Physical Starlight and Atmosphere Addon for 2.9 (v1.3)

Hosek-Wilkie is pretty much what I’d expect a physical sky to do, when bundled with a renderer. Night usually requires some more artistic freedom anyway, to show stars, etc… so one usually goes about it by blending it with night skymap along the sunrise/sunset. Mainly, fine tuning possibilities are not always a good thing. Great thing about Hosek-Wilkie model is mainly that it’s simple to use, not overloaded with parameters. Basically it comes down to just ground color and turbidity parameters. Pretty physically based.

That being said, that’s what I would expect stock physical sky model every renderer should natively be bundled with to do. Yours is more advanced model, which is fine since it’s a third party addon. In such case, it indeed makes more sense to have more complex model.

All I meant was that currently, Blender has only half complete, unusable implementation of the Hosek-Wilkie model left in very embarrassing state. :confused:

Finally released, thank you so much for all the hard work. :heart: :+1:

Not sure if you’re looking for feedback, and you’re probably aware of this, but screen-space reflections seem to to get lost in your StarlightAtmosphere node. Or maybe I’m just missing something.

Other than this and @Gregg_Hartley’s Cycles issue (I don’t really use Cycles though), it’s all amazing stuff. :slightly_smiling_face:


Awesome work on this! It’s clear that you’ve taken the time to really dig into the existing solutions, see what works (and what doesn’t) and come up with a solution that produces outstanding results with minimal effort. I just purchased the addon and am looking forward to running it through the paces.

Out of curiosity, do you know what e-on’s Ozone used as its sky model? I always thought the sky and clouds in Vue were some of the best out there.

1 Like

Appears that the “Shader to RGB” has limimtations in Eevee too. I`m on a workaround :slight_smile:
And I am always looking for a feedback, thanks!


I could not determine which sky model e-on’s Vue is using. Judging by appearance and considering it is a french company, I would assume - Bruneton’s and Neyret’s “Precomputed Atmospheris Scattering”. It is, after all my searches, so far the best one.
Octane Render, on the orher hand, is using a pretty old method by Nishita (1993).

btw here`s a nice survey of all of the popular sky models:

This looks awesome! congrats!! I think i will buy this soon

was doing my own poor mans implementation a while back:

One curiosity question: Did you hit some walls in terms of what blender exposes in its API and the way shaders are handled? (e.g. no chance to write cycles shaders directly without branching…)
I imagine if Blender would open up in similar ways to Unity, where you can rewrite half the ui and all renderpaths from within, it would be possible to integrate projects like this much deeper and better?

ps. would be nice to see some numbers on how this affects rendertimes

1 Like

Im very new to Blender so sorry if my questions dont make sense:

1- Do I need to use a blender light together with this? Im not getting any shadows right now using only the addon.

2- How do I get some nice foggy/dense atmospheric perspective running with this?

Hellou, V-Ray has 4 sky models, Hosek et al., Preetham et al., CIE Clear and CIE Overcast.
Perpetual Render Node price (Standalone, which V-Ray for Blender is using) is 300€ for V-Ray Next, upgrading from 3.x is 150€.

1 Like

Just got it, keep up the good work!

1 Like

This is where a good documentation is necessary :slight_smile: I’m actively working on it.

  1. sunlight should be added automatically when you enable the “Atmosphere”. if not, uncheck and check it again.

  2. for now it is a manual process of adding the “SkylightAtmosphere” node to the desired material. It is shown in the “features trailer” Youtube video.

1 Like

Oh my! I was not aware of that thread! Some amazing screenshots there.

I believe that proper way of doing this would be actually to create this in the rendering engine “core”. That would mean tearing up the source and compiling a new blender branch.
Other, simpler way would be using a OSL or GLSL/HLSL node and use code instead of shader nodes network.
In my case I did it purely with what was accessible in Shader node editor, and for the most part, it is plenty.

your’e right, i’ll get some numbers out there. comparisons between blender`s sky, HDRI and addon. Cycles and Eevee.

you are right again - yes, for a normal user, Hosek-Wilkie Physical-Sky is all you need and it is a pity it is left unfinished.

My addon is targeted to a niche market group - it is made for myself :slight_smile: and those who are used to game engines with planetary scale, who would make alien planets, add multiple Suns, use volumetric exponential height fogging features and fine tune the sky to their liking. And it also does all what normal sky would do.

As soon as you can fix the cycles error I will be over the moon. For me the addon marries octanes sun and sky and that cool unity sky system (can’t remember what it’s called). As an ex Modo, cinema 4d, octane, v-ray and redshift user - this addon was probably the fastest one I purchased (since I started my blender journey just over a month ago) after following your YouTube updates.

Looking forward to the fix :slight_smile:

1 Like

thanks for clarification, I’ll add it in description. I’m not a vray user :slight_smile:
Yes I skipped mentioning the CIE (Perez?) sky completely. It is a iso standard sky model anf only used as a reference for faster sky approximations. To my knowledge Preetham model is supposed to be CIE analytical sky. interesting.

Yes, absolutely. I agree with everything. All I meant was that such a complex model would be probably overkill for a basic physical sky model built into an engine by default, as it needs to balance between capability and usability (learning curve for new users). That being said, every renderer should have flexible enough rendering pipeline to allow for these more complex models to be implemented when needed. Luckily both Cycles and Eevee seem to allow for that, so I am really happy this addon exists.

1 Like

Hehe, you defined it very nicely! I might quote you for advertisment needs :thinking:
I’ll release a hotfix once it is done.
I am slower with development now as my firstborn baby is due any time now.
Two releases at the same time - tricky. :sweat_smile:


No Probs. A Dads gotta do what a Dads gotta do :slight_smile:


Just the addon I always wanted for lighting. Purchased, and I will provide feedback here later tonight.

For the price this is a real steal. Thanks!


Blender Market link:

1 Like

Great addon @martinsh, are those

  • physical ocean/underwater lighting
  • physical auroras
  • physical Moon
  • physical sun position calculator
    and all others are part of this plugin
1 Like