"Blast 'Em!!:" Creating Blaster FX
by Jedi Knight Toren Depor
As cool as Lightsabres are, only a handful of Star Wars characters can wield them. For the rest of the galaxy, they have blasters. From big-bad turbolasers onboard capital ships to tiny handheld weapons like Han's blaster, good looking lasers are as essential to the visual feeling of Star Wars as lightsabres and Jedi Knights.
Like the rest of my Star Wars tutorials, this guide to creating lasers begins with an observation section to make sure that our effects are as accurate and true to the films as possible. The rest of the tutorial is a detailed explanation of creating this trademark effect to the smallest detail.
NOTE: All of my tutorials use centimeters as the unit of measurement and SMPTE as the measurement of time. To alter these settings, go to Tools>Options>Units Tab and change the "Unit of measurement" to Centimeters and "Show time as" to SMPTE (00:00:00).
1) Animation:Master version 6.0 and above
2) Cactusbud Studios Battle Droid Model (included with project file)
Part 1: Observations and References of Blaster Bolts
An analysis of the different types of laser fire, including stun blasts, and various related effects.
Part 2: Creating a Blaster Bolt
Creating a long and narrow cylinder with tapered ends and a glowing texture.
Part 3: Creating a Simple Firing Animation
Creating a path between the muzzle of the gun and the target.
Part 4: Adding a Muzzle Flash
Modeling and animating a simple muzzle flash effect.
Part 5: Adding an Impact Explosion
Creating the nice little explosion that occurs when a blaster bolt hits a metal object like a battle droid.
Part 6: Adding an Impact Flare
Making the flare that appears when a blaster bolt strikes a person.
Completed Project File 1.58 MB
Contains all of the materials, models, actions, and choreographies used in this tutorial.
Tutorial: Off-Line Version 217KB
All of these tutorials downloadable as a ZIP Archive.
Tutorial: Off-Line Version 222KB
All of these tutorials downloadable as a SIT Archive.
Tutorial by Jedi Knight Toren Depor (a.k.a. Filmmaker Matt Pfingsten)
Special Thanks to
The Animaster Mailing List for providing such great feedback and support on all of my tutorials.
TheForce.Net for hosting this tutorial
Cactusbud Studios for their Battle Droid Model
Hash Inc. for making such powerful 3D software
George Lucas for creating Star Wars