Emissive maps in Blender

Tutorial update

 Here is a video tutorial about emissive maps, now with Blender 2.64x

Still using blender 2.49b? (just like me) then continue reading the page


I’m currently working in a small project with the BGE with some friends, and I came to the point and ask myself, how can I do to make to work some emissive maps in the blender engine?? Never tried before with this engine, so a couple of days ago I started to do some test with a 3d model that I did some time ago and what you see in the video below .

And think it would be nice  to share, so here is a small tutorial I wrote about it, it cover the very basic setup. I hope to explain it well, there are two files.. the starter, and the finished one at the end of the tutorial just in case you want to learn directly from the blend.

First of all download this rar file, it contains the starter textured model (the one in the picture) and the emissive map

Unrar the files and open the blend file, then select the object and go to Material buttons then go to Texture Tab and select an empty channel to  add a new texture, as shown below.

Now  go to Texture buttons and click the dropdown menu to select “Image” option, as shown below.

Now press Load in the tab “Image” and look for the emissive map that comes with the rar file!

Once the emissive map is loaded, the object wil turn black, but don’t worry, now is the time to adjust the map coordinates, blending mode, etc.

Go back to “Material Buttons” and set to UV coordinates in the “Map Input” tab

Now select from the tab “Map To”  Col button, Neg button, and change the blending mode to Divide. Make sure this is correct or the emissive effect will not work

 If you notice, the map emissive is not working properly, even when the UV coordinates are correct, may look like this:

This is because the emissive map is already tiled (2×2 withh diferent colors each) to be used  with real-time settings in the UV editor, to fix this  go to the UV Image Editor , select the emissive map and open the real-time properties floating panel.

And adjust the settings as in the image above:

Activate anim button

Start = 0, End = 3, speed = 1

Activate tiles button

X = 2, Y = 2


Now check again, the emissive map should look like this:

Something important about this, is that a negative lamp is needed in order to get the emissive map visible even in dark areas, and not to affect the entire object with  lighting, in this case the negative lamp is the hemi, just below the geometry object, try turning ON and OFF the Negative button to check this, and pres Pkey to turn on the game engine.


Now to get the full effect of the emissive map, a 2dfilter is needed to add glow to our saturated colors of the emissive map (already in blender, the text editor, Thanks Martinsh!) if you like search for it in BlenderArtist forums or the Blender Wiki.


Some modification to the 2dfilter to get more noticeable effect, this time is not animated, and the emissive map was painted directly with blender in texture paint mode.

And that’s all.. so simple don’t you think?

Feeling too lazy? get the blend file here and dissect for yourself, hope you like it and find it usable in your projects/games, thanks!  :)