I can make objects that emit light, but they never "look bright."

I want my lights to look like this:

good bulb

However, what I make looks like this:

bad bulb

This is the node setup:

node setup

There's no haze of light around it, and the only way you can even tell it's giving off light is if something's near it to reflect it.

How do I get that same haze that's around the light bulb?


2 Answers 2


I tried that but couldn't get a convincing result that reproduces the image but at least it could be a starting point. For detailed material settings see the attached .blend.

enter image description here

Compositing adds the red glow:

enter image description here enter image description here

  • $\begingroup$ I see you're using a MixRGB node set to 'Mix' - wouldn't it be better to use 'Add' instead? Also, you are just using the white of the ID Mask and then shifting the color to red, it looks like - that means you lose the original color of the glow. Try masking in the yellow glow object instead of the glass (or even try volume emission, but that's another topic) - then use the mask data to bring back in that original color and blur the color. Is this making sense? I'd like to put together a proper answer at some point, but have no time at the moment. :-/ $\endgroup$
    – Mentalist
    Dec 30, 2015 at 5:55
  • $\begingroup$ @Mentalist thanks for your suggestions. I used volume emission but had problems to create the mask. The blend is attached, feel free to improve and add another answer. Modifing is probably not as time consuming as to recreateit from scratch. $\endgroup$
    – stacker
    Dec 30, 2015 at 9:46
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks :-) Here is a .blend I threw together after experimenting a bit with the concepts I mentioned in my first comment. It's far from perfect, but hopefully helpful to study. Once again, short on time / can't guide you through how it works at the moment... but it's a start. $\endgroup$
    – Mentalist
    Dec 30, 2015 at 18:53
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Mentalist Thanks! This looks great don't you want to add this as an answer? Just the rendered image and the .blend $\endgroup$
    – stacker
    Dec 31, 2015 at 12:31
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Somatic Check out the above .blend by mentalist this looks awesome. $\endgroup$
    – stacker
    Dec 31, 2015 at 12:32

An approach using shaders gets this result: Bulb with glow

The trick is to create a material which mixes translucent, diffuse, and glass shaders.

  1. Build a scene like this. It has a backdrop, a bulb and a filament.


  1. Put the filament inside the bulb:


  1. Create a shader for the background:

backdrop shader

  1. Create a shader for the filament:

filament shader

  1. Create a shader for the bulb. The geometry input is used to control where the bulb will be translucent, diffuse, or glass. The 'backfacing' geometry input is used to make the interior of the bulb act like a diffuse surface and reflect the filament light. When not 'backfacing', the the bulb surface is translucent. (See How can I make a material only apply to a side of a plane? and How to create a mirror shader? ) This is not enough to make it appear to glow. The geometry input for 'normal' and 'incoming' is used with the cross product to determine if the camera is looking at the center of the bulb or the edge. At the edge, a glass shader is used, towards the center, the translucent/diffuse shader is used.

bulb shader

The blend file is here:


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