Watchdogs style headlights in UE4


I would like to ask the community if it’s possible to create Watchdogs style headlights in Unreal 4. Here’s an image to show what I would like to achieve:


As you can see, the glare around headlights is getting bigger in the distance (they used this very successfully to create fake volumetric lighting), it becomes smaller the closer you get.
I’ve tried using the plane with CameraDepthFade and DepthFade nodes and it works well to drive the size and intersection smoothness of the glare, but the major issue is the side/top view, as you can clearly see the edge of the plane. Also in the image you see that once you pass certain angle, the glare fades out smoothly.

I took an example of headlights, but in fact they use it for any bright light source (traffic lights, streetlamps etc.)

So, does anyone have an idea on how to recreate this effect?

Would greatly appreciate any input. Thanks!

Humm I’m a bit confused as to the question. Assuming that you want to get rid of the planer effect.

Try using a sphere instead of a plane object.

Make your plane a billboard so it will always face the viewer.

Make your glare material a function and added it directly to the head light lens using a layer mask.

Assuming that you want the effect to fade smoothly you could use a near and a far gradient map and larp between the two. You could just ramp the output intensity but masking seems to produce better results.

To add a bit of bling to the effect you could also make a cone shaped particle FX containing dust particles attached to the head light.

Hi FrankieV,

Thanks for answering.
Using a sphere is not an option, since you will see it from top and back.
“Make your glare material a function and added it directly to the head light lens using a layer mask.” - sorry not quite sure what you mean here.

I think I got one step closer by using dot product function for alpha, which does fade out planes’ edges at sharp angles.

Would still like to hear if other people might have better solutions for reproducing this.