Emission map support on SurfaceAppearances

As a Roblox developer, it is currently very difficult to make a material glow as you would with an emission map. This is incredibly valuable to designing worlds and fits right at home with the other -Map properties of custom materials.

At the moment, there are a few “hacks” and tricks I and others have used to achieve this effect, but we can’t rely on these forever–Whether because the work is tedious or just might not work in the future.

  1. Use a Decal with a Color property well into the thousands for any of the RGB components
  2. Do the same thing, but with a SpecialMesh and the VertexColor property. Though this hardly even counts, except for particular cases where making the entire mesh glow is desired.
  3. Break your mesh into multiple parts, where the glow effect is done with the Neon material on some of those parts and the texture detail is done on others. This is pretty much the old fashioned way of doing things, before we had SurfaceAppearances to give a pretty appearance to the whole of a single mesh.

If Roblox is able to address this issue, it would improve my development experience because official support for glowy details, without relying on hacks or tedious work, would be great.

I am aware of a few mentions of this in the announcement post, but I’m afraid that has been forgotten. This post is the latest mention of it from staff that I could find. I and I’m sure many others would very much appreciate this addition!

(I edited this post to lose some of the ranty/confusing wording the original had.)

192 Likes

People already abuse engine quirks such as setting excessive RGB values in textures and decals to approximate emissive textures. This is clearly a feature that is in demand. Neon is a beautiful material on its own with so many creative uses, but that we can’t use this in our own custom textures and materials is a tragedy and greatly limits the extent of what developers can do artistically.

72 Likes

Bump - has there been any news on this? I plan to create meshes with textures similar to cracked lava, but there isn’t direct support for adding emission to meshes. Having an emission map as well as a strength factor for it would be immensely helpful. (Normal maps should have a strength property too!)

20 Likes

I suddenly ran into an instance where this was needed. In No-Scope Arcade, we intended on creating weapon skins that had an glowy-toxic look.

In Substance 3D, it looked awesome

… aaand we were let down by Studio

The lack of support for these maps have caused us to cancel a weapon skin line.

35 Likes

B-bump.
We need this.
It’s that simple.

19 Likes

This is a much needed feature–for parts that use SpecialMeshes, recreating this effect is only possible by placing decals with high Color3 values inside the part. From what I’ve tried, there is no similar workaround for MeshParts

13 Likes

This is severely limiting! I want to avoid using texture instances as much as possible, but this forces me to use an old technology due to the lack of an emissive map. I was trying to create a glass window where in the daytime it would be a solid reflective glass, but at night the emissive map would kick in to light up the city.

But… No, so I have to use texture instances which are terrible for performance, thanks Roblox :frowning:

12 Likes

SurfaceAppearance should not have been released without this. We shouldn’t have to rely on a bug or solid neon meshes to make our surfaces glow. I use many models with came which emission maps and the end result looks much a lot worse in Roblox.

22 Likes

We seriously need this feature, it’s tedious to seperate every ‘neon part’ by material and then manually set it to neon when you have a ton of neon parts on your map, please add this, or just make it a beta feature until it’s stable :pray:

16 Likes

I was really surprised that it wasn’t included with SurfaceAppearance, it’s pretty much a standard with most engines that textures have the ability.

Yes, there are workarounds using decals/textures, but what you want a specific part of a texture to glow where you also want to have non-glowing parts, you’re limited to creating them as a separate part (whether that’s transparent with a texture/decal, or as a neon part).

Here’s an example of fudging the system:

This is a part with a decal on top. But if I wanted to have a normal map to make it look like the crack was actually 3d, I’d have to layer that underneath as a separate MeshPart with a SurfaceAppearance.

26 Likes

Bumping this post - There seriously should be a demand for Emissive maps, those can very much be used for glowing parts for a Bone-mesh rig, like how much is it going to take for them to implement it?? It’s should’ve been part of the implementation for PBR!.

24 Likes

Bump, i’m tired of having to work all day to finally get a very bright decal to be positioned correctly

12 Likes

Badly need this! for emitting certain parts of the mesh character! rather than modeling the emitting details!!

11 Likes

Experiencing a similar issue. It’s very upsetting that we planned extensively on using emissive textures on a great deal of our weaponry, and then finding out that there is no support for it at the moment. We need this badly.

9 Likes

I would also love roblox Textures but with PBR support, and texture filtering options like “NearestNeighbor” instead of just being forced to use the blurry interpolated texture algorithm.

12 Likes

100% Support – This is a major roadblock for a night time city my team and I are developing.

7 Likes

Still waiting lol, really need this feature

6 Likes

Yeah it’s been a year now, and it’s still not added.

Bruh.

7 Likes

Bump, I’d love to have this. Imagine having car lights and whatnot glow in a realistic looking manner, instead of just becoming 100% neon with no trace of shading.
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It would also look amazing in things like cities, where windows need to glow at night with a proper texture while keeping their shiny look. This could make things like bioluminescence, neon accessories and maybe even fake subsurface scattering textures possible.

16 Likes

This would also replace needing two parts to create this type of effect.

It would make our lives overall easier!

5 Likes