Glow in Video Games

Hi there,

I would ask to know how do you manage glow in real time vfx in general?

Do you use some post processing FX glow (is this heavy on ressources consuming?) , or do you have tricks to manage them(directly in textures , layers of additive and alpha blend materials…?)

If some of you can share some tricks, it would be nice.

Have a nice day.

I’m Using HDR in unity, so with this, I can set my shader with HDR into my colors : Unity - Manual: High dynamic range

It depends on the project. The vast majority is HDR and postprocessing. However, some projects (especially VR these days) have it disabled for performance. Then you have to add it in the texture and make sure the mesh caters for it.

Mobile studios supporting wide hardware speccs typically stick to 1 pipeline…

pre-mult alpha blend textures; all additive ‘glow’ is inside the painting for simplicity (no post / off-screen buffers)

Thanks for the response , i know my question was very general and that it depends a lot on the project.

i’m coming from a VFX background and working on my first RTVFX project and there a lot of things i dont master well.
So for those who use hdr/postprocessing, using that method doesn’t affect performance ? i don’t know how i can check how much an effect affect performances (working on unity , if some of you have guidelines for that , it would be nice too :slight_smile: )

For Torbach , so you use a kind of blur directly in the pre mult alpha blend texture if i understand well ?

have a nice day
see you

hdr post is a great way Unity will bloom it allows VFX mesh object to glow easily without soft/Fresnel tricks

there are ways to layer blur to glow using smaller buffers re-composed back to the destination for atmospheric appearances like depth of field that can mimic dense fog blur -

Here is a very intense discussion for tech/art relevant for a Unity pipeline, [it can be easily done on modern mobile]

performance is based on several spigots filling a bucket, each one can overload – it depends on the rest of the games concurrent content+context as well as the target devices; there is no easy answer.

before you go with post/HDR make sure VFX artists can see there work (in edit mode ideally) sometimes post-processing is only in-game – they will want a test environment for fast iteration.

for Pre-mult alpha blend it’s handled it in the texture; you just paint it in ‘{blend add}’; there is no extra processing since it is just a blend mode, [but you scale the billboards more so it costs some overdraw] artists see results in edit mode easily (it can be done w/o RGBA in-case you strictly keep textures to 24bit RGB)


thank you for the infos, it s very helpful !