Emission Map Guide for Artists

Emission Map Guide for Artists

Emission maps are used to describe how much bloom/glow should be emitted from parts of a sprite/texture.


Emission maps are grayscale: black means no emission for that pixel, white means full intensity emission. To start, here’s an example of a sprite with its corresponding emission map:

We don’t want the entire building sprite to be emitting bloom/glow, so we create an emission map in which everything is black except the windows of the building. The result is that only the windows will emit a glow. Most lighting effects should be achieved through programmed lighting and emission, so most art will not need lighting drawn into them.


Example table to describe the relationship between a sprite, its emission map, and the emitted bloom.

Sprite pixel color

Emission map pixel color

Final emitted bloom

White (Full intensity color)

White (Full intensity color)

White, full intensity

White (Full intensity color)

Black (No intensity color)

No emission

White (Full intensity color)

Grey (Half intensity color)

White, half intensity

Yellow (Full intensity color)

Grey (Half intensity color)

Yellow, half intensity

Yellow (Full intensity color)

Black (No intensity color)

No emission

Grey (Half intensity color)

White (Full intensity color)

Grey, full intensity



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