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Making force lightning? [TIPS]

Posted: Sat, 3rd Sep 2005, 7:00am

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anton04

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I'm kind of new to this EffectsLab program and I was wondering how I could make some "force lightning" for a certain shot I have? I've fiddled around with the program a lot and I can't seem to get the effect i'm looking for. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Posted: Sat, 3rd Sep 2005, 7:06am

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Hendo

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anton04 wrote:

I'm kind of new to this EffectsLab program and I was wondering how I could make some "force lightning" for a certain shot I have?
As I see it, I think you have 2 options:

(1) use stock media (needs to be in Quicktime MOV format). You could convert one of the AlamDV2 lightning plugins (search the forums for "convert plugins") or try and find some existing force lightning stock footage.

(2) create it using the Particle System. EffectsLab comes with some textures for lightning particles which you can animate. It may be tricky to keep the lightning emitter point static, rather than affected by gravity, though.
Posted: Sat, 3rd Sep 2005, 11:42am

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Oeyvind

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Or you could use a editing-program. I know that Adobe Premiere, and Ulead VideoStudio supports the lightning effect.


You can download a Ulead VideoStudio trail from here:

http://www.ulead.com/vs/trial.htm

It is fully usable in 30 days. The lightning-effect is very good.


Good luck wink
Posted: Sat, 3rd Sep 2005, 1:39pm

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Fill

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You could go through all the trouble of making one or you could convert this plugin and convert it to stock footage...i have a small tuorial of how to do it...i hope it helps!
Posted: Sat, 3rd Sep 2005, 9:13pm

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anton04

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Thanks for the tips, i skrewed around with both techniques and found out that using both works great. I guess i used the stock footage as a base and then layered some particles around it for more effect.
Posted: Sat, 3rd Sep 2005, 11:39pm

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Fill

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I'm glad i could help smile
Posted: Sun, 4th Sep 2005, 10:40am

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Wizard

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Hendo wrote:

(2)It may be tricky to keep the lightning emitter point static, rather than affected by gravity, though.
Doing this is fairly different then what you would have to do for your traditional smoke effect, but I will tell you how anton04, just incase you want to try that method (assuming you did not attempt this when you were tinkering).

With the below method, you may not achieve exactly what stock media would look like, but EffectsLab Dv could still pull this effect (and many others) off fairly well, and I believe more people should consider using EffectsLab Dv for this kind of effect more often. You also have control over a few properties of the effect that you do not have with stock media, but keep in mind that there can also be inherent short comings, such as a lack of control over some properties.

Below are three examples of what the effect could look like, each with slightly different properties, followed by the instructions to achieve this look. These videos are only a starting point of the effect in it's most basic form; you will be able to change settings that I do not even use in the example videos, which could change the look of your effect for the better.

Note: Quality is low due to the compression needed to upload to Zippy Videos.

First Example.
Second Example.
Third Example
(The videos do not seem to play as I would have expected, and are slightly different then when first rendered. Use these videos as a rough idea of what to expect. This effect will have a better turn out when you do your own render)

The settings and steps to achieve this effect are as follows:

1) Textures:

For the example clips above I imported textures "electric_arc_horo1", "electric_arc_horo2", and "electric_arc_horo3". (Please ask if you need help locating your textures)


2) "Texture Button".

Make sure the "Texture Button" is set to "Single" and not "Animated"; this is because you are not dealing with an animated texture, so you will not achieve the desired effect if you are selected on animated. Although the default setting is "Single", be sure to check by locating this button .

3) "Emitter".

In the examples above, "Emitter" is set to its default setting ("Emitter point" & "Free from origin"). You may want control over the corners of the emitter for different types of animating, if so you can set "Emitter point" to "Emitter rectangle". However, this will greatly change how the effect looks, and depending on the positioning of your corners, it will create the appearance that the single effect is being duplicated (you can test it out for a better understanding of what I mean).

4) "Particle Creation".

Max particles- Again, for the above examples "Max particles" is left at its default setting of 1000. This does not really have any consequences on the effect, unless decreased too much. If max particles is brought below twelve you will begin to see that the effect begins to "flash", and if brought below eight, you will see the effect becomes less vibrant, and will appear to be transparent. Increasing the max particles above twelve has no impact on the effect its self (I believe), but will effect the speed in which you can edit if brought too high.

Particle Rate- "Particle rate" should be set rather low. This is to make the electricity stand out more, and allow for less color around the edges, which I find makes it more realistic. This is really personal preference, and a high particle rate could be used to create a more "Star Wars" look (this will cause complications if using "Add blend mode" which I will cover shortly). All of the above examples are set to a particle rate of six.

Life Time- This is the key component for successfully stopping the effect from "emitting" from the center ("crawling", as some have said). Life time decides how far/long a particle can travel/live. Setting this to two will make the electrical effect remain in the same area. If you select a number that is any higher (even only one higher) the effect will "crawl" ever so slightly. Any lower of a setting, and the effect will not "live" long enough to be visible.

Emitter Anlge- Since the electrical texture can not be rotated in the particle system, changing this attribute has little to no affect. It may "slide" the effect to one side or another, but that is about the extent of what will happen (this may work out differently for you).

Anlge range- Increasing this will make the effect expand in width and length at the same time, which is un-desired when achieving the look of the above examples. This may be useful for taking up more space, and creating more depth of the effect in some cases, but it will also make the effect slightly blurry. (Test it out to see what you prefer) For those examples, I used an angle range of six.

5) "Particle Properties".

Color Gradient- Color is up to your preferences, but incase you want to know, I used the third blue across (right) in the pre-ordered color palette. For the last clip, I used the darkest blue (if you select this and it does not look the same as mine, don't worry, this is because of a setting I will mention in a moment).

Since I did not make use of "Speed" & "Size" randomizing, I can not tell you if these are necessarily helpful features for this effect; although they could still be helpful in creating a unique, or even realistic effect.

Composite Mode- This is where the first example differs from the other two. For the first video, composite mode was set to "Normal blend". I find this to be a little bit more realistic, but it doesn't quite give the appearance that the electricity is bright. The final two clips composite modes were set to "Add blend". This is meant for light based effects (I believe), and I find that it resembles "force lightning" more accurately.

That about sums up the basic settings for achieving force lightning in EffectsLab Dv. It is still practical to go with stock media as well, but Effectslab will most likely prove useful for this effect when you are looking for just a bit more control in your scene. Either way you get a nice effect, so enjoy.

Edit: If there is a problem with any of the links supplied, please notify me by means of private message so that I may correct the error.

Have fun.
Wizard.

Last edited Mon, 5th Sep 2005, 5:52am; edited 5 times in total.

Posted: Sun, 4th Sep 2005, 10:52am

Post 8 of 13

mattio

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Man Wizard Your Tutorials ROCK!!!! +1
Posted: Tue, 6th Sep 2005, 7:22pm

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zyper

Force: 0 | Joined: 3rd Sep 2005 | Posts: 4

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Wizard, could you send me the .mov files on

First Example.
Second Example.
Third Example

If you could just upload them in downloadable format, or send them to me (owned-by-zyper@hotmail.com <-- my mail), i would be happy!

Thanks, really nice tutorial

-Zyper
Posted: Tue, 6th Sep 2005, 9:55pm

Post 10 of 13

Fill

Force: 1257 | Joined: 1st Jul 2005 | Posts: 1652

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Geez...Wizard...you need to settle down with the tutorials...JK

WOW eek you are really in the tutorial givin' season!
Posted: Tue, 6th Sep 2005, 10:58pm

Post 11 of 13

Wizard

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swg33k wrote:

Geez...Wizard...you need to settle down with the tutorials...JK

WOW eek you are really in the tutorial givin' season!
Lol, well I figure if I am going to attempt to help, I may as well be as specific as I can, as to lower the amount of questions or complications as much as possible. If you (anyone) ask a question, that I can answer, I will try to the best of my abilities. It's not so much a seasonal thing, as it is an all year long, sunny day at the beach lol. Better buy some sun screen; the meteorologist says it is going to be a "hot" year.

zyper wrote:

If you could just upload them in downloadable format, or send them to me...I would be happy!
Are you asking because the links are not working at the moment? Or, are you asking so that you may use them yourself? If the answer is "yes" to the first question, hopefully the site will be back up shortly, and I may be able to upload it to an alternative site temporarily (I will have to see about that though).

I suspect you are asking in regard to the second option though. In which case, using the files I have may not be the best choice. This is because of the program I used to compress the files for upload to the internet. It would be better to purchase the program (if you are looking into this), and then trying this effect yourself; that is, after all, the purpose of the tutorial. That would be your best option for a better quality version of this effect.

I am also un-aware if supplying effects generated with the textures from EffectsLab Dv, to an individual who has not purchased the program, is by any chance in breach of my license agreement; just as I would not supply plug-ins. Perhaps some might say I am being too cautious about that, but it may be best not to push my luck. Since I do not have a license agreement in front of me to refer to, maybe some one who knows could better inform me. I would say your best choice is to purchase the program, and then have fun.

Note: If others are having a problem with the links supplied, and this continues for a prolonged duration of time, please notify me, so that I can consider alternate methods of hosting.

Have a good day guys.
Wizard.
Posted: Wed, 7th Sep 2005, 9:30am

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Vault FX

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WOW Wiz, those renderings look really good, I will give your tutorial a go later on today smile

WELL DONE, GREAT TUTORIAL smile

dalder
Posted: Wed, 7th Sep 2005, 9:42am

Post 13 of 13

Wizard

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Keep in mind that those renders are compressed quite a bit, so you should receive a much better render as far as picture quality goes. That is also about as basic as I could have made the effect, and you are meant to customize it for your own footage. Once you change what is needed, you can play around with the other properties to achieve a much more realistic (or fake, if that is what you want) look.

dalder wrote:

I will give your tutorial a go later on today
Great, I hope you have fun, and good luck.

Thanks for the kind words.
Wizard.