Why don't my lights glow?

I can’t get a glow effect for any of my light sources, they usually just remain lit up. This is especially hard when I am trying to make a glass lamp, as there is then an awkward lit up ball in the center.

Here’s what I mean:


If you are using eevee just enable bloom option.

Cycles is as realistic as it tries to be and there is no easy glow option. Usually glow is achived in cycles in compositing or for more realistic result with volumetrics which looks something like this

but it slows down your render time

btw I busted the objects emission to 5 instead 1 so the glow is more visible

Four methods in Cycles I can think of:

  1. Volumetrics.
  2. Global glare post processing (anything bright).
  3. Local glare post processing. Can only be used with fake transparent+glossy based glass, using material index to separate out what is supposed to be glowing. Will be invisible if refraction is used.
  4. Make the glass glow. Refraction with incoming normal allows you to do “transparency” with roughness, although rays still won’t penetrate as with real transparency.

I still very unexperienced, do you know any tutorials for this?

Hmm, okay. I’m also not using eevee. I’m not very experienced with the compositor either…

Volumetrics only on camera rays can be ok performance-wise.

You do some search for the forum, users have given different options to get results as you seek realism or speed.
For example:

Probably any compositor tutorial/movie on youtube should get you on the right track. Glare node in fog glow mode will make everything bright glow, which, unless you know you’re going for something specific, is probably what you want.

Unlike reality, a CG “lamp” does not emit light – in fact, it can be right there on the screen and you don’t see it. “Volumetrics” is, if you will, a simulation of the effect that you see when the beams from a physical light source bounce off the dust in the air. But there are actually lots of ways to do it. For instance, a cone, with a low “alpha” setting and a material that “emits light on its own” (whether or not a lamp is directed at it) will achieve this effect.

If there is a trick, that trick would be: “look at the light.” Figure out what you want the light to [appear to] do. Then, consider the very-unnatural world of CG and decide on what is the best way (in each case) to: “Ingrid, fake it.” (Alfred Hitchcok’s famous acting advice to Ingrid Bergman.) Don’t worry about physical reality – this isn’t physical reality. This has, so to speak, nothing to do with physical reality: it is entirely a computer simulation. Decide what you want the light to look like, and do it the cheapest and fastest :wink: way that you can dream up.

Sounds great! And that’s actually what I’m trying to go for, it is a bit tricky to hit the mark between realism and something boring like a bunch of diffuse textures.

One of the great lines in the [movie …] musical, A Chorus Line. is when the director tells a dancer: “Don’t draw my eye!” (This is “a chorus line,” after all …) The same principle applies here: if it’s cheap and it “doesn’t draw my eye,” do it.

If the user’s eye accepts what you have done – if you don’t “draw my eye” – then it is “realism.” You’re done. Put shrink-wrap on the sucker and move on.