Fun with Skyboxes in Unity

Objective: learn how to create a background for a scene, using a custom skybox material.

All scenes in unity have a background that is displayed by default. Usually, it is this generic blue sky, grey ground, and horizon.

However, we can use a custom skybox material to change this. We can create a new material and use the6-Sided Skybox shader.

Next, we can add 6 images to this shader. This creates a cube that has each image displayed on each of its faces. By using this material, it will enclose the entire game scene within this cube, so every direction will display this image of a city skyline.

We utilize this new material in the Lighting window and Environment tab. We just select “Skybox Material” and change it to the new 6-Sided Skybox material we made.

Now the background has become a city! Not only that, but the Environment Lighting in that same tab uses the Skybox as its source, the city imagery also affects the lighting in the scene. After generating the baked lighting, all the surfaces look blue and dim, which matches the surrounding environment.

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Blake Zoeckler

I’m a passionate and talented software engineer seeking an opportunity in game development.