August 10, 2018
This version brings lots of improvements, the major ones being:
The addon is now released under the GPL, and can be downloaded anytime :)
It is no longer part of the SceneCity bundle. But existing customers of the previous bundle, that included SceneSkies, have access to the first collection that was previously part of SceneSkies.
Because SceneSkies will have a lot of environments, it is necessary to have collections and themes. They are available in different resolutions: 4k, 8k, 12k and 16k. 4k versions are free. The other resolutions can be bought at different prices. Collections are HDRIs files following a simple naming and folder structure conventions. Then they are listed in the addon's UI, and can be selected to see all the panoramas inside as thumbnails.
The panoramas were 12k before, now they are at 16k max.
SceneSkies now has user preferences, in the addon's list entry.
This can be turned on/off in the user preferences, and is useful to keep your blend file clean and avoid memory waste, as every time you choose a new sky via SceneSkies, a new world datablock is created.
A very big improvement is the fact that now the skies are stored in a folder of your choosing, by default in your documents folder. See it as a data folder. That way you can update or remove the addon without touching the skies files. Also they typically are large files, and don't have their place in Blender's addons folder.
Create your own collections, and add them in the data folder. Generate the thumbnails using the included automatic generator. Then you can list and choose among your chosen HDRIs.
With a new button, you can export your whole scene (including empty scenes if you just need the world background) as 6 images of a cubemap. This is useful to export backgrounds for game engines.
In the addon's preferences, you can now easily check if you you have the latest version installed. You need an active internet connection.
When a panorama doesn't have clouds or ground surfaces, these maps aren't loaded at all. This is to save RAM usage, and it also accelerates rendering.
You can now change the color of the ground surface in all of SceneSkies HDRIs (for those that have a ground of course).
The color and intensity of the atmosphere, clouds and surface are separated into 2 categories: direct and indirect light. This gives you more control on the look of your background environments.
It was necessary to click on the "Set sky" button again, when enabling or disabling color tweaking. Not anymore. This saves a click and is less confusing.
That's all for now, enjoy. Happy Blending! :)