How to control the lighting in your Neos VR world and create skyboxes

The video above shows a method for controlling the lighting in a world in Neos VR. Neos has some really great capabilities in regards to lighting, and each new world template has an overall Light object that you can manipulate to your needs. You can also add your own lighting in a few different ways, but this one is just how to find and manipulate the one that comes standard in a template.

About the scene

I recently came across this Buddha photogrammetry scan on Sketchfab and since it's licensed as Creative Commons Attribution I thought I'd make something out of it.

For this scene, I downloaded the model from Sketchfab and imported it into Neos with the file browser. You can learn more about that process in my last post

I then duplicated it 6 times in a circular pattern around me. 

Next I added some colored light orbs to one of the Buddhas, just playing with the light and color, imaging them as chakras, with the light tool in Neos. This tool allows you to easily add light orbs to your world. You can choose your color by pressing the thumbpad in different directions while the tool is equipped. The trigger will spawn a light orb, and if you hold down the trigger and drag away from the orb, it increases the radius of the light.

I then grabbed a plane with an animated water material on it from another world in Neos. I think it was created by Nexulan actually. Thanks Nex!

The sky was already black at this point, and the lighting looked pretty nice, so I spawned the Neos camera (in your Inventory under Neos Essentials) set it to a 4k image, set the timer, put it on 360 mode, and then flew behind one of the Buddhas as the camera went off.

And it was good.

But I wanted more light. So I then created a new material for the skybox. Neos has a couple of options for this. By equipping the dev tool (shows in the video above where you can find it) you can open the context menu, choose "Create" and then "Skybox". This gives you two options: Gradient and Proceedural. I chose a gradient so I could have multiple colors.

Skybox crafting

The globe and the tesseract I added as afterthoughts. I don't know that I'll keep them. But this did get me thinking that this is an excellent way to craft skyboxes in general. The 360 camera also has an 8k option so you can get a pretty high resolution 360 image.

This 360 image can be exported to your hard drive (in fact, if you're using Steam it saves it to your screenshots for you) or you can use this 360 image as the skybox for a new world. This saves on world complexity, making your world a smaller download and faster to load.

Sharing 360 images

I think there are many various options out there for sharing 360 images, but I've been looking for an excuse to try out Google's Tour Creator and figured I'd give it another go. Turns out, it's a pretty nice little tool for uploading multiple 360 images, think of it like a 360 image gallery. It also has some annotation capabilities, sorta Sketchfab-like.

Check out these images on poly: https://poly.google.com/view/dMhjBAj5coZ

I'd be happy to go into more depth on this if you like. Just let me know. You can check it out here for yourself as well.