Lightsabers

Okay so I played with the software for a bit now, and I find it pretty amazing so far!
I only have trouble with one thing: creating lightsabers. As there is no built-in engine for lightsabers I guess the only way to make one is creating a white plane, masking it to the shape of the lightsaber and applying the neon glow effect to it. Now, I have several problems with it:
First of, I've created a simple lightsaber that goes off the edge of the canvas as you can see in the attached screenshot. now, the core goes straight until the edge, while the glow fades out when it gets near the edge... Is there any way to prevent this?
Second, on a black background, the saber looks alright, but as soon as I put in onto my footage, it starts looking really nooby... With blend mode at normal, the glow looks too solid, and with it set to screen it looks way too thin.
And last, it seems that you can't edit a mask while the plain is set to invisible. That's a bit annoying, because I'd like to draw the shape of the saber without it's core and glow covering parts of the footage to precisely adjust it...
So, it'd be great if there was a tutorial on making good looking lightsabers (which for me was no problem in visionlab) coming up soon.... please? :)

Comments

  • edited July 2011
    Hikaru755,
    First of all, to get the glow to get all the way to the edge you need to check the "Clamp to Edge" box in the Neon Light filter. Second, if you set the mask Feather Strength and Roundness to 7, it will blur the edges of the white core. Finally, you need to copy your mask layer and apply the "Neon Glow" filter to both. You should have both layers set to "Add" mode and then set the amount of glow accordingly.
    Mask Layer1:
    Mask - with Feather Strength and Roundness to 7
    Neon Glow - Intensity to 1
    Color Light Blue
    Expansion to 10
    Radius to 40
    Blend to Add
    Clamp to Edges Checked
    Mask Layer2:
    Mask - with Feather Strength and Roundness to 7
    Neon Glow - Intensity to 1
    Color Blue
    Expansion to 100
    Radius to 200
    Blend to Add
    Clamp to Edges Checked
    Additionally, you can add a "Flicker Filter" to the second mask layer and play with the controls to get the desired glow flicker effect.
    I hope this helps you get better results!
    John B-)
  • Thanks for the reply! :)
    I did everything as you said, and now the glow doesn't fade out but instead stops before reaching the edge, leaving a black border... :huh:
    The glow looks more realistic now, but I'm still not satisfied with the edges of the core... I'll just play around with the parameters until I get something good looking, I guess...
  • edited July 2011
    Two things: Do you have 2 Plane layers, each with its own mask and glow? Second, it looks much better if composited on an actual film layer. Only having the glow on a black background, will not give you an accurate view of what the finished product will be.
    Look at the screen capture above! (It looks pretty realistic.) :D
  • Okay, now the glow looks somewhat acceptable.
    Yeah, two separate planes, each one with an own mask and neon glow. but the edge problem still occurs... :/
  • Make sure each glow is "Clamped to Edge", if so the glow will go all the way to the edge of the screen.
  • I already did so... After setting them to be clamped to edge they now make this kind of border instead of fading out towards the edge of the canvas... I'm confused. :D
  • edited July 2011
    You could try lowering the amount of blur and roundness on each of the mask layers. That might be the problem.
    P.S. I re-uploaded a blue version of the saber above, instead of the red one.
    As you can see, my glow and core both go to the edge of my composite.
  • Ah, that might be the problem... I'll try that if I'm working on another lightsaber again, thanks for your help though! :)
  • Thanks Joshua! :)
    But even from the sabers you created in the video, I still don't get this kind of lightsaber feeling... I don't know if you know what I'm talking about, but they just don't look right in my opinion, and also the way of creating them in visionlab is much more convenient for me, with the four point shape where you could round out the edges and so on... :( . Actually I was hoping for a very similar engine in hitfilm, but I think I'll stick to VisionLab for making lightsabers then.
  • To anyone at hitfilm why did you guys decide to make the neon glow fade at the edge of the comp? What's the point?
  • Hikaru755 - can you post an image of the lightsword look you want? Everything VisionLab could do HitFilm will be able to do, probably better.
    Matthias - The glow actually fades in VisionLab as well but the oversized comp method was faked behind the scenes. It worked perfectly in some circumstances, and not so well in others. HitFilm gives you full control. :)
  • Everything VisionLab could do HitFilm will be able to do, probably better.

    Oh, I don't doubt that - but the way getting there might be not as easy. :P
    After very much of trial and error I now produced something that looks alright -> instantly saved as preset... :D
    And another thing: Is there anything you could easily do blaster shots with, like the laser engine in visionlab?
    Because just using the same method as for creating lightsabers it would be horribly much work if not almost impossible to do an effect like the sci-fi minigun i did at 0:28 in this video:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jel-IiPj22U
  • edited July 2011
    That would be pretty easy to do with a particle emitter, plus since it would be in 3D, you would get the perspective automatically, without having to dial it in, like you did with the VisionLab laser engine. A muzzle flash at the end of the barrel, and few tweaks to a particle emitter, and you would be good to go. In fact, using the built-in motion blur, the stretched out length of the laser bolts would be handled automatically as well.
    Not quite as simple as the old VisionLab lasers, since you have to tweak a number of settings in the particle engine controls, but I suspect a simplified version will be added eventually.
  • Ah, particle emitter... Yeah, could've thought of that. :D
    A simplified version would still be cool though, but I think it won't really be worth it since you can just save the settings in a preset once you got it to look right.
  • As another option, you could create the basic laser shape on a single plane using masks (like in the lightsaber tutorial), then switch that plane to 3D and duplicate it a few times, animating the plane to move around the screen as required.
  • Anyone have any suggestions for the ignition flare? Some of them look OK but I'm battling to animate a decent flare for firing up a lightsaber
  • Scratch that, figured it out

Sign in to comment