Welcome to! Click one of these buttons to join in on the fun.

Looking for a 3DSMAX tutorial for space ship engine glow

SeanPSeanP215 Posts: 256Member
Does anyone know of a good tutorial online to make nice engine glows? I found a few on YouTube, but they aren't what I want. I tried assigning a lens effects glow to an omni light inside the engine and it looked okay when I first set it up, but when you zoom out the glow gets bigger and swallows half the ship and I can't find a setting to constrain its size when you zoom out.
Post edited by SeanP on


  • MadKoiFishMadKoiFish6061 BurntforniaPosts: 4,820Member
    Best bet is to use a lum or self ilum material then key it off in post and use an additive layer and gaussian or other flare style blur. It also depends what renderer you use scanline with lightlister can SORTA do self lit glows IE glow materials that create some bounce. It however is not a real light tool so you will have to use mental ray to properly have materials that emit light. Either by using the built in self ilum or using a lum shader or glow (depends on the version your using) and adding that to the additional color slot. You can do this too to make light where there is no emitter by applying a glow material to a object you want to cast the light from and make it hidden from the renderer.

    object with a self ilum setting in MR arch&design material

    examples of hidden objects that have self ilum and or glow/lum shaders applied

    As for using light gizmos for lighting just do not let the light cast shadows or limit it with near and far attenuation. Avoid shadow maps etc Id stick to raytraced and adjust your emitter size based on scale. This blurs the shadow edges as it lenses away from the casting object. Take a round cyl in real life and shine a light sideways to it and look at the shadow as an example.

    Another trick is lens shaders I think this only works in mental ray but dunno might work in scanline. Go into the render menu, click renderer and scroll down to camera effects, in a sub list is CAMERA SHADERS. under lens you can stick the GLARE shader. Now with this drag the glare shader you just assigned there into the material editor, make it a instance. In those are settings for various outcomes. For the glare it does rely on a image file so youll need to use the one it has loaded or edit one up. It accounts for flare "legs" below is a example of lum materials and the glare shader.


    DO not use the glow functions in max IE the post processing "bloom" to key to material IDs as it is not properly additive and just overlys color on in "normal" mode and produces something all wrong.

    For say BSG like nozzle flares or jet trails you have to use VOLUME light and all the settings related to it.

    hopefully one of these covers the effect you want. I might have missed details or something as I am heading out whilst I type this up. heh.
    Each day we draw closer to the end.
  • SeanPSeanP215 Posts: 256Member
    Thanks MadKoiFish, I appreciate the time you took to help me out! I will try some of this tomorrow. :)
Sign In or Register to comment.