I've recently implemented a glow effect using a gaussian filter and could not get the full effect I was wanting. I'm curious to know if how certain glow effects are done in WoW. Like this image:

enter image description here

Around the sword is a really nice glow effect. How might this be done? Also, sometimes in WoW you see these glow effects take a life of there own. Like the purple glow in this pic:

enter image description here

Are these accomplished with particle effects? Are there any good resources/tutorials that could help with someone to learn how to do these effects?

  • \$\begingroup\$ You could always take a look in pix ;-) \$\endgroup\$ Dec 25, 2011 at 10:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm not quite sure I understand "look in pix". Could you explain? \$\endgroup\$
    – Joey Green
    Dec 25, 2011 at 20:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ Pix is a DirectX utility for optimizing and fixing graphics rendering problems. Check your SDK. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 25, 2011 at 22:22
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    \$\begingroup\$ maybe you could edit your question to include a screenshot of what you have so far using your gaussian filter and why you think it is not enough. at least the glow in your first WoW screenshot looks like a simple filtering.. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 26, 2011 at 2:21

2 Answers 2


Use sprites textured with glow textures, with an additive blend. The additive blend is crucial here. This is how most glowing effects are achieved.

Additive is the synthesis of lights, actually. You don't need an alpha mask for textures used with an additive blend. The RGB mask is used as the alpha layer, where black is fully translucent and white fully opaque.

  • \$\begingroup\$ +1 You might also indicate that it's also usually done with a particle system that spawns particles randomly at each vertex (or pins particles to vertices). \$\endgroup\$ Jan 9, 2012 at 18:21

for a glow effect ,create the glow as normal image (in maya) in Targa or whatever alpha support extention then load it to your game draw it as square that always face the camera from its place (you can also change the texture with time);

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    \$\begingroup\$ -1 I only know what you mean because I already know how to do this, and even then I had to think about what you wrote for a little while. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 31, 2011 at 8:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ @JonathanHobbs Then care to elaborate in an answer? \$\endgroup\$
    – DMan
    Dec 31, 2011 at 19:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ Do you mean billboard partciles? \$\endgroup\$ Jan 9, 2012 at 19:48

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