ILM Lightsabers - 'The Phantom Menace' Version

Discussion in 'Fan Films, Fan Audio & SciFi 3D' started by Bushy162, Oct 21, 2011.

Moderators: AdamBertocci
  1. VaporTrail Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 19, 2002
    star 6
    Disagree.
    [image=http://img24.imageshack.us/img24/2167/01test.jpg]
    ForceFX Lightsaber Reference Footage

    It wouldn't be the same brightness as a bulb in a still position because, in the nature of motion blur, the camera is taking a picture of the light source and the image behind it. The amount of brightness is dimmer because it is spread out over a wider area than if it were just standing still and that area is mixed with the brightness level of the background. Now, if you're twirling your saber at the hilt, the tip of the blade is going to be fanning farther the base, so the tip would be a little bit dimmer.

    The effect you're talking about sounds more like light painting, and has been achieved by many using slow shutter speeds, then you get something like this:
    [image=http://www.booooooom.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/07/lightdrawing_nick.jpg]
  2. Bushy162 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 27, 2011
    star 1
    Yeah, well it looks like you're right then. I must admit, I'd assumed that bright lights worked differently from normal objects, but it seems you're right. It's kind of disappointing cos lightsabers look better the NON-realistic way :/
  3. VaporTrail Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 19, 2002
    star 6
    That's the balance I think most of us are looking for. Somewhere between something that looks like it's part of the footage and is also aesthetically accurate to how we think of lightsabers.
    If you like how yours look and that's how you want to do them, then you shouldn't listen to a word we say.


    But they'll look more real if you do it like this. :p
  4. Kaat Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 5, 2004
    star 4
    I'm not sure if I agree here. I always assumed that the point of the 'wrong' lightsaber effects (aka fanning pure-white core) was to illustrate that those sabers are just damn bright on one hand, and that they are in fact changing their physical shape when moved on the other hand. Yes, I really wrote that - I think a lightsaber does indeed fan out, not just its appearance, when moved. That's why it's kinda easy to block blaster bolts with it and why Jedi keep twirling them for no apparent reason: maximum defense mode.

    It all makes perfect sense that way.
  5. ElectroFilms Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 13, 2007
    star 3
    Never thought about that before. Does make a bit of sense.
  6. Bushy162 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 27, 2011
    star 1
    I'VE JUST ACHIEVED ONE OF THE LOOKS IN TPM !!! At last!

    This is the common look:

    [image=http://i1143.photobucket.com/albums/n637/Bushy162/Screenshot2011-10-31at194602.png]

    This is the look in the massive platform room with the electric beams going up:

    [image=http://i1143.photobucket.com/albums/n637/Bushy162/Screenshot2011-10-30at133352.png]

    And this is the look in the hanger where they get their sabers out:

    [image=http://i1143.photobucket.com/albums/n637/Bushy162/Screenshot2011-10-31at211436.png]
  7. Kaat Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 5, 2004
    star 4
    Why do you even want the TPM look so much? It's not like the footage you're trying it on looks anything like the TPM footage, so therefore the effects won't fit it anyway.
  8. Bushy162 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 27, 2011
    star 1
    Because TPM look is the best digital lightsaber effect out there (arguably better than the IV V and VI). It's extremely realistic and wonderfully aesthetic, and being the artist that I am, it really matters to me that mine look like that. It's the love of the look.

    Well, I think I've just proved that TPM look can be achieved on completely different footage. It wasn't easy! But I have managed it.
  9. Kaat Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 5, 2004
    star 4
    I don't think so. The glows of the TPM sabers often interact much more with the background than the standard glow you achieve by blurring several saber layers.

    Apart from that, the TPM sabers are so extremely inconsistent (and they don't always look good) that I am not sure how much point is there in trying to pursuit 'that' look. You obviously agree with me on that, since you've posted three completely different images of the same shot with different glows.
  10. VaporTrail Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 19, 2002
    star 6
    I do understand wanting to achieve the "look" you prefer the most. I figured mine out a while ago:
    [image=http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v511/Vaportrail1519/EMPIRE_STRIKES_BACK-0.jpg] [image=http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v511/Vaportrail1519/HD-1.jpg]

    Even then, I can look at TPM
    [image=http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-hLajyiTZ4Dk/Tm44QU9mB8I/AAAAAAAAAHw/Y1haxIcl-QU/s1600/starwars1_3600.jpg]
    Then look over at something like Ryan vs. Dorkman
    [image=http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v511/Vaportrail1519/RvDC-3.jpg]
    And then think "Eh, close enough." The colors are different, but the look as you're trying to find it, with the off-white or transparent core, I always thought of as a result of iffy color correction, compositing or compression after the effect had been added. Given the pure white core of the other films, it always seemed like a flaw.
  11. Teague Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 9, 2006
    star 4
    A little late for this point, but I don't think EL lightsabers not being ultimately-bright during a fanning motion is evidence that lightsabers wouldn't. The EL tubes are kind of "lol-not-really" bright, and lightsabers are supposedly so bright they over expose the camera even in broad daylight.
  12. Bushy162 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 27, 2011
    star 1
    CLOSURE:

    Yeah, nice work with those. Well I'm happy with (delighted with) the effect that I've achieved. So I'd say I've figured mine out as well.

    But here's one more SUPREME effort of mine:

    [image=http://i1143.photobucket.com/albums/n637/Bushy162/Screenshot2011-11-01at123716.png]

    It's been good talking with you guys, thanks a lot [face_peace]
  13. VaporTrail Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 19, 2002
    star 6
    It's entirely possible. I can't think of a good way to prove it, but the EL sabers are our best best for showing what a lightsaber *might* do. So, assuming the fanning causes the saber to dim a little, the EL shows that it would be brighter near the axis than the tip. That's the main point to take away from it for the discussion we were having. Bushy's method of turning down the entire opacity is what I was attempting to call into question, I don't particularly care for that look (though I think that last screenshot is his best one yet. Good balance).

    Again, just how bright these things are comes to personal taste. I leave my core solid when I animate because frankly, it's easier and it's accepted as normal, but I do quite like the look of The Force Unleashed trailer's motion blurred sabers.
  14. Bushy162 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 27, 2011
    star 1
    Hey VaporTrail, I should have thought of this before; you know that image you uploaded of obi-wan & qui-gon getting their sabers out - well the Blu-Ray version is very different. What's more, this is only a very low quality version from StarWars.com!


    [image=http://i1143.photobucket.com/albums/n637/Bushy162/Screenshot2011-11-03at120448.png]

    It seems that this shot was compressed originally, or had a filter on top. With the Blu-Ray version, it seems they've taken that off to reveal a more original look.

    This could be KEY knowledge of the TPM effect.
  15. Bushy162 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 27, 2011
    star 1
    You mean like this:

    [image=http://i1143.photobucket.com/albums/n637/Bushy162/Screenshot2011-11-03at182847.png]

    [:D]

    SUCCESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :_| [face_laugh] :_| [face_dancing] [:D] :cool:
  16. Teague Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 9, 2006
    star 4
    I've gotta say, I love the look of those sabers. And I don't think I'd ever seen anyone try the "inverted color over the core" trick, that's all you.

    Strong work, sir.
  17. Bushy162 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 27, 2011
    star 1
    Oh thanks very much Teague :) Sorry I've been ignoring your posts. It just cos they were nice so I had nothing to argue with ha!

    Yeah I'm really happy with this, especially with the opposite colours :)

    Cheers again.
  18. Ende Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 18, 2006
    star 1
  19. VaporTrail Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 19, 2002
    star 6
    That is kind of cool. It might be an alternative for those who don't quite like the Jedi573's daytime method or have a scene where the colors are kinda funky.

    I think you've got the core down, but by comparison, the glows seem off a bit yet. I think it needs more saturation or a lower opacity on whatever the lightly colored, highly blurred layers are. The auras are quite pale.
    I don't think I'd use this for my nighttime shots, but I'll give it a whirl on the daytime scene, see what I can come up with. Actually, there is a scene I did that took place on a very dark setting so even the distant light sources are kind of washed out and I didn't think the regular method fit in. I'll give it a whirl there as well, see how it looks.

    Bushy, what was the exact method here, so I can duplicate it?
    Also, does anyone have the TPM Blu-Ray (and a BR drive) handy so they could get some screenshots of how the sabers look?
  20. ElectroFilms Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 13, 2007
    star 3
    Maybe I have the funky-eyes, but I'm really not feeling the last frame. I at least liked when the core represented the color of the glow if it was going to have a color, not a Red saber with a green core, a blue and a pink and a green with a magenta...idk
  21. Bushy162 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 27, 2011
    star 1
    [image=http://i1143.photobucket.com/albums/n637/Bushy162/Screenshot2011-11-04at123147.png]

    This better? :cool:
  22. Kaat Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 5, 2004
    star 4
    The last one is nice, but the one before with the inverted core colors is nonsense, imo. Now let's see them in motion, yeah?
  23. ElectroFilms Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 13, 2007
    star 3
    I do like the cores better. Now, If you can mix that last result with


    [image=http://i1143.photobucket.com/albums/n637/Bushy162/Screenshot2011-11-04at123147.png]
    +
    [image=http://i1143.photobucket.com/albums/n637/Bushy162/Screenshot2011-11-01at123716.png]
    =
    I love what you did to the blue saber in this one. Maybe just toned down a bit. If you did the same with the green and red that would be pretty awesome. Just giving the core that slight tint of the same color as the glow gives the it that TFU look that I think both Chris and I like so much.

    So to sum up my thoughts:
    -What you did to the blue saber in the later pic, make the rest match it.
    -Tone down the result EVER so slightly, just to give the apperance that they are still emitting light.

    My opinion again, That's a saber i would make.
  24. Robi-Wan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 2006
    star 4
    Heh, nice to see the picture I made with my own designed hilts comes in handy. Looking good.
  25. Joel_K Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 2007
    star 2
    I do like how the cores are slightly transparent but wouldn't there be an issue with seeing your prop blade through it?
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