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How do I make a nice sun in blender? I am not looking to change a lamp into the sun, I am looking for an actual sun that can be seen in my scene.

Back in High school I had a project on making a sun but I forgot how its done. Blender has had a dramatic change since then anyway so any help on making a sun in blender would be nice thank you.

Also, if there is different processes to doing this in blender render vs blender cycles please I would appreciate both ways explained.

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    $\begingroup$ It could be quite easy or very complex ... "A nice sun" is bit vague... What kind of scene are you doing? The sun in a landscape or a representation of the sun with all of its sunspots and storms illuminating planets around it...? Can you provide a reference image of what you are after? $\endgroup$ – cegaton Nov 3 '15 at 16:36
  • $\begingroup$ I am Talking about a sun in a scene say like a sky and some ground and a sun in the sky in daytime. i hope this helps $\endgroup$ – sketcherskt Nov 3 '15 at 16:37
  • $\begingroup$ have you a link to any reference image for your particular case? that would help anyone to find a better hint... $\endgroup$ – m.ardito Nov 3 '15 at 16:39
  • $\begingroup$ I have one from highschool but its not that great ill get it $\endgroup$ – sketcherskt Nov 3 '15 at 16:40
  • $\begingroup$ I would simply use an HDRI image because it is the most realistic, though they don't allow you to reposition the sun. $\endgroup$ – Ezra Nov 4 '15 at 19:43
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I would do this in Cycles using volumetric lighting.

enter image description here

Here's the basic setup: just one light on a landscape.

enter image description here

Then add a cube around the scene with some volume scatter and volume absorption as materials.

enter image description here

enter image description here

for the background you can use a color ramp like this:

enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ Ideally you'd want the world texture to follow the sun and change as it becomes higher. Its interesting because you are supplementing the world color, which is supposed to represent atmosphere, with volumetric atmosphere. I guess one is more distant than the other. Great effect though. $\endgroup$ – 3pointedit Nov 24 '16 at 22:28
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After a bit of research and tweaking I came up with a simple answer to my own question using the blender internal render.

I used a UV sphere and change the materials a bit to create a good looking sun for my scene.

The material settings for my sun are outlined in red below:enter image description here

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Cycles World Texture Sky

Here's an alternate approach that uses makes use of some simple texture gradients for a procedural sky in the world texture. The "sun disk" part is what you're interested in here. This takes advantage of additive color mixing and color ramp gradients. It takes a bit of tweaking to get right, but has some potential. Since the sun disk size can be tricky to get right, it may be improved by adding a math node to it between the gradient and color ramp to improve the fall-off control. (Perhaps multiply or power?)

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