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Help with creating light sabers more quickly.

Posted: Tue, 13th Jun 2006, 3:08am

Post 1 of 4

A Man

Force: 800 | Joined: 14th May 2006 | Posts: 13

CompositeLab Pro User EffectsLab Pro User

Gold Member

i am pretty green with the use of effects lab and am in dire need of some advice. i'm am trying to ad lightsaber blades to the footage. but tracking where the blade is and masking me off so the blade goes behind me takes for ever doing it frame by frame. if there is a fater way to do it, i would certainly enjoy the knowledge. Any vets of the software use, PLEASE help me out with this.
Posted: Tue, 13th Jun 2006, 3:25am

Post 2 of 4


Force: 5941 | Joined: 18th Jul 2003 | Posts: 555

VisionLab User VideoWrap User FXpreset Maker Windows User


Roto-scoping the effect frame by frame is really the best method when keeping the motion accurate. If you wish to speed things up, you can always skip a few frames between animation, and EffectsLab will automatically animate the effect for the frames you skipped.

This has better results depending on the type of motion you are adding the effect to, (example: slow, minor movements are ideal in my experience), so this may not be a method that you will want to use for every project. If you find editing frame by frame is "sluggish" (takes a while to preview render), you can lower the canvas quality to allow you to scrub through your project faster. If you are not aware of how to do this, the manual has the necessary details, or you can always ask back here.

I am afraid, other than that I can not currently offer an alternative to you. Perhaps other users have come up with creative ways of achieving a faster work flow.

Enjoy the program.
Posted: Tue, 13th Jun 2006, 5:50am

Post 3 of 4


Force: 17995 | Joined: 20th Jan 2002 | Posts: 6124

VisionLab User VideoWrap User PhotoKey 5 Pro User MuzzlePlug User PowerPlug User PhotoKey 3 Plug-in User FXhome Movie Maker FXpreset Maker MacOS User


The speed with which the rotoscoping can be accomplished in EffectsLab is directly proportionate to the quality of the finished effect.

You can cut a few corners by being a bit more sloppy with your corner placement and skipping frames and burn through it quickly, but chances are it will show. Sometimes you can get away with it. If the blade is moving fast, you can get away with a little more slop on corner placement, and if it is moving slow, you can get away with skipping frames a bit, as Wizard mentioned. You just have to balance the speed with your patience and the quality you are after.

A common misconception among beginners is that a nice special effects program, like EffectLab, does the work for them. Not true, unfortunately. Computers make this type of special effects possible, they don't always make them quick and easy. That said, you won't find a quicker or easier method than EffectsLab, and on top of that, it has the highest quality avaliable for many of the effects it produces.
Posted: Tue, 13th Jun 2006, 3:23pm

Post 4 of 4

Simon K Jones

Force: 27955 | Joined: 1st Jan 2002 | Posts: 11683

VisionLab User VideoWrap User PhotoKey 5 Pro User MuzzlePlug User PowerPlug User PhotoKey 3 Plug-in User FXhome Movie Maker FXpreset Maker Windows User

FXhome Team Member

Indeed, as far as I am aware, even ILM create their lightsabers frame-by-frame for the official Star Wars movies. There will always be some effects that require a lot of patience and hand-crafted work. With EffectsLab we tried to make a program that would make that process as simple and painless as possible.