Engine Flares

So, I had a cool idea to create a shader which would make engine flares look a whole lot nicer. A volumetric effect, which would produce a nice glow inside any volume from any viewing angle. It would have many uses – flares, plasma bolts, laser beams, shield effects, explosions, and fog, it would look great – especially when perturbed with some noise. So far I’ve spent an entire day working at it. Did I get it to work?


Sigh – back to the drawing board. Whilst still stubbornly convinced the idea will work, there are too many other important things to resolve to spend more time on it at the moment. So, here we have the non-shader basic version!

Up close...

Up close…

This is highly configurable, and allows the artist to create a polygon on their vessel as markup for the flare itself which can then take the shape of the engine/drive/thruster aperture. This is extruded to form the flare geometry, and then its length is animated to spice it up a bit. Length is determined by thrust so the flare shrinks and grows based on how fast you go. An inner core flare can be toggled on or off, which is just a scaled down render of the main flare.

It’ll do for now 🙂


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Author: Mak View all posts by

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