How to Add a Custom Skybox
In the last article, I looked at how to upgrade a Unity project from the Standard Unity Renderer to the Universal Rendering Pipeline. Today, I’ll be going over how to add a custom skybox!
The skybox in a Unity scene can have a lot of influence on how the scene looks and while the default Skybox in unity is nice, I’d like to be able to change it up. There are 4 types of skybox that you can assign in a Unity project: Procedural, CubeMap, 6-Sided, and Panoramic.
This is the same type as the default skybox in Unity but defining a custom procedural skybox allows us to modify the settings and come up with something unique. To start creating this, and all of the following, type of skybox I need to create a new material then set the shader type to Skybox > Procedural.
Now that we have our custom skybox material we need to assign it to be our sky box in our lighting settings.
If we adjust some of the settings in our new skybox material we can accomplish a drastically different look! For instance, the following was the result of playing with the Exposure and Athmospheric Thickness settings!
The 6-sided shader setting in skybox shader options allows us to set images to each of 6 slots forming a cube around the scene. After changing the shader setting to “Skybox > 6 sided”, we’re presented with the slot settings for front, back, left, right, up, and down. we can drag a different image into each of these slots.
If using seamless images you can produce a convincing horizon and sky.
The CubeMap skybox shader is similar to the 6-sided skybox setting but it uses a single image formatted as an unfolded cube to supply the images to the shader. To begin with this skybox change the shader setting to “Skybox > CubeMap”
This texture must to have it’s Texture Shape set to Cube in the texture settings before it can be used as a map for the shader.
This has a similar effect as the 6-sided skybox with fewer textures to manage and can be useful when designing horizons.
The final skybox type is Panoramic. This skybox takes a single image typically shot in panoramic mode on a camera or photographed off the surface of a chromed sphere to give it a bubbled appearance when viewed out of context. To select this type of skybox change the shader setting to “Skybox > Panoramic” and drag your panoramic image into the image source box.
In this article, I looked at how to add a custom skybok. Next time, I’ll be looking at different lights in Unity! If you enjoyed this article, or want to come along with me as I progress on my journey, follow me at gamedevchris.medium.com.