Create Procedural Star/Sun With Light

Apologies in advance if this isn’t the right space foe this question. Further apologies for this probably being asked and answered before, but my search-fu does not seem to be working this evening.

I want to create a solar system, complete with a singular procedural sun and at least one planet. I should point out that I am a beginner, and while what I want to end up with is huge, I want to start small and learn the concepts as I go along. I realize that this will take time, and I am more than fine with that. I also realize that there is a lot to learn, and that is ok too.

Anyhow, I’ve done all the requisite Google searches on the topic, and I have watched probably a dozen tutorials on basic level creation to this point. Unfortunately, none of the tutorials I’ve watched has given me exactly what I am looking for. They all give a little piece, and it is all the same piece: create SkyAtmosphere and SkyLight and DirectionalLight. This is all fine if I wasn’t trying to create a solar system.

So what am I after? A tutorial or instructions on how to create a procedural star. With appropriate lighting. Or would a simple sphere with the appropriate material be better? Could I potentially just follow Arghanion’s procedural neutron star tutorial and try to adapt it to be a K0 main sequence star?

Again, none of the tutorials 8 have seen, apart from the neutron star one I mentioned above, even comes close. I could probably fake a sphere with a material, but then the atmosphere of the star and the lighting will be foreign to me without help

Any help here would be most appreciated!

Basically what you need is a giant point light, but that’s not applicable to the scale you need, so you got to fake it some way or another.

There is no built in engine way that would provide anything like the effect of an omnidirectional light source.

On smaller scales maybe a specificially set up pointlight could do like I mentioned initially, but more likely it won’t. They are generally directional as well.

So what you would need to do is code up a custom solution that would correctly light things based on your position and the position of the star.

You would likely need to not use any engine shadows and develop your own shaders to get something realistic going.

Hmm. Ok, that may complicate things a bit, but I’m sure a solution can be found here. I mean, everything that was ever accomplished in the history of mankind started with “Is this possible”, right?

So, with that in mind, is it possible to snap a directional light to point towards/at a specific object? Say, for example, a ship is flying in space. The light from the sun would be seen as relative to the ship, which would include shadows and what the ship could see. Or, if you are focused on a planetary body/moon/asteroid, the light would be seen from its perspective. Is it possible to tell a directional or point light to snap to the object that has the current focus in the scene?

If that isn’t possible, would the solution then be to have multiple directional lights, each pointing in a different direction? Say, for example, 6 of them, like a cube? If their origin points are close enough to one another, the overlapping rays would obfuscate any potential “holes” in the light, right?

I am spitballing here, of course. Just trying to make sense of how to accomplish what I’m going after!

Of course anything is possible, just not in Unreal.
Use a better engine.
Problem solved :wink:

Omidirectional does not mean 6 directions…
You’d still have issues with 256.