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lightsabre effects

I know its the oldest trick in the book, im only doing it in a mock film, but how do you put lightsabres into a film. I have adobe after effects 6.5. Can someone tell me how to do it or direct me somewhere that can tell me. the help guide is crap and gives no proper information. Do i have to go through it frame by frame? Im not very accustomed to the programme so I dont really know how to use it thus ar. Any help would be great. Lepo

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When I do Lightsaber effect I use Adobe Photoshop and Premiere. I do frame by frame it take some time but it looks good.

Thanks Lao, How exactly can I take it frame by frame, what do i have to select to enable me to do this. is it possible to do it without photoshop? Lepo

I've done the lightsaber trick a couple of times in After Effects. It's not really difficult, just a bit time consuming. I'm going to assume that you have a basic knowledge of After Effects. First thing you do is import the clip that requires the effect. Make that clip your base layer in your composition. I usually lock the base layer at this point so I don't accidentally shift it around. Next create a new solid color layer. Now apply a mask to this layer. You will now be able to change the appearance of the layer using the four corner points. Now a light saber is basically a long thin rectangle. So adjust the shape of the layer mask till it's in the right position for the sword. It's much easier to do this if your actors have been holding sticks that are roughly the right shape and size. Then you just follow the shape of the sticks Now start keyframing. Make a starting key frame, then go through the footage to the next frame of significant change for the light saber. Add another keyframe and change the color mask to match the new position. If you go back to the first position and watch through to the second keyframe you should see the color mask box moving along with the sword. It will be rough, but after you get through the entire clip once, you can go back and smooth it out. Once you get the movement on the color mask box smooth with your footage you can actually make the sword look right. Pick a color for your color mask like green or blue. This will be the color of the saber. Now go into the mask settings and feather the edges a bit. Somewhere around 30 or 40 might look good. Now make an exact copy of the color mask layer, but change it's color to white. Feather the edges on this one to 60 or 70. This will make the glow a little more pronounced. That's essentially it. For multiple sabers just create multiple layers If none of this makes sense I think [url]http://www.theforce.net[/url] has a video tutorial of the same process. --Trey

Trey, your a gent. cheers Lepo

CaptainStubby did great