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Skip to 0 minutes and 19 secondsIn the previous video I’ve been talking about how we can use textures to enhance the materials, but still even if we have realistic materials we have here, we have some problems in the scene. One of the first things we have to fix is, for instance, the background. This background is very empty and very flat and this doesn't look very realistic. So usually when you have a 3D environment, what you want to have is some kind of image that we can paint on the background to fill it, but also we want that image that when we move the camera, the image move accordingly. So to do so usually we use something we call a "Skybox".

Skip to 0 minutes and 54 secondsAnd a Skybox is something like a sphere that it’s going to have a texture and it’s going to be painted all around our scene. So, by putting a Skybox, I’m going to choose one of the textures I have here, for instance this texture over here. Just by doing this now this scene looks more filled. So we have all the background and then we have our objects. Another interesting thing about having this Skybox is that we can make our objects more interesting by making them reflect this Skybox. Making real reflections on a 3D environment would be very expensive, would be very costly for the computer.

Skip to 1 minute and 34 secondsSo usually when we work in 3D graphics in real time what we do is, we use textures like this one I have right now, this Skybox, this environment, to paint the objects in a way that they look like they are reflecting the environment around. So what I’m going to do is, I’m going to click this object here, and I’m going to create a material for this object, and I’m going to tell him that this object has reflected reflection.

Skip to 2 minutes and 0 secondsSo by doing so, as you can see now, this object is being painted by information of the Skybox, and this is not a true reflection because, as you can see, the cup is not being reflected in this object, but at least give the impression to the scene that the object is made in this case of something like a porcelain or some kind of plastic that is more interesting to the eye. So, every time we create an environment, a scene, it’s very important to pay attention to how we handle the background and how we handle the reflections.

Skip to 2 minutes and 37 secondsI also can do here to add some reflection to the table too, so as you can see now, now all the objects in the scene look much more integrated than before. In the next video I will talk how we can enhance a little bit more to make it more realistic.

Apply background to improve the scene

To apply a background to your scene, you can use a tool called a Skybox. A Skybox is an object we put around our scene to act as a background. The difference is that this object is surrounding us, so it does not matter where we look – we will always see it.

Start by choosing a texture for your Skybox.

You can make the objects in your scene reflect the information in your Skybox. In other words, the objects will appear as if they are reflecting their environment – making your scene look more realistic.

You can download Skyboxes by searching Google images for the words “skybox” or “environment map”.

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This video is from the free online course:

3D Graphics for Web Developers

Pompeu Fabra University Barcelona

Course highlights Get a taste of this course before you join:

  • Getting to know WebGL studio
    Getting to know WebGL studio

    State-of-the-art tool for 3D graphics development, WebGLStudio. Watch Javi Agenjo explains basics of 3D graphics using WebGLStudio.

  • Learn 3D scene post-production
    Learn 3D scene post-production

    Apply more effects, algorithms to have more realistic scene and learn about post-production. Watch Javi Agenjo explains more.

  • Implementing a basic 3D scene
    Implementing a basic 3D scene

    Learn how Three.js API can be used to create 3D graphic scenes. Explore more about Three.js after watching Alun Evan's video lesson.

  • Creating complex 3D objects
    Creating complex 3D objects

    Learn how to create complex 3D objects instead of simple spheres and planes. It uses external resources also. Watch Alun Evans explains more.

  • Loading textures and casting shadows
    Loading textures and casting shadows

    Add complex textures and higher quality meshes in to a 3D scene using Three.js API. Watch how Alun Evans program these features.