I've noticed a common "glowing pillar beacon" effect in a few games lately (Overwatch, Fortnite, etc). The effect provides a translucent glowing beam pointing upwards that tapers off towards the top and fades out.

I'm attempting to recreate the effect and was wondering if this is some form of particle emitter and what is involved in the effect?



Fortnite beam Overwatch beam

  • \$\begingroup\$ There are a number of particle effects included when you add the Starter Content to a new project. Have you had a look at how these work and tried changing them? \$\endgroup\$ – Stephen Oct 18 '18 at 7:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for the reply! I have. It's clear this could be possible using a particle effect. I was specifically curious if there is a better or more efficient way to reproduce this effect or if particles are the standard approach. \$\endgroup\$ – ImLegallyBlind Oct 18 '18 at 8:22
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    \$\begingroup\$ As far as I know, particles are the most efficient way. \$\endgroup\$ – Stephen Oct 18 '18 at 8:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ Particles are definitely the way that you want to go. I'd be surprised to learn that any modern game has them using a different method. In theory you could create a 3D column and use a shader to generate the effect, but it would be far less efficient. \$\endgroup\$ – Jesse Williams Oct 19 '18 at 15:11

They are usually particle effect, however you can accomplish a much simpler(though much cheaper) effect using semi-transparent bill boarded images.

The best approach for small dev times(or just single devolopers) tends to be the billboarded images. Games like fortnite tend to use billboarding, but if you want better looking ones, see how overwatch accomplishes it. The particles around the overwatch checkpoints are like rays of rain.

  • \$\begingroup\$ It would be great if you could expand this answer with an example! \$\endgroup\$ – Vaillancourt Feb 2 '19 at 2:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ I updated my answer. \$\endgroup\$ – user124517 Feb 2 '19 at 14:22

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