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Getting started

Physical Starlight and Atmosphere (PSA) is a Blender addon for advanced environmental lighting that provides high quality atmospherics and lighting, and visual consistency between every object in your scene. It can be installed as any other Blender addon.

Requirements

Latest Physical Starlight and Atmosphere is supported by Blender 3.0+. Addon versions from v1.2 till v1.4beta works on Blender 2.81+. Older versions of the addon v1.0 and v1.1 work on Blender 2.80.

Installation

Info

"Physical Starlight and Atmopshere" is only available for purchase on Blendermarket or Gumroad. Get your latest version there.

  • Download the "physical-starlight-atmosphere-[version here].zip" file.
  • Open Blender.
  • Go to Edit/Preferences.
  • Choose "Add-ons" tab and press "Install..." button.
  • Locate the .zip file and press "Install Add-on".
  • You will see the newly installed add-on, enable it by checking the checkbox.
  • Wait till it registers. Voila!

First Run

  • Locate Physical Starlight and Atmosphere panel in Sidebar also called N Panel (You can also find addon panel in the World Properties). Click on the tab Atmosphere to reveal it.
  • Enable addon by ticking the uppermost checkbox.

Important

To see the sky, you have to be in "Rendered" Viewport Shading mode (click on the 4th sphere in the list up in the right corner of 3D viewport)

First Run

What happens when addon is being enabled/disabled?

  • A couple of shader nodes are imported and dynamically added and connected to the currently active world. When you uncheck the Physical Atmosphere checkbox, these nodes will be removed.
  • Sun lamp Sarlight Sun is added. The Sun lamp is used as the main light source to cast shadows from the Sun. When you uncheck the Physical Atmosphere checkbox, if no active PSA instances are found in other worlds it will be removed.

Preferences

There is no The One way to use this addon. That is why we encourage you to find the way it works best for you. Addon preferences panel is located under Edit > Preferences > Add-ons.

Toolbar Enabled

Default: true

By default, the Atmosphere tab is in the sidebar of Blender 3D viewport (N key) and "World Properties" tab in Properties panel. Setting this to false will hide the toolbar. Reveal panel by clicking on Atmosphere tab.

Toolbar Label

Default: "Atmosphere"

By default, Toolbar tab for Physical Starlight and Atmosphere is Atmosphere. It might be useful to rename it to something shorter like PSA to reduce space the tab is taking.

Use ACES color space

Default: false

The Academy Color Encoding System1 (ACES) is a color image encoding system created by hundreds of industry professionals. ACES allows for a fully encompassing color accurate workflow, with seamless interchange of high quality motion picture images regardless of source.

Use real world physical values

Default: false

By default, addon reduces atmosphere, sun and stars intensity values to get the feeling it just works, and you don't have to modify extra parameter Exposure in order to get realistic atmosphere. But very important part of this addon is having real world physical values to support visual consistency.

Presets

Assets allow to store a snapshot of your customized atmosphere settings and return to it later or use already predefined presets provided by the addon.

Info

To be able to use PSA predefined assets you have to use Blender version 3.0 and above.

Importing assets

  1. download assets.blend file
  2. in Blender go to Edit > Preferences and open File Paths tab
  3. Under Asset Libraries click + symbol and point to the folder where assets.blend file is located.
  4. Assign a name to this library

Using assets

  1. In one of the Blender existing Areas open Data > Asset Browser
  2. Under the dropdown select a name you assigned to the library when importing assets.
  3. Select an asset and drop it in the view.

Asset Browser