The key here is the mia_light_surface utility and of course final gather. May sound complicated but trust me… its very very simple!

Alex from Greensoda with a very interesting quick tutorial on creating the ever-poular (again) Tron like glows using mental ray and connecting a mia_light_surface node to a mia_material_x, which provides some surface shading information as well as a glow from a Final gather contribution… really cool! Check out the comparison from an ordinary surface shader.

Its important to always find great reference for your work in general, but in the areas of glows and lens fx this is even more imperative – a while back Atomic Fiction had a really great post on glows as seen by our minds eye, verses glows as seen by hard reference… the differences are miles apart. Check out the Atomic Fiction Post on Glows from reference.

After posting the tutorial on Vimeo, someone asked what the difference between using this and a surface shader would be. The second image explains what I mean by the geometry looking flat when using the surface shader. “


  1. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  2. Thank you Alex for sharing your knowledge.

  3. kyle

    Can you explain the connection that is set up in the connection editor when you middle-mouse-drag maya_light_surface onto the additional color variable? Mine isn’t automatically attached, so I need to manually do it through the connection editor.

  4. MtnFrost

    I’m trying this in Maya 2014 and I can’t get the glow to render – everything else does what it should. But NO glow. Help?

  5. Chaz

    Alex’s tutorial is pretty cool, but is there a tutorial about making things glow when not against another object? I’d like to see something glow in open space (if possible without a post effect).

  6. Eljikata Cadag

    hello sir, i have a question. how do i color the strokes using autodesk maya 2012? and why cant I drag the mia surface light to the mia material color?

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