Adding Backgrounds

Motivation

  • Shapes form the foreground of your scene
  • You can add a background to provide context

Backgrounds describe:

  • Sky and ground colors
  • Panorama images of mountains, cities, etc

Backgrounds are faster to draw than if you used shapes to build them.

Using the background components

A background creates three special shapes:

  • A sky sphere
  • A ground hemisphere inside the sky sphere
  • A panorama box inside the ground hemisphere

How does the background look like:

  • The sky sphere and ground hemisphere are shaded with a color gradient.
  • The panorama box is texture mapped with six images.
  • Transparent parts of the ground hemisphere reveal the sky sphere
  • Transparent parts of the panorama box reveal the ground and sky
  • The viewer can look up, down, and side-to-side to see different parts of the background
  • The viewer can never get closer to the background

Syntax: Background

A Background node describes background colors;

  • skyColor and skyAngle - sky gradation
  • groundColor and groundAngle - ground gradation

XML Encoding

<Background
    skyColor='0.1 0.1 0.0, ...'
    skyAngle='1.309, 1.571, ...'
    groundColor='0.0 0.2 0.7, ...'
    groundAngle='1.309, 1.571, ...'/>

Classic Encoding

Background {
  skyColor    [ 0.1 0.1 0.0, ... ]
  skyAngle    [ 1.309, 1.571, ... ]
  groundColor [ 0.0 0.2 0.7, ... ]
  groundAngle [ 1.309, 1.571, ... ]
}

Using sky angles and colors

  • The first sky color is at the north pole
  • The remaining sky colors are at given sky angles
    • The maximum angle is 180 degrees = 3.1415 radians (π)
  • The last color smears on down to the south pole

Using ground angles and colors

  • The first ground color is at the south pole
  • The remaining ground colors are at given ground angles
    • The maximum angle is 90 degrees = 1.5708 radians (π/2)
  • After the last color, the rest of the hemisphere is transparent

A sample background

XML Encoding

<Background DEF='Summer'
    skyAngle='0.8,
              1.3,
              1.4,
              1.5708'
    skyColor='0.21 0.31 0.59,
              0.33 0.45 0.7,
              0.57 0.66 0.85,
              0.6 0.73 0.89,
              0.7 0.83 0.98'
    groundAngle='0.659972,
                 1.2,
                 1.39912,
                 1.5708'
    groundColor='0.105712 0.156051 0.297,
                 0.187629 0.255857 0.398,
                 0.33604 0.405546 0.542,
                 0.3612 0.469145 0.602,
                 0.39471 0.522059 0.669'/>

Classic Encoding

DEF Summer Background {
  skyAngle [
    0.8,
    1.3,
    1.4,
    1.5708
  ]
  skyColor [
    0.21 0.31 0.59,
    0.33 0.45 0.7,
    0.57 0.66 0.85,
    0.6 0.73 0.89,
    0.7 0.83 0.98
  ]
  groundAngle [
    0.659972,
    1.2,
    1.39912,
    1.5708
  ]
  groundColor [
    0.105712 0.156051 0.297,
    0.187629 0.255857 0.398,
    0.33604 0.405546 0.542,
    0.3612 0.469145 0.602,
    0.39471 0.522059 0.669
  ]
}

Example

Background 1

View scene in this window.

Download ZIP Archive

Syntax: Background

A Background node describes background images:

  • frontUrl, etc - texture image URLs for box

XML Encoding

<Background
    ...
    frontUrl='"cloud1s.png"'
    backUrl='"cloud2s.png"'
    leftUrl='"cloud3s.png"'
    rightUrl='"cloud4s.png"'
    topUrl='"sun.png"'
    bottomUrl='"ground.png"'/>

Classic Encoding

Background {
  ...
  frontUrl  "cloud1s.png"
  backUrl   "cloud2s.png"
  leftUrl   "cloud3s.png"
  rightUrl  "cloud4s.png"
  topUrl    "sun.png"
  bottomUrl "ground.png"
}

A sample background image

   
Color portion of clouds texture Transparency portion of clouds texture

A sample background

XML Encoding

<!-- no top or bottom images -->
<Background DEF='Summer'
    frontUrl='"clouds1.png"'
    backUrl='"clouds2.png"'
    leftUrl='"clouds3.png"'
    rightUrl='"clouds4.png"'
    skyAngle='0.8,
              1.3,
              1.4,
              1.5708'
    skyColor='0.21 0.31 0.59,
              0.33 0.45 0.7,
              0.57 0.66 0.85,
              0.6 0.73 0.89,
              0.7 0.83 0.98'
    groundAngle='0.659972,
                 1.2,
                 1.39912,
                 1.5708'
    groundColor='0.105712 0.156051 0.297,
                 0.187629 0.255857 0.398,
                 0.33604 0.405546 0.542,
                 0.3612 0.469145 0.602,
                 0.39471 0.522059 0.669'/>

Classic Encoding

DEF Summer Background {
  frontUrl "clouds1.png"
  backUrl "clouds2.png"
  leftUrl "clouds3.png"
  rightUrl "clouds4.png"
  skyAngle [
    0.8,
    1.3,
    1.4,
    1.5708
  ]
  skyColor [
    0.21 0.31 0.59,
    0.33 0.45 0.7,
    0.57 0.66 0.85,
    0.6 0.73 0.89,
    0.7 0.83 0.98
  ]
  groundAngle [
    0.659972,
    1.2,
    1.39912,
    1.5708
  ]
  groundColor [
    0.105712 0.156051 0.297,
    0.187629 0.255857 0.398,
    0.33604 0.405546 0.542,
    0.3612 0.469145 0.602,
    0.39471 0.522059 0.669
  ]
  # no top or bottom images
}

Example

Background 2

View scene in this window.

Download ZIP Archive

Summary

Backgrounds describe:

  • Ground and sky color gradients on ground hemisphere and sky sphere
  • Panorama images on a panorama box

The viewer can look around, but never get closer to the background.