Unity3D Space Ship Particle Engine Glow Tutorial

Recently, I wrote a quick blog post showing the engine glow that I added to the protagonist’s space ship for my Super Space Trooper video game.  Today I’m going to share how it was done, in case someone else is looking for a quick way to do it.

To start off with, I created an image in Photoshop that was simply a solid colour (a very dark blue) with an alpha channel.

Here is the space ship engine colour I used

Here is the space ship engine colour I used

I then added the shape of the engine’s glow into the Alpha channel of the same image.  The image was saved as a PSD file as Unity can convert psds natively.

 

Here is the space ship engine glow's alpha channel that I used

Here is the space ship engine glow’s alpha channel that I used

Next up I created an empty GameObject and placed it towards the back of the ship, right where the engine is.  This was used to emit the particles.  I first added an Ellipsoid Particle Emitter (Component -> Particles -> Ellipsoid Particle Emitter) and used the following values.  Note: my ship is VERY small so I used small particles.  You’ll likely need to resize yours and tweet it appropriately.

Ellipsoid Particle Emitter settings

Ellipsoid Particle Emitter settings

Next up I need a Particle Animator (Component -> Particles -> Particle Animator) in order to change the size, force and colours of the individual particles being emitted.

Particle Animator settings

Particle Animator settings

I then needed a Particle Renderer (Component -> Particles -> Particle Renderer) in order to display the particles.  Here are the settings that I chose.  Also, it’s important to use the Particles/Additive shader for the material being used in the Particle Renderer.  It will provide a nice glowing effect.

Particle Renderer settings

Particle Renderer settings

Questions or comments?  Feel free to post them here.

Posted in 3D Animation, Photoshop, Super Space Trooper, Unity 3D, Video Game Development
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  1. […] those interested in knowing how the engine glow in Unity was created, I’ll be making a follow-up post shortly, which I’ll link to […]

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