Physical Starlight and Atmosphere

117 ratings

Cinematic atmosphere in a single click

Physical Starlight and Atmosphere is the most popular atmosphere addon for Blender, which is setting the new industry standard for lighting and real-time interactivity with the atmosphere.

Why did 10'000+ users choose PSA?

Pre-made presets. Save time and effort with pre-made presets, providing you with a list of ready-to-use settings that can instantly transform your scene and serve as a starting point for further customization.

Realtime speed and performance. Experience unparalleled speed and efficiency with real-time rendering, ensuring smooth performance during both editing and playback of your projects in Blender.

Animation options for every feature. Use keyframes to effortlessly animate each feature, giving you the ability to bring your scenes to life with a dynamic and captivating atmosphere and light tailored to your specific needs.

Highly customizable for full creative freedom. User-friendly interface, allowing even beginners to create stunning visuals with ease. Simply adjust the settings, and watch your scene transform.

User-friendly interface allowing even beginners to create stunning visuals with ease. Simply adjust the settings, and watch your scene transform.

Works on Eevee & Cycles. This product seamlessly integrates with both Eevee and Cycles render engines, ensuring compatibility and consistent results across your favorite rendering platforms.

Real physical values based on photometric measurements for sun and sky luminance.

ACES colour space is built in our addon.

Watch our BCON22 Keynote here

Regular updates

Our team of developers are constantly improving our addons to expand capabilities and ensure support for latest Blender releases. Release notes

Dedicated support

Our team and vibrant Discord community will help you with any difficulties along side your journey. Join our Discord

  • Sun We Calculate the Sun disk based on Temperature of the sun (in Kelvins), overall energy emitted (in W/m2sr) and limb darkening factor. Then the light gets scattered through the atmosphere, giving the sun a warmer tone. In order to see shadows in Eevee, we add a sun object and run the same scattering calculation we do for the atmosphere shader.
  • Binary Sun Due to popular demand, we added a secondary sun disk. It uses the same properties as the primary sun, but it does only cast shadows in Cycles.
  • Atmosphere In PSA, we use an analytic approach to calculate the air mass volume of the atmosphere. The transmitted light then passes through the volume and is scattered based on the user-defined scattering coefficient. Our solution is very efficient even for real-time use.
  • Stars We have two-star coverage options - procedural and texture based. Procedural stars offer a pixel-perfect and fast approach to simulate a convincing star field. Stars also scatter through the atmosphere, so stars near the horizon appear warmer.
  • Clouds There are two cloud coverage options - procedural and textured-based. Both are projected on a sphere at a user-defined altitude. Lighting is calculated procedurally for both options and interacts with sunlight.
  • Ground plane There is an option to enable and disable a procedural ground plane. Users can define the offset of the ground which moves the viewer to a higher altitude. A large enough altitude will place you in space. Ground plane interacts with the atmosphere and sunlight.

Don’t take our word for it


Creator notes

  • The complexity of the atmosphere
  • How is this different from other solutions?
  • Why procedural skies?
  • Awesome time (and money) saver!

The complexity of the atmosphere

We float through and breathe the atmosphere, we see it every day and we take it for granted. Most of us don't even care to understand why the sky looks like it does. We just naturally can look at the photo of the sky and tell that it feels like a cold winter morning, hot summer evening, dusk, or dawn.

So even though replicating those moments would seem like a trivial task, the more you dig into it, the more you understand the complexity of it. There are many concepts at work that make the skylight look and feel right and we always don’t have the time and patience to do our own research. This is why we made the PSA - skylight system we wish existed when we started doing CGI!

How is this different from other solutions?

As an artist you don’t want to feel limited by software, so PSA offers you unlimited customization possibilities. It is not tied only to Earth’s atmosphere like other analytical sky models (Preethan, Hosek-Wilkie, or Nishita), but lets you make even alien landscapes in a binary star system. Lighting is procedurally calculated based on real-world physics, therefore even your craziest input values will offer physically correct lighting. And the crazy thing - all of it is calculated in real-time, so it works in Eevee just as well as Cycles.

One special feature PSA has - is volumetric. Unlike HDRIs that are, basically, spheres around the scene, our sky fills your Blender scene with air (or any gas of your liking) where density at the ground level is the highest and in the space - lowest, then a Star illuminates the air using physics laws.

Sun and Skylight is the dominating light source for outdoors and most of the time - indoors too. PSA does not only make the sky and atmosphere, it simulates the Sun object scattering through the atmosphere.

Why procedural skies?

Procedural skies are more common in the games industry, and there the industry has developed way past the static HDRIs, skyboxes, or skydomes.

The industry is still using the good old HDRI light probe method to do outdoor lighting, and for a good reason - it is the simplest way to simulate realistic lighting conditions, without worrying that it will look wrong. After all, it is a 360° snapshot of a real environment.

HDRI probes unfortunately are not able to capture one crucial aspect - the fact that the sky is dynamic. The sky is not just a membrane of the imaginary rim of the sky, it has volume. The sky's the atmosphere and the atmosphere is a physical medium consisting of a blend of gases. The sky literally starts just outside of your eyeball and extends to outer space. Sunlight travels through this medium illuminating, scattering, and absorbing in it.

Physical Starlight and Atmosphere is a product 2 years in active development and a culmination of at least a decade of research and development.

Awesome time (and money) saver!

We have been using it for a few projects and this tool has already saved us many hours of work and hundreds if not thousands of euros on HDRi probes.

We did the test

With the HDRI probe method, it usually took us at minimum 2 hours per project to find the best matching environment map (desired sun position, overcast or not, urban or greens, camera altitude, etc.). Then buying it, setting it in the scene, waiting for data to load, render, fine-tune, render... till you get the desired result.

Then we used this tool and matched the lighting in minutes. That puts things in perspective.

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(117 ratings)
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Physical Starlight and Atmosphere

117 ratings
I want this!