So we needed something. That turned into the need for a test. Which turned into the need for another asset, required by that test. We could not find such an asset readily available, so what to do other than make one? Once done, that asset turned out to be quite easy to isolate and we thought it turned out pretty well, so why not make it available to the community?
Here it is, a fully volumetric real-time rendered galaxy asset. The shader is a ray marcher which accumulates light across the volume, where each given point in space is calculated as an aggregation of light emission, light absorption and density. Each galaxy in the pack is based on observatory and satellite data of actual galaxies but the user is also free to add new galaxies with different shapes and properties. Apart from that, it is easy to adjust the color of emitted light, how dense and/or distinct absorption regions are, overall exposure as well as number of iterations over the volume.
Here’s an example screenshot: