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How is sun modeled when doing ray-traced rendering? Is it part of the scene, like a sphere with a centre in some far location or it is just considered as a point?

Also regarding sending shadow rays to the sun, is it, again, sampling a sphere or just sending shadow rays to one point?

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If you take sun as a point, you can not have shadows smoothing/blurring for tall objects. Notice how due to measurable sun angular size, the sahdow gets smoother/blurry the farther it lies from the runner:

enter image description here

For simplicity you can assume sun is a luminous disc facing your scene, placed far far away.

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