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Night Skybox Shader

January 13, 2016


I was asked, by a project-team, if it was possible for me to create an animated skybox with an option to turn on Northern Lights.

It was quite a challenge, but in my spare time I managed to create a convincing night sky and Northern Light.


Full Node Tree

Skybox Node Tree




Here are all the settings for the skybox.

Only two textures are used. For the stars and clouds.

The three colors controls the sky colors.


Clouds Cycle


The clouds are on a cycle, from very cloudy to almost no clouds.

The cloud textures uses 3 textures in different channels to create some variety.

To create some more randomness it will also change the speed depending on how cloudy it is.


Star Twinkle


Some stars twinkle overtime.

I achieved this to ‘scan’ the star texture between two values,

then brighten the result and multiply it back onto the texture.



Sky Colors


The three colors make up the sky-gradient.

They are blended with each other on separated heights.

After that it is added to the other nodes.

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