Crepuscular rays (also known as 'god rays', because some people compare them to God himself shining a torch onto the Earth) are an optical effect formed when some kind of overhead cover obscures the light source, creating columns of illuminated air that contrast with the darker, occluded areas. This is usually observed when the sun passes through gaps between clouds, forest canopies, or between distant mountains.
In 3D video games and animation, these rays are simulated through a technique known as volumetric lighting. When used in conjunction with High Dynamic Range (HDR) lighting, bloom, coronas, and advanced shadowing effects, this technique can create a more realistic and visually interesting scene within a game.
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