Help with weapon glows, please!

Hey guys! I’ve started studying VFX a couple of months ago, I still struggle identifying how some VFX are made - could you please give me a hand?

I’m trying to replicate this weapon glow from FFXIV

How would you go about this? I’m using UE4, by the way!
What I can see is that it is a mesh, but no matter how much I work on the material i can’t make it fade away so softly like that picture. I also have some troubles with the UVs, cannot make it look so smooth (I’m using a capsule primitive, but UVs come all squashed)

I know this is a lot, so to summarize…how’d you create a material for that kind of glow? or maybe its not a mesh and its a different method?

ANY kind of aid will help me a lot, thank you so much!

Its Probably just a simple plane with an additive Material and a texture with fall-off.

If you stretch this texture horizontally, you would get a similar shape

like this

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Agree with b1ackt3a
Judging by this intersections this just a particle sprite with additive shader. And with Negative Camera Offset.

Hey guys, thank you for the replies!

@b1ackt3a but if it is a plane, wouldnt you be able to see its edges when you pan the camera? or is there a trick you can use to avoid that?

@valentin_pantyukh how do you add a negative camera offset? i tried making it a single particle sprite (no mesh) and whenever I panned the camera it would look very weird!

If you put the particle texture alpha/ color output in the opacity of the additive material, you shouldn’t be able to see the edges of the mesh since they would be invisible. If only the edge is visibile you can clamp the textures U and V in the Texture File. (i only know how it is done in Unreal) If you want the effect to be seen from all perspectives i would make the material two sided too.

As valentin said, this example is just a particle Sprite and not a Mesh Particle since a mesh is not needed.

In unreal i would recommend using Niagara Systems. I dont know what program you are using to create the FX.
Breakdown of what i asume the Effect is consisting of:

  • Particle Sprite, Additive Material for Blade
  • Particle Sprite, Additive for Handle
  • Particle Sprite, Additive, with Erosion and Distortion for the Glowy white fog
  • Particle Sprite, Additive with high Value for the little particles
  • Additional Material Mask for the hilt,sword and little asset at the end of the sword to glow too

IMO: In unreal you can get the glow behind the sword by changing the sort order aswell, no need to add a negative camera offset

Take this with a grain of salt since i am unexperienced myself

That sounds great, will definetly try it! one last thing, please, could you show me how to clamp the U and V? I’m using Unreal also!

Thank you SO much!

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You can open this window if you double-click your texture. In the Details Pannel you should be able to set “XY-axis Tiling Method” from Wrap → Clamp

Please ignore the ugly ass texture and the much to big resolution.

Please, be sure about your texture resolution - it must have power of two demensions. For example 8x8,16x16 … 1024x1024, 2048x2048, 4096x4096 and avoid this 3000x3000. Just notice

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Hahahaha yes i know. I had some weird settings in Photoshop when i created this texture, thats why its so big and has such a weird number. But thanks for reminding me. I usually use 1024x1024 and 512x512, i don´t need higher resolutions since my camera distance is far enough away most of the time. Sorry for this faux pas

Can you explain the technical reason why you wouldn´t use resolutions that arent the power of two?
Do you have a link or resource? I have always avoided these measurments naturally and don’t even know why.

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I tried it! but the issue is still here :frowning: when i rotate the camera, the glow looks out of place, as it is rotating along the camera :!

It seems as it moves along my camera, so if i look at it from a top view, it looks broken.
Is there something I’m missing on materials perhaps…?

Again, thank you to anyone who is reading!

Excuse me but I made a lot pictures instead text.

On my texture just a soft circle. Yours should be more close to Sword shape.

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Also - good practice to use Depth Fade before you plug final Opacity. By this way you can avoid hard intersections with other geometry.