Greetings fellow Dovahkiins, i want to speak today about something more on the technical side of modding than our usual discussions.

During the last several weeks I have recieved quite a few private messages both on Nexus and Steam about features other lighting mods are going to be adding. One of the most frequent questions of these PMs is:

aLaaa, will you introuduce Reighley Scattering too?

To this frustrating question my response is NO, this will not be added to RCRN, and this why:

According to Wikipedia this is the Rayleigh Scattering description:

Rayleigh scattering, named after the British physicist Lord Rayleigh, is the elastic scattering of light or other electromagnetic radiation by particles much smaller than the wavelength of the light. The particles may be individual atoms or molecules. It can occur when light travels through transparent solids and liquids, but is most prominently seen in gases. Rayleigh scattering is a function of the electric polarizability of the particles.

So, we are speaking about a real life physical phenomenon involving sun radiations and atmosphere particles. A very complex reaction that is theorized via several equations, and can be barely replicated by a software developed just for that purpose.

So this alone is enough to assume replicating this occurence and incorporating it into a Skyrim mod is totally impossible.

Creating the software is one issue, but adding it to Skyrim posing a greater and more relavant problem…:

Skyrim does NOT have any atmosphere simulation or “real” sun.

The pic below should explain this pretty well:

Skyrim 2D Skybox: it is where the 2D sky textures are displayed. The sun is just a 2D texture like all the clouds and it doesn’t affect the land lighting at all. The Skybox is independently managed, so all the stuff placed here does not affect the 3D Land Space where your character moves.

Skyrim 3D Land Space: it is where your character moves in. Shadows are drawed not in relation to the sun, but by a fixed routine that working in correlation to the in-game time clock. Sunlight is managed as stand alone variable, NOT at all related to the intensity of the Sun, as that is only Skybox related.

Conclusions: the 2D Skybox and the 3D Land Space are working as stand alone locations (as showed by spheres), they do not affect each others. Between them exists no atmosphere but just a pure empty space, so the generation of a Rayleigh Scattering particle effect it’s just impossible not only due complexity but also due the lack of the basic conditions that make it happen in real life!

Final Evaluation: The Rayleigh Scattering feature is… BUSTED!
(or it’s at least just named incorrectly, but more appropriately some basic lower-sky hue changes).

That completes this weeks discussion. I hope that you enjoyed the read and that you learned something new about this matter!

See you the next week for a new CK Mythbusters episode, where we will feature again some interesting facts about lighting technologies!


1 Comment


  1. September 23, 2012  8:58 am by Dark_Technician

    Wheres the "second episode"?

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