Skies and Backgrounds 2

The other simple plugin now in the Laboratory is the Sky Gradient.  The default settings for the Realistic Sky don’t look like any sky I’ve ever seen except perhaps through sunglasses and tinted windows.  This wide angle camera shows the transition from the sky overhead to the horizon.

Default Sky Settings

The Sky Color Control can easily be adjusted of course but the gradient from the zenith down to the horizon doesn’t look right for a clear day even with the Haze turned right down.  What I had been using was a Bi Gradient to add more blue into the mix but lately it struck me that the transition was still not right and the sky should be bolder bluer lower down.  A formula could be used but it would be pretty cumbersome compared to a plugin with colour chips and a slider made off a template.  By taking the Zentith as 1 and the Horizon as 0 then putting the background value to a power of function (or exponent) the response is 1 when linear and the same as the Bi Gradient.  Values less than 1 will push the bolder blue Zenith colour down toward the horizon and values greater than 1 will push the paler Horizon colour up into the sky.  I found that values of 0.5-0.75 were best but I need to make more observations when the weather is perfectly clear.  Any points below the horizon return as black.

Sky Gradient