Front=sky_pos_x
Back=sky_neg_x
Now, here is an important step. Two of these images have to be rotated 90 degrees Clockwise and Counterclockwise respectively.
I use a program called "Image Converter" from AVS..
Free version here.. https://www.avs4you.com/es/avs-image-converter.aspx
This program is a great tool for converting images from one to another. Remember, two of the images have to be rotated. The other ones were just converted from PNG to JPG



You have to provide the full path to the file on the input to Cubemap. in my case:
TOP           C:\SpaceEngine\export\sky_pos_yMODGas.jpg
In my case I started with file C:\SpaceEngine\export\sky_pos_y.png , rotated the file 90 degrees CLOCKWISE and created file sky_pos_yMODGas.jpg

Once all sides files are  filled in click on "Create 360 degree image"
Give it a name and Cubemap will create a bitmap file, in my case...360GasGiant.bmp


Gas Giant 360 degree Image
https://www.dropbox.com/s/pd3o8widgdegj9c/360GasGiant.bmp?dl=0

https://forum.reallusion.com/uploads/images/32ec86cf-07ce-4e06-bdd3-4012.bmp


STEP 6
Go to Iclone 7, visual tab and drop the "360GasGiant.bmp" image in the IBL image slot. 
I suggest making this skybox large from 70 to 9999
Then you could add spaceships, lighting etc... Once done add sound effects, music etc.. and use it in your movies, like this:


Space Engine can create not only images in Space but from the surface of planets and Moons. Some of these terrains are created using fractals so they can be very detailed and incredibly impressive. 

Another use is to create moving video as you move through space. This movie can be used as the video for a PRIM in Iclone. This movie can be "played" on the windshield of a cockpit, etc...

That is all folks. Comment for questions, opinions...

Edited
Last Year by pedrosura
sonic7
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Fantastic pedro !
This is a *must keep* reference for sure !
I love sci-fi .... and a sci-fi project may not be out of the realms of possibility once I'm done with the current (earthly) project.
This opens up amazing possibilities !
thnx heaps for sharing this ... Smile


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Please be patient with me ..... I don't always 'get it' the first time 'round - not even the 2nd time! Sad  - yikes! ... 
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Kipster
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why not just use the cylindrical projection
and avoid all this extra work?





also works for quick animated 360







.
Edited
Last Year by Kipster
pedrosura
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Great video @kipster.. I am sure there are many ways of doing it. I guess depending on what shot you are doing you can use different projections. How does the cylindrical display at the poles?? I thought the the cubemap was the best no matter in what direction you looked. I am going to try this method.
Have you porjected a 360 degree video on a 360 prim and used it as an image background. I would be interested in doing this. I am sure that there will be memory issues but I wonder what kind of resolution would be possible. 

Thank you for posting. 

Edited
Last Year by pedrosura
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sonic7 (11/11/2018)

Fantastic pedro !
This is a *must keep* reference for sure !
I love sci-fi .... and a sci-fi project may not be out of the realms of possibility once I'm done with the current (earthly) project.
This opens up amazing possibilities !
thnx heaps for sharing this ... Smile

You are welcomed. Read the post below for a different approach. Agreed, Space Engine is a must for syfy..

Kipster
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there are no stitching errors with the poles
and i have used the animated versions in iclone as skies
without any issues (wmv) on a modest system.

also, you may want to setup a gamepad for flight control
when doing the animated stuff





.
Edited
Last Year by Kipster
pedrosura
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Kipster (11/11/2018)

there are no stitching errors with the poles
and i have used the animated versions in iclone as skies
without any issues (wmv) on a modest system.

also, you may want to setup a gamepad for flight control
when doing the animated stuff


Interested in finding out how you setup yours. I haven't done a lot of recording while flying around but it could be very interesting..

Kipster
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i use the camera controls, not the ships
and its a pretty basic setup with inverted controls for up and down
since its natural to steer that way
https://forum.reallusion.com/uploads/images/9928d2c9-81ed-4e3a-9b01-ff87.jpg


.
pedrosura
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Kipster (11/11/2018)
i use the camera controls, not the ships
and its a pretty basic setup with inverted controls for up and down
since its natural to steer that way
https://forum.reallusion.com/uploads/images/9928d2c9-81ed-4e3a-9b01-ff87.jpg

Awesome.... Thank you...
Kipster
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the ship editor is also pretty cool
it can export to obj



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