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Neon Light: Understanding the Neon Light Engine, Part 2

Posted: Sun, 4th Jun 2006, 8:09pm

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NickD

Force: 2163 | Joined: 10th Sep 2003 | Posts: 1224

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Welcome to the second part of my Understanding the Neon Light Engine tutorial. This section of the tutorial will be considerably shorter than the first part, and will be explaining the neon glow.

NOTE: The neon glow adjustments are just the same for freehand and 4-point shapes, but we will use a 4-point for this demonstration.

Once you have altered your neon light shape to your liking, it is time to adjust the glow. Make sure that the neon glow is turned on, indicated by a green dot on the icon in the timeline:


TIP!! Whenever you want to view a high quality preview of the current frame, just click the HiQ button. This is very useful when creating neon glow.

OK. Now it is time to look at our toolbox. You will notice that it is divided into two sections: Core Attributes and Glow Attributes. We will look at both of these.

Core Attributes

The core attributes box is very simple and has only 4 controls:

Core Color: The first control is the core color. This can be used to set the color for your core. Click on it and you will be directed to a color palette that looks like this:

In this tutorial, we will use a plain white core, as is common with lighswords.
Color Randomizer: This is a very important control. By adjusting it, you can add a slight flicker to your core by “randomizing” the color throughout the duration of the effect. This adds extra realism.
Feather: This control is very simple to understand. Basically, it feathers the core outward, into or past the glow. Here is an extreme example with the slider set to maximum:

Transparency: Finally, the transparency slider. This adjusts the overall transparency of your core.

Glow Attributes

The glow attributes box is more complex than the core attributes box, but is relatively simple.

Glow Color: This is just the same as the core color control in the core attributes box, and will be used to adjust the color of your glow.
Size: The size control adjusts, well, the overall size of your glow.
Size Randomizer: [I]The size randomizer adds a little flicker and extra realism to your effect, by randomizing the size of the glow just a little bit every couple frames.

Spread: [I]The spread is a little harder to explain, but it sort of adjusts the spread of the intensity of your color, spreading the intensity further outward.

TIP!! I personally like to set my spread first, and then adjust the size afterwards, but you can do what you want. Here are a couple examples of size and spread use:

High Size, Low Spread:


Low Size, High Spread:


Intensity: The intensity slider adjusts the overall intensity of your glow color.
Intensity Randomizer: IMO, this is the most crucial of the randomizer sliders, and . . . you guessed it: randomizes the intensity of the glow. This is great for achieving a perfect flicker.


Well, hope this two part tutorial was useful, and if people like it, I will do one on the Muzzle Flash engine as well.

Cheers,
NickD