I want to create some kind of lighting effect for the engines but I quite new to lighting in general. To be honest, I'm used to sticking a single point lamp in.

From the tutorials I've seen, none of them are for cycles and focus on lighting a whole object anyway, not particular faces of it. The engines I want to add the effect to are the 3 on each wing and the 2 in the middle.

I tried following this (How to create a fire/light effect in a spaceship engine) previously but none of it is making too much sense.

The first method shown was using volumetric materials. I've never heard of that before while working in Blender but I thought I myswell try it still but the whole method itself was just too complicated. I just didn't understand half of what it said.

With the composition method, I used the same nodes (with same values) as in https://i.stack.imgur.com/tzaT8.jpg yet I didn't notice any change in my render whatsoever. I guess those effects were supposed to effect the picture as a whole? I don't have any experience with either nodes or composition previously before this.

The ship

The engines

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ There are many ways to do this. It would help if you post an example of what you are after $\endgroup$
    – user1853
    May 24, 2016 at 17:15
  • $\begingroup$ Indeed there are, it's kind of hard to help without a reference image of what you want to achieve. Depending on what you want to do Cycles may even be overkill if all you want is to add some self illumination. Doy you want to actually light your scene up or just add some engine glow inside the exhausts/nozzles? $\endgroup$ May 24, 2016 at 17:17
  • $\begingroup$ @cegaton I tried following that a few days ago but couldn't make sense of that. $\endgroup$
    – TitanJedi
    May 24, 2016 at 18:24
  • $\begingroup$ @Duarte Farrajota Ramos yeah some kind of engine glow. $\endgroup$
    – TitanJedi
    May 24, 2016 at 18:25
  • $\begingroup$ @TitanJedi It might help if you could edit your question and highlight what parts of the linked answer didn't work for you. That way we can try to clarify $\endgroup$
    – gandalf3
    May 24, 2016 at 20:19

1 Answer 1


There could be several ways to do this.

If you don't want to gent into full rendering just switch to Blender Internal rendering and create either a shadeless material or an emitting material and assign it to parts of your mesh. It wot actually emit light that can cast shadows on other objects but it will quickly simulate the effect.


You could also add some sort of "geometry plumes" if you want actual jet plumes coming out.

enter image description here

If you plan on using cycles or do real rendering add self illumination to the geometry to really light up the scene

Any further effects could be achieved through compositing or post production easily and non destructively

Cycles Glow

Cycles Emission

  • $\begingroup$ I can't figure out how to increase a material's emission in cycles. The option itself isn't there imgur.com/a/6eoL0 I also tried following along with your composition method yet am completely lost. Like, the first node you used is an image node, where I'm trying to change specific faces I guess of an object. $\endgroup$
    – TitanJedi
    May 24, 2016 at 20:05
  • $\begingroup$ Cycles materials are "Shader Based", you must have a correct shader for the desired effect, in this case an emission shader, added an image to the original answer. $\endgroup$ May 24, 2016 at 22:58
  • $\begingroup$ Compositing is a post production procedure, that means it is done after your 3D scene is ready and rendered into an image. It can be done "live" directly on a render result or using and an external image like I did in the linked example. Live has the advantage that it is dynamically applied on top of all your renders automatically saving time and needless manual work, but can be a pain if for some reason you dont want to re-render or need an uncomposited image. Compositing over an external image is a more modular workflow less prone to loosing work at the expense of a few extra steps. $\endgroup$ May 24, 2016 at 23:02
  • $\begingroup$ @TitanJedi your screengrab shows a material that is "diffuse" you need to change that to "emission" for it to emit light! $\endgroup$ May 25, 2016 at 1:36
  • $\begingroup$ So does that mean that composition shouldn't be used when you're making an animation since it's not just 1 render? $\endgroup$
    – TitanJedi
    May 25, 2016 at 2:44

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