The Lightsaber Effects Thread

Discussion in 'Fan Films, Fan Audio & SciFi 3D' started by krnbanguboi, Oct 23, 2005.

Moderators: AdamBertocci
  1. DK_Force85 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 13, 2006
    star 4
    But then the sabers wouldn't stand out.
  2. BruceM Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 8, 2006
    star 4
    Yea, but with how dark the picture is now, surely a nice bit of IL would be seen, I would imagine.
  3. jedi573 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 24, 2005
    star 1
    Yeah, the original image is pretty dark.

    I was trying to decide whether to lighten it up, or leave it dark and add some interactive lighting.

    I neglected to do either! However, if you guys have any feedback on the yellow sword as it looks now, that would be great. If good feedback isn't possible without the aforementioned tweaks to the image, I'll fix that up when I get back home. (I'm not on my own computer at the moment.)

    Thanks. :)

    Andy
  4. Lordduckx Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Mar 28, 2007
    Hey guys,

    I'm relatively new to special fx, and like most others here enjoyed ryan v dorkman (and such)

    I'm also part of Campus Movie Festival (due on Tuesday for those that don't know, which means all day editing tomorrow) and have about a minute fight sequence involving lightsabers and the such.

    now I *could* use videocopilot's which I have done in the past.... but if Dorkman's responses were anything to go by, that doesn't seem quite up to par.

    So I was wondering if anyone could point me to the most "up to date" way to do it. I am familiar with after effects and masking, as well the general techniques with the program

    any and all help would be appreciated :)
    thanks guys
  5. Vidina Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 11, 2006
    star 4
  6. jedi573 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 24, 2005
    star 1
    The aforementioned image, with the original background plate re-lightened.

    Click on image.
    [image=http://img269.imageshack.us/img269/9250/nateroto2b.jpg]

    :)

    Andy
  7. Mae Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 25, 2004
    star 3
    just plain awesome.
    i really like how the yellow blade has a slight tinge of yellow going on in the core itself.
    it's something i've been trying to do myself, but mine have been either extreme or not enough. very esb-like
  8. VaporTrail Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 19, 2002
    star 6
    Yeah, that yellow has the effect I was looking for however many pages back. Great daytime saber.

    I assume you're using the same method, or have you tweaked it some?
  9. jedi573 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 24, 2005
    star 1
    Mae,

    Thanks for the feedback! Your opinion means a lot, so I appreciate it. I think you're right; it does have a vague sort of ESB feel to it. I think I'll watch that flick again to get a better idea of how those swords looked.

    VaporTrail, it's the same method as before! I didn't lighten the core as much (as one of the final steps) in this one as usual, but it's a very minor tweak; bringing it back towards white is just a mouse click or two of difference. Same method as posted before.

    A very stimulating effect is to have the core colored (as in that shot) when it's still, but brighten up more towards white when it fans out. In motion it's a very cool look, and adds a certain aesthetic dynamic to the movement of the sword in the shot.

    Andy
  10. VaporTrail Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 19, 2002
    star 6
    Anyone care to see a draft edit of an FKaD shot? I've changed a few things since the trailer.
    Shot 01-12

    Get it while the link still works. Approx 3mb.
    It's still in 1.333px and it'll be cropped to 2.35, but you should get the idea for the general look.
  11. drewjmore Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 15, 2007
    star 4
    gotta be a way to subdue those bg streetlights: they blow out a bit more than your contact flares even.

    I see the stick for the yellow blade on frame 4.

    other than that, looks real to me.
  12. VaporTrail Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 19, 2002
    star 6
    Haha! I can barely see the props if I can see them at all in a lot of these frames and you spotted one I missed the tip on. That's hilarious.
    I also noticed I didn't fill in all my keyframe gaps at the very end of red, so it does need some touching up still.

    I'm not too concerned with the lights being overexposed. Normally I'd totally agree with you and fix it right away, but I'm trying to pump all the detail I can out of the darker areas. I could bring it down a little, or theoretically even track a mask around them just to bring the surrounding area down, but I don't think it's bad enough to be distracting to the layman.

    Also, bright lights in the surrounding environment are sort of a motif of the film overall. It's supposed to be a sort of a visual indicator that the thing constantly in the back of everyone's mind is lightsabers. That doesn't mean they should be blown out, and I'm pretty sure they're not in other scenes, but with this location they may just have to be. The overexposed look of the sabers is supposed to somewhat match the exposure levels on the light sources. If I were to post the shot right after this one, you would see what I mean (especially if they were in the same color).
  13. drewjmore Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 15, 2007
    star 4
    Oh, I know; is what it is.
    I've just been working with footage blown out at both ends, so it's up front in my mind.

    Could be the obvious thing, but I tried this:
    dup your footage layer
    slide the black point way into the brights, blur it a bit and set that as a luma track matte over a
    2nd dup of your footage layer with a few-pixel blur and maybe a lowered opacity.

    Pretty minimal rendering performance hit, only affects the over-brights, takes the edges off of the highlights.

    2 screen caps flickering, 6 meg dl:
    http://www.vimeo.com/9303425
    obviously, you would do it before the saber effects are added...
  14. VaporTrail Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 19, 2002
    star 6
    And prior to it being rendered blown out. That's prolly why I only notice a minimal difference in your clip.
    I'll toy with it some. Thanks for the tip.
  15. page360 Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jan 17, 2010
    If i follow the http://rhys-works.com/vfx-tutorials/lightsabers method how can i achieve a good red color?
    anyone know the numbers for color balance?

    btw i made 2 trailers of my movie
    i used video copilot preset lightsaber but i don´t like it.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z1daJXJua4U

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TVp7CTw4kiA
  16. Vidina Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 11, 2006
    star 4
    Red is a tricky color when on anything but a very dark background. There are a few tricks, though, to make them appear less pink in lighter surroundings. You can set the blend mode to add, and set your workspace to linear. That will reduce the blowout of the additive blend mode, thus making the color more prominent. Applying a second color balance set to not preserve luminosity with red shadows put to 100%. This could also be done in a separate, duplicate composition. Applying a photo filter or hue/saturation can also help making the red look more red.

    However, if you're trying to go for a "realistic" result, leave it as it is. Red light, in reality, will get a pink-ish hue when in a bright setting, and treating lightsabers any different can result in a AotC/RotS-esque glow, leaving them completely awkward-looking, and realistically unreal.
  17. Kaat Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 5, 2004
    star 4
    I think that there are certain situations when you can add red shadows in the Color Balance without a problem. It will make for a deeper, richer red.
  18. Ricky_Calrissian Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 17, 2008
    star 3
    Quick question: when doing sabers in Ae, would you use Linear blending? Or does it not really matter?
  19. BruceM Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 8, 2006
    star 4
    Hello. Recently I started using Shake, and here is my first lightsaber with it

    http://files.me.com/brucem91/5p34qw.mov

    Please tell me what you think

    BruceM
  20. Psilaef_Zeias Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 17, 2006
    star 1
    Just curious: Has anyone attempted/shot a saber duel with a DSLR? Would the rolling shutter make it look like a limp noodle fight?
  21. BenMcEwan Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2008
    star 3
    I don't. Saber glows look kinda weird in a linear workspace. It's the only time I'll ever do things incorrectly for the sake of creativity ;)
  22. madhorizons Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 10, 2006
    star 3
    Paging Spiff...you still around? LOL

    I actually had a bunch of tests showing the various transfer modes and linear/etc, but can't find them any more :(
  23. -Spiff- Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 9, 2005
    star 4
    You ought to blend with linear gamma and "add" mode, preferably in 32-bpcc.

    -Spiff
  24. VaporTrail Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 19, 2002
    star 6
    So I found myself watching Essence of the Force today (gotta love the classics).
    Did we ever figure out just how these guys did their saber effects? I always find myself admiring them for having "realistic" motion blur, in that the blade becomes partially transparent at certain speeds. My own studies have shown this would probably be the case. I can't decide if they're practical glowing props that only have light effects applied, effects applied just part of the time, or if they actually tweaked the opacity when the blade was in motion. Or something else I'm not thinking of.
    I figure as an effect, it could prolly be achieved with a simple gray blade devoid of tracking markers. That might make it possible for the prop to remain unseen. They did have what looked to be real interactive lighting though. And this was out in 2001, before Episode II. Ahead of it's time.

    I'm not completely satisfied with how it looks, but it's something I've been on/off considering as the next step in perfecting my glows.
  25. Kaat Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 5, 2004
    star 4
    Looks pretty much like your standard AE motion blur to me, only with a very high angle in your composition settings. I think that would give results like this.
Moderators: AdamBertocci