This paper investigates the effect of surface diffusion and re-emission on the surface morphology of GLAD thin films. This was done through GLAD of platinum and tantalum at two different surface temperatures (293 K and 153 K). The effect of shadowing during the thin film growth was examined by utilizing Atomic force microscopy (AFM) to determine the root-mean square (rms) value, the surface roughness, and thus the growth exponent β. Our results showed that β was not affected by substrate temperature during deposition, however it increased from β = 0.47 ± 0.06 to β = 0.94 ± 0.12 as the thin film material was switched from platinum to tantalum. The change in the growth exponent ??indicates that the kinetics of the film growth at grazing incidence are primarily influenced by re-emission and shadowing effects with surface diffusion playing a minor role.