Edge Glows


Does anyone know of a way to create a glow on only the edges of an object in Maya? Preferably with the choice of what edges are to glow instead of all glowing, but either is fine.
Thanks for any help.


that’s what I would do :

1 - use a Mental Ray contour shader

2 - Blur the frames afterwards in you favorite compositing software

3 - use “add”/“colour dodge”/“screen” blending mode to get a glow.

there is a good tutorial on how to use the MentalRay contour shader here : http://www.3dpoder.com/pablolopez/tutos/toon/Contornos.htm

hope that helps :slight_smile:


Well I tried that up until the point where I saw that I have no mental ray panel in the ‘Create Render Node’ window, so I couldn’t add the mental ray contour shader. Any other ways of me creating a glow around specific edges of an object, preferably using only Maya and no other software (however if this is the only way then please let me know of how to do this).



You might be able to utilize Maya’s toon outlines and add PFX glow to it, something like that. Regarding no mental ray, have you loaded the plugin?


I just looked in the plug-in manager and saw no mention of mental ray, what’s the plug-in called and how do I use the toon outlines? I’ve not got too much experience with maya.


You can use the vector renderer to output a pass which you could use as a lumma matte in a compositing app depending how comfortable you are with shake, after effects or nuke.


Plug-in manager -> Mayatomr.bundle (make sure loaded and auto load are selected)


Well I’m not really comfortable using any of them, I’ve only used after effects once I think, the others I’ve never used, that’s why I’d really rather use a method that’s entirely done in Maya itself, are there any ways where I can achive this through use of only Maya?


Christoff-Gp4gP - some effects are really dificult to control just in maya. :frowning: and glows is one of them. why did you not try after effects? is a good time to learn another software :thumbsup:


you can use the alpha channel to create an outline glow.
If you use AfterEffects - I hope you do - It’s really easy
1 - create an adjustement layer on top of you alpha channel layer
2 - add the GLOW effect ( int the “stylise” menu )
3 - tweak the settings until it’s good …

these settings works well for me :

glow operation : none
glow colors : A&B colors

that’s even easier than MentalRay contour Shader :slight_smile:


Thanks for the suggestions, unfortunately though i don’t actually have after effects. I was also re-reading some of the suggestions you’ve all given and it seems as though they’d create a glow around the edges of the object as a whole, so if this is true I probably should’ve been more specific, I want to try and create glows on the edges of individual polygons of the object. Is this possible?


You can do this with Maya toon and paintFx - below is a quick example. Is this what you want?

Basically you assign toon outlines, then use toon>assign PaintFx Brush to Toon Line. Then assign a pfx glow or something.

To get the crease lines you need to disable Profiles lines and border lines. Also set the crease break angle, crease angle min and crease angle max to 0 and uncheck hard creases only in the attribute editor.

Also assign a transparent shader to your objects surface.


Fairly simple set up. Please excuse the jpg compression artifacts :wink:

EDIT: changed check hard creases to uncheck hard creases which is what I actually meant!


Yes thanks, that’s exactly what I want, but how do I use the toon outlines? I can’t find it anywhere in Maya.


You’ll find them in the rendering menu set (F6 on your keyboard). I’m using Maya 2008 but this should work on Maya 7+. Look for the toon menu and select Assign Toon Outline.

It might be a good thing to read the documentation on PFX toon (not being condescending here). It’s extremely powerful and it’s uses go beyond just toon shading.


Ah, I’m using Maya 6, can I still use toon outline in that?


No, sorry about that. I believe Maya toon came out in v7. I didn’t realize you were on 6.


Ok, luckily one of my housemates has Maya 8.5 so I’m experimenting using his computer at the moment. When you say pfx glow, where’s that? Is this the Glow under the Brush tab of the attribute editor which gives options such as glow, glow colour, glow spread and shader glow? Or do you mean selecting a glow from the Paint effects visor as the brush? (or even something else?)

Thanks for your help.


For those examples I actually used PaintFX neon and then tweaked the glow attributes you mentioned. Sounds like your on the right track now. :applause:


“Then assign a pfx glow or something.”
How can you just assign it without having to paint it on? Obviously if I paint it on it’ll not be in the correct place, so how do you just assign the neon glow (or whatever glow) to it without the need to paint manually? :hmm:

“Assign paint effects brush to toon lines” I did that originally but it didn’t work, now it does, so I’ve answered my own question now, it just wasn’t working before for some reason, thanks for the help. :beer:


Well I’ve done that, however the glow completely disappears if I disable the profile lines. Also it’s only an outline of the object as a whole, and not individual edges as in your image above, and strangely I can’t find where the paint fx options are in the attribute editor as I could before so I cannot get to the glow settings, only the toon settings. Any suggestions on what to do?