can someone explain to me the difference

between subsurface scattering, ray tracing, and light paths. like a short description. I am wondering what reflects the texture image or material color of a scene an atmosphere color in the scene.

Light splits into two - specular reflections and refraction (volume interaction) using fresnel.
Volume interaction is pretty much “all the rest” - diffuse, translucency, subsurface, velvet and are all approximations of certain material conditions. You should probably check out siggraph talks on youtube :slight_smile: Here is one from 2015.

thank you for taking the time to answer my question