Emissive Special Roundup!


Today we’ll be looking at emissive maps. These are maps that have now light cast on them so their pixels show at their full intense color. These are also called Glow maps, or Incandescence Map or Fullbright Map depending on the engine you’re using. They don’t change the lighting in the scene- you have to add a light next to an emissive for that. Emissive or glow maps are used to add atmosphere to a scene; glowing areas on sci fi greeble in a space station hallway, rays of light coming through tree leaves in a forest.


Check out Simon Schreibt’s Game art trick blog for Doom -3 Volumetric glow. This is a fantastic break down of all the different sorts of lighting effects used. 

If you’re using UDK, then check out this tutorial for creating volumetric light beams from Epic Games. If that isn’t enough, then Chris Holden’s UDK Material Basics: Glowing with Emissive for a quick demo on how those function.

For the advanced user,UE4 has a great tutorial on Dynamic Material Instances, which work with blueprints to change an material’s color. Another UE4 goodie is Liaret’s Tron Glow tutorial.

Dave Wilson’s Create glowing (emissive) materials in CryEngine is a solid tutorial for anyone starting up emissives with CryENGINE.

Of course combining an emissive material with a particle system. If you’re unfamiliar with Shuriken Particle system, you should check out our own Alan Thorn’s Tutorial on Unity Lights & Particles.

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