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Essentially I want to turn a material into a kind of night-light. For this character I'm working on, I wanted the crystals on him to glow in the dark... And I got them to glow using various shader nodes. However I can't find a balance that looks bright enough in the dark, and not washed out in the light. So I was thinking perhaps there might be a node that could change the light emission of the crystals depending on the amount of light from external sources.

In truth I don't even know if this is the best way to go about accomplishing what I want... Which is to have only barely semi-transparent crystals that glow brightly in the dark and appear as solid colors with a slight emission more like my drawing when in the light.

The other question is... will something like that carry over into unity? Because if not I'd rather save myself a lot of heartache.

Here's a picture of what I have so far: enter image description here

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  • $\begingroup$ For the materials part this looks pretty much related, it's whole another topic. As for bringing to Unity part, then it seems "up to certain degree". Some material details, like specularity, glossiness, shiness etc. can be exported via maps, per each shader its own texture which tells shaders where to shine, to be dark, to emit etc. But shaders themselves won't be exported as Blender has its own while Unity has its own ones. So the final result may depend. $\endgroup$ – Mr Zak Dec 12 '16 at 13:26
  • $\begingroup$ So I would have to make what are currently materials to UV maps and textures instead? It's a little unclear what you are saying. You might have to show me what you mean. $\endgroup$ – The Scarlet One Dec 12 '16 at 21:17
  • $\begingroup$ Basically what I wrote is that you want to bake your materials to textures in order to export them and in Unity find adjacent shaders and use baked textures for them. See also blender.stackexchange.com/questions/18362/… for more info on that. UV maps aren't what you bake to; they control how the texture will be "shown" on the object. $\endgroup$ – Mr Zak Dec 13 '16 at 15:32
  • $\begingroup$ Related $\endgroup$ – Rick Riggs Mar 30 '17 at 13:33
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Using the light falling on the material is not something that is possible in cycles. It is, however, possible in blender internal.

The reason this is happening though is because normally in the real world when you turn the lights on, you are also reducing the exposure of the image, which causes the light emitted from the glowing material to be much dimmer. To replicate this effect in cycles you can increase the brightness of light significantly and then reduce the exposure from the colour management section of the scene tab.

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  • $\begingroup$ I don't think that would carry over to unity, so if I do something like that it will have to be in unity instead. $\endgroup$ – The Scarlet One Dec 12 '16 at 21:14
  • $\begingroup$ Yes you're correct, it wouldn't carry over. I haven't used unity much so I'm not sure, but you would have to somehow change the exposure. If not, I am sure the same effect can be achieved by reducing the intensity of all lights. $\endgroup$ – SchoolBoy Dec 13 '16 at 13:58
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An easy way to make glowing crystals is simply by putting emission objects in glass objects

It works quite well in both the dark (transparent node to allow light to escape the glass) Batman

And under sunlight Hal 9000

As for unity, I'm not certain it would look the same, but it certainly could be achieved.

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