Glowing materials and light reflection WITHOUT cycles

Are there any ways to make halo-glowy material (not a particle halo, but rather a material that glows like…you know), glowy window or light reflective discoball with internal render? Only tips and tutorials I found ony consider those hard, unstable, noisy and overrated cycles. Sigh…

Never mind. Someone told me that nodes are enough.

“Nodes,” of any sort and in the many ways that Blender supports them, are always your best friend. Also, the place to start is always to consider what you want “the light to actually look like. For instance, an object might appear to glow merely because it has a material that is an emitter of light … and maybe also because of a little soft-focus. Or, it might appear to illuminate other things around it. (And in the latter case I say “appears to” with much the same bent as when Alfred Hitchcock famously put a light-bulb inside a glass of milk.) “Physical reality” really has very little to do with anything, if you can just keep up the appearances.

That node solution that was suggested to me generates glow from all the bright spots. I wonder if there’s a way to generate it from/limit it to specific material?

PS. For that discoball thing I don’t have a need atm, so I’ll probably ask about that when I do.

Material/Object ID masks works in Cycles at least.

Any sort of masking will do. And, in BI, remember that a light-source can’t be seen even if the camera is looking straight at it. So, even though an object appears to be “glowing” and appears to be “emitting light,” that’s actually handled separately. Likewise, if you’ve got a mirror-ball and what you want to see is “spots of light across the floor,” one way to do that might be to put a bunch of spotlights in a rig that is either inside the ball or positioned off-camera where the audience knows to expect it to be. If you first showed them the ball and then showed them spots of light, they’re going to leverage their real-world experience that tells them that the light is bouncing off the ball’s mirrors. But you’re not under any obligation to actually do that if there’s another, faster way to “cheat” the shot.

As a photographer mentor once said to me: “Look at the Light.”

Masking, eh? I wonder if there are any tutorials for that.