SkyBox 2

  • Compatibility After Effects
    Please check exact version compatibility under the "COMPATIBILITY" tab below

Author: Mettle

License terms

Quick Overview

SkyBox Creator and SkyBox Converter. Automates the creation of all necessary comps and camera relationships to create a 360º | VR authoring Environment in After Effects as well as convert between a 2D Source and Cubic - Spherical - Equirectangular Maps. For a total 360º | VR solution check out SkyBox Studio

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SkyBox 2


New features

New to SkyBox Creator V2 
  • Control the SkyBox Camera via a 3D Null layer
  • Edge Blending, this will help with 2.5 D particles like those found in Particular, Form & elements in Plexus.
New to SkyBox Converter V2 
  • New input format  > “2D Source”.
    This is excellent for adding supers, logos or patches to retouch the camera mount in stitched footage
  • Output frame width. Now you can resize your comp to the size you need.
  • Re-orient Camera View 
    • Tilt (X axis)
    • Pan (Y axis)
    • Roll (Z axis)
  • Please note, this does not control the camera in your “SkyBox Master”, instead think of this as a "post process" right on the image that you see your output comp.

SkyBox has 2 modules

Skybox Creator
automates the creation of all necessary comps and camera relationships to create a 360º | VR authoring Environment in After Effects.

Skybox Converter
converts between a 2D Source and Cubic - Spherical - Equirectangular Maps. Converts stitched equirectangular footage into a working environment in After Effects where you can motion-track, do object removal, add motion graphics, vfx etc.

If you need more modules check out the new SkyBox Studio

SkyBox Studio offers the modules in SkyBox 2 (Creator and Converter) and adds 2 more modules: SkyBox Extractor and SkyBox Viewer. Extractor automates the creation of all necessary comps and camera relationships to create a 360 | VR post production Environment in After Effects. Viewer emulates what you will see in youtube 360, Oculus Rift and other formats. This is excellent for pre-flight testing of your composites and animations.

It’s simple to create environment maps – spherical / equirectangular / cubic

– the formats used as reflection or environment maps in 3D software/plugins. Easy to generate between formats: 2D Source to Cubic to Spherical to Equirectangular.

Generate images and animations

Maps are created from After Effects’ 3D world, and can either just be a still image like a traditional reflection map, or can be a video file, meaning you can have animated environment reflections.

Add logos, supers and watermarks

On many occasions 360 | VR prodcutions may call for you to either add watermarks to yourt 360 footage, add simple supers or even logos. The Input - 2D Source feature in Converter will come in very handy. Pictured below is one use of 2D Source as an Input type.

Integrates with After Effects 3D Plug-ins

SkyBox integrates well with all 3D plug-ins for After Effects like mettle ShapeShifter AE, FreeForm, Trapcode Horizon, Element 3D, Zaxwerks, or any 3D plug-in that accepts Reflection Maps or Environment Maps.

With and without Skybox reflection map

Raw render  Render with SkyBox reflection map
Without SkyBox the Element 3D model does not reflect the rest of the After Effects comp (left). SkyBox allows you to create a reflection map of your entire comp (Right). Images created by Claude Autret

Works with 3D applications

SkyBox images/animations can be used in 3D applications like Maya, Cinema 4D, 3DS Max, Houdini, Lightwave, Blender, Modo.

Dome projections, VR, Gaming

Can also be used to generate dome projections or VR head-mounted display file formats like Occulus Rift. Great for webGL and gaming environments like the Unreal Engine and Unity3D.

Youtube 360 format

Youtube allows you to upload these videos, and allows you to move the camera orientation around ( very similar to the way you can in Google Streetview), while the video is playing. Youtube 360 is only available in the Chrome Browser and on Android devices (for now).  For instructions on how to convert your SkyBox render to play in YouTube as a 360º movie go here:

Youtube 360 Example

Needs to be viewed on Chrome or Android device to enable 360-degree navigation (we expect all browsers to be supported soon). SkyBox used with an Element 3D drive-thru animation. Courtesy Klaus Brandenburg.

Easy to turn your After Effects scene into an animation and reflect it back

Your amazing particle-filled 3D world can be reflected back onto your 3D objects, giving a much more realistic and unified look to the scene. This example uses mettle ShapeShifter AE for the 3D objects in AE.


Check out some Tutorials under the VIDEOS tab above

Upgrade Offer

Upgrade Notice: If you own SkyBox v1 you can upgrade to V2 for $34.50. Simply login to the same account that you purchased v1 from and the discounted upgrade price will be automatically shown. If you need any assistance please open a support ticket


Create a SkyBox map

David Oldani explains how to use SkyBox with Trapcode Particular and Element 3D.


Create a SkyBox map from an existing composition

David Oldani explains how to use an existing 3D After Effects comp to create an environment map for use in Element 3D.
After Effects CC 2015.3, CC 2015, CC 2014, CC, CS6