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Lightswords: Jabooza's Bright Light Sword Method

Posted: Fri, 10th Nov 2006, 10:25pm

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Jabooza

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Rating: +5

Jabooza's Bright Light Sword Method




I know there are lots of light sword tutorials out there already but this one is a bit different, this is a tutorial of how to make ones that will stay vibrant even in brightly lit shots. They're not really proper "Star Wars" lightsabers, but look good in their own way.

In order to retain a nice look the sword will require two layers.

Here's what the effect will look like when it's done and applied to film:
Update: presets are now available!
layer 1
layer 2

OK, let’s get started!

Layer 1 4 point

First we open a blank timeline and add a 4 point (or freehand if you prefer) neon light, then you can set the hilt and tip curves to meet your choosing, I prefer 0.35 for the hilt curve and 1.00 for the tip curve.


Layer 1 core and glow attributes

Next we'll manage the core of the sword. The only thing here that we're going to change is the feather which we'll make 4.
Now we'll move on to the glow. First comes the glows color, in this tutorial we'll be making a blue sword, therefore all of the colors will be a shade of blue. On the color gradient we want to drag a color all the way to the left (0%) or use the default, that color will be changed to a custom shade of blue that's very bright but not quite green or turquoise. Here's what the color should look like: now we make a color that we drag to the right of the color gradient (100%). This color will be the default bright blue: the color gradient should look like this:
Now we set the glow attributes to the following:

Color Randomizer: 0.00
Size: 22
Size Randomizer: 0.00
Spread: 13
Spread Randomizer: 0.00
Intensity: 10
Intensity Randomizer: 0.00

If your swords looks bad, don't worry because you didn't do it wrong. It'll start looking better with layer two.

Layer 2 4 point

Add a new neon light and then copy your shape from the first layer and paste it into your second.

Layer 2 core and glow attributes

Like the first layer the only thing here that we're going to change in the core attributes is the feather which we'll make 4.
For the glows color gradient we want to, again drag the first color to the far left (0%) only this time the color will be the same default blue we used for the color on 100% in the first layer. Now we'll make a color that we'll place in the center of the gradient (50%), this color will be the standard flat blue. Next we'll add a third color point to far right of the gradient (100%) which will be the same blue we used in the middle but now slightly darkened and will look like this: Now your color gradient should look like this:
Now we set the glow attributes to the following:

Color Randomizer: 0.05
Size: 62
Size Randomizer: 0.10
Spread: 37
Spread Randomizer: 0.05
Intensity: 10
Intensity Randomizer: 0.05

Your final lightsaber should look like this:

You now have a good looking lightsaber that can handle intense lighting conditions. Note that on a blank canvas the sword will not appear as good as it does when applied to film do to the fact that it was designed specifically for bright conditions and the canvas has no light at all.

Last edited Wed, 17th Jan 2007, 2:08pm; edited 10 times in total.

Posted: Sat, 11th Nov 2006, 7:55am

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Axeman

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Nice tutorial, Jabooza. I've added it to the list of tutorials, so people will be able to find it.

You might think about adding a pic of the effect in action, so people can see how it is actually going to look in a scene with bright lighting. Showing how well the effect works at the beginning can be a good incentive for people to try it out.
Posted: Sat, 11th Nov 2006, 12:34pm

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FXhomer1369

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Nice tutorial smile.
Posted: Sat, 11th Nov 2006, 11:53pm

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Sollthar

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Groovy. It's always good to see when people put time and effort into helping the community. +1 for ya smile
Posted: Sun, 12th Nov 2006, 12:42am

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jmax

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I think its respectable that someone here had the nerve to use an adjective like groovy. And yes, that was a most far-out tutorial.
Posted: Sun, 12th Nov 2006, 1:12am

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Hybrid-Halo

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Bodacious. Mondo tute dude.
Posted: Sun, 12th Nov 2006, 10:44am

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FXhomer1369

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It will be great even a video-tutorial smile.
Posted: Sun, 12th Nov 2006, 7:57pm

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Jabooza

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Thanks for your comments and positive ratings everyone!

Axeman wrote:

You might think about adding a pic of the effect in action, so people can see how it is actually going to look in a scene with bright lighting. Showing how well the effect works at the beginning can be a good incentive for people to try it out.
Yeah, I thought about doing that at the end but the beginning sounds alot better...so I did it!

Last edited Sat, 23rd Dec 2006, 4:41pm; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Mon, 13th Nov 2006, 9:48am

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Cogz

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What have you done to your footage here? It looks like all the interlacing is messed up, hopefully its just because imageshack compression has done that
http://img45.imageshack.us/my.php?image=lightsaberexampleom5.png

Nice tutorial though smile
Posted: Mon, 13th Nov 2006, 7:25pm

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Jabooza

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Cogz wrote:

What have you done to your footage here? It looks like all the interlacing is messed up
I dunno, that happens with all of our motion blurs for some reson but it looks alright when it's playing. I'm not sure yet if our final movie will have the problem or not.
Posted: Tue, 14th Nov 2006, 10:54pm

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ben3308

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You just haven't deinterlaced your footage, that's all. You can do so when you render your final web file, but for now you're fine.
Posted: Tue, 14th Nov 2006, 11:40pm

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Jabooza

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That's good to know...how do I deinterlace my footage?
Posted: Wed, 15th Nov 2006, 9:34am

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Cogz

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This is a really good resource to read, explains interlacing and deinterlacing pretty well:
http://www.100fps.com/

After you export your full quality interlaced footage, you can use VirtualDub to deinterlace it, or perhaps your NLE has a deinterlace option to create a version for the web.
Posted: Thu, 16th Nov 2006, 1:54pm

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Jabooza

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Axeman wrote:

I've added it to the list of tutorials, so people will be able to find it.
Ironically I can't find it anywhere but this post. Did you put it text tutorials? Could you give me a link to it?
Posted: Thu, 16th Nov 2006, 3:41pm

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Axeman

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I added it to the list of user tutorials here. Its the last one in the list of neon light tutorials.
Posted: Thu, 16th Nov 2006, 3:41pm

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NickF

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Good Tutorial

http://fxhome.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=23716
Its under "Neon Light (aka the Lightsword Engine)" at the bottom of that list razz

EDIT: Axeman beat me but I feel priveliged to be posting in the same thread at the same time as him because he is cool smile
Posted: Wed, 13th Dec 2006, 12:12am

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Penguin

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Cool
Posted: Sat, 23rd Dec 2006, 4:47pm

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Jabooza

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Axeman wrote:

I added it to the list of user tutorials here. Its the last one in the list of neon light tutorials.
Yay! I'm on a cool list! biggrin Well, I suppose it's not as cool as being in the news once like DP was for his preset. sad