HOW TO MAKE LIGHTSABERS 2.0

Discussion in 'Fan Films, Fan Audio & SciFi 3D' started by DorkmanScott, Nov 10, 2005.

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  1. bgii_2000 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 21, 2005
    star 4
    You didn't tape them, for one thing. Plus there's another dude in that same thread who says his worked fine. Maybe yours were a bad batch. Maybe not. The worse that could happen is me being out 30 bucks.
  2. Evil-Henchman Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 17, 2004
    star 4
    Well, I think the main issue was that they didn't have the metal weave around them like the Randomsabers' ones have. However the thicker tube broke after a few hits where as my polycarbonate tubes last years. I'd rather have something that lasts longer even if it is thicker and has some minor whip to it.

    I also have some Randomsabers carbon fiber "blades" and have hit them together pretty hard. So far, no breakage.

    I hope you have better luck with your Dragonplate carbon fiber tubes than I did with mine.
  3. Obi-Bob78 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 16, 2007
    star 1
    How do you rotoscope a lightsaber duel in AE? Everything that I've seen is about how to rotoscope a single lightsaber. Do you have to go through the entire video once, render it, then go through it again for the other saber? Or is there a more simple way?
  4. Funk-E Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 11, 2003
    star 6
    Don't render, just do each lightsaber on its own separate comp. It doesn't matter which one is on top, either.
  5. Obi-Bob78 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 16, 2007
    star 1
    Not exactly sure what you mean here...
    I think you mean that you have two clips of the footage, one on top and one on below. And then you would rotoscope both seperately? But then the bottom lightsaber would be covered by the top footage..so that can't be what you mean.
  6. Funk-E Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 11, 2003
    star 6
    Okay: Do one lightsaber as normal. Then do the other, in a separate composition. Then just screen/whatever your two lightsabers on top of eachother.
  7. Obi-Bob78 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 16, 2007
    star 1
    Okay, gotcha..I think lol.
  8. CrudeSwordsman Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Apr 24, 2005
    this is my dumbest question
    i'm trying to find out if after you paint your carbon fiber blade with the color you want, how am i going to wrap the blade with shrink wrap/heat shrink and what kind of wrap to buy?
  9. bgii_2000 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 21, 2005
    star 4
    I just used bright orange gaffer's tape.
  10. LORDWROTH Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 5, 2004
    star 2
    I just used bright orange gaffer's tape.
    ____________________________________________________

    thats what we do, I mean its the easiest way and the best to clean up , plus you want to have multiple shafts on set anyway just in case one bends during filming, The fiber rods are
    better in some ways, but when you can't afford them or just need something right now I go with steel rods from the local metal shops and bore and tap holes to keep them in place with a lock screw. it's worked for two of my films. But yeah, colored gaffers tape really does the trick and you can order it in red, green and blue, plus! under the right light it already glows alittle,[face_blush]
  11. -Spiff- Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 9, 2005
    star 4
    Just my opinion, but I recommend green tape over orange tape for the chroma-sub-sampling advantage green offers. I also recommend staggering black and white lines down the blades, which tend to help when chroma information disappears in motion blurred saber blades.

    -Spiff
  12. bgii_2000 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 21, 2005
    star 4
    Green may be good for retaining the most information, but orange shows up better in a forest.
  13. DorkmanScott Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 6
    Orange shows up better EVERYWHERE. That's what we use.
  14. -Spiff- Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 9, 2005
    star 4
    Like most broad sweeping statements, Dorkman's above claim is incorrect.
    [image=http://phispace.net/spiffyprod/example1.png]
    In this picture you can clearly see the advantage of the green over the orange, as well as the benefit of the black markers I was talking about.

    When shooting against darker backgrounds the extra luma signal provided by the green is particularly advantageous. Against bright backgrounds the chroma advantage for green is still present, but there may be a luma advantage with a darker orange blade. The black and white tape helps against all backgrounds, with the black helping in particular for bright backgrounds and the white helping for the darker ones.

    For every shot there is a best solution. You can quite easily optimize your blade to be a jack-of-all trades. A little consideration of luma and chroma sub-sampling goes a long way. Keep in mind that even on RAW sensor data, the effective resolution for luma and chroma is not equal: there are more green photosites than red and blue, and no amount of de-Bayering sophistication can change that.

    -Spiff
  15. DorkmanScott Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 6
    Actually, you're right. There was one lightsaber shoot recently where the lighting and surroundings were heavily warm tones -- yellows, reds, and oranges -- and I seriously regretted not thinking better of using orange at that time. In that case I should have used green.

    I personally still prefer solid colors, stripes are IMO more trouble than they're worth.
  16. -Spiff- Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 9, 2005
    star 4
    What specifically do you not like about stripes? I have yet to think of a disadvantage, but would be interested to know when they are.

    -Spiff
  17. DorkmanScott Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 6
    Well, not that there's necessarily a "disadvantage" in having them, although it seems like breaking up the blade would be dangerous -- there's a lot of occasions where you only catch a little glimpse of lightsaber under someone's arm or something, and if you had a black stripe there it wouldn't show up. But then again if it didn't show up you wouldn't have to replace it, so points there.

    Really I'm just thinking of the time factor. I don't see the stripes adding enough value or ease in post to warrant taking the time on-set to make it happen, when a solid color is just one length of tape and you're off.
  18. VaporTrail Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 19, 2002
    star 6
    For my nighttime shoots, I've been using props covered with white duct tape, with a red stripe near the tip and base. It looks pretty decent, reflects a fair amount of light to keep it visible without any noticeable reflections blurring past the blade's borders.
    Though, that might look kinda cool.

    I used the same props for a couple of daytime shoots, and while I probably got lucky with my location and the excessive sunlight, they do tend to stand out rather well. The white catches the light, and there's also some heavy shadows when they're held in certain places. Sometimes I lose sight of where the tip ends, but can still see enough to get it pretty close.
    [image=http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v511/Vaportrail1519/1.jpg]

    Some of the fading may be do to the composite capture/DVD rip with this footage. It could be clearer in HD, not sure yet.

    -Vaportrail
  19. Funk-E Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 11, 2003
    star 6
    Would using some kind of reflective tape make any difference? Day-glo orange or green stuff, I mean?
  20. VaporTrail Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 19, 2002
    star 6
    I'd imagine you would get some good light bounce to help it stand out. If it's a bright color like you mentioned, I can't imagine there'd be any real downside, as long as you use a color that contrasts with your background.

    The worst thing that could happen is too much reflection while it's moving around, but the roto work should be able to cover that up so it's not noticeable. If you mean reflective like a road sign, odds are you're gonna get quite a bit of light bouncing off, and I wonder if that real aura surrounding the prop would help the effect feel more real itself.

    Closest I've come to this is clear packing tape over the white duct tape, but if I'm thinking of the right stuff, you may even have too much reflection if you're in a bright area.

    -Vaportrail
  21. Lt_Janglez Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Aug 17, 2008

    anyone know any free movie editing software to make star wars videos and effects?


  22. storm8105 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 1, 2008
    star 1
    You could use Darth Komar's tutorial for lightsaber's in blender, which is a free 3d program.
    zip: http://www.mediafire.com/?hmjns24w1d2
  23. DarthKomar Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 22, 2007
    star 3
    I see my tutorial has been going around :)
  24. JTSkywalker Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Oct 12, 2008
    Hi, I am wondering, I am trying to make a short hilted blue double bladed working(Force FX) lightsaber is there any tips and requirements?
  25. Evil-Henchman Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 17, 2004
    star 4
    A great resource for building your own LED saber is The Custom Saber Shop. You can buy all the parts there and they have a forum section with tutorials on building your own LED saber.

    You can also try Ultra Sabers. They specialize in converting Master Replicas FX sabers into Luxeon LED sabers that you can spar with and have made a coupler before to join two Darth Vader hilts together to make a double-bladed lightsaber (with blades that lighted up blue). I found that one on ebay.
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