“A practical analytic model for daylight” by Preetham, Shirley and Smits

  • ©AJ Preetham, Peter Shirley, and Brian E. Smits




    A practical analytic model for daylight



    Sunlight and skylight are rarely rendered correctly in computer graphics. A major reason for this is high computational expense. Another is that precise atmospheric data is rarely available. We present an inexpensive analytic model that approximates full spectrum daylight for various atmospheric conditions. These conditions are parameterized using terms that users can either measure or estimate. We also present an inexpensive analytic model that approximates the effects of atmosphere (aerial perspective). These models are fielded in a number of conditions and intermediate results verified against standard literature from atmospheric science. These models are analytic in the sense that they are simple formulas based on fits to simulated data; no explicit simulation is required to use them. Our goal is to achieve as much accuracy as possible without sacrificing usability.


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