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"Blast 'Em!!:" Creating Blaster FX
Part 4: Adding a Muzzle Flash
by Jedi Knight Toren Depor

1) Create a new model (File>New>Model) named Muzzle Flash. Create a spline shaped similar to the one in Figure 4-1. It doesn't need to be exactly like the one below, but it should look something like it.

Figure 4-1

2) Select one of the CP's on this spline and lathe it (L). Select the top cross section and enter 1 into all 3 of the scale fields on the Group tab of the Properties panel. Do the same with the bottom cross section.

Figure 4-2

3) Select the "Muzzle Flash" model in the Project Workspace and go to the Color tab on the Properties Panel. Set the color to White and increase the Ambiance to 100. Switch to the Reflectivity tab and turn Glowing on.

4) Open the "Orange Blast" Choreography from Part 3: Creating a Simple Firing Animation. Drag and drop the "Muzzle Flash" model into the choreography. Position and rotate the model so that the large fat end of the muzzle flash rests against the muzzle of the Battle Droid's rifle. Rescale it if needed.

Figure 4-4

5) Go to Frame 0 and select the "Shortcut to Muzzle Flash" in the Project Workspace. and uncheck Active on the General tab of the Properties Panel. Jump to Frame 2 and turn Active on. Go to Frame 3 and turn it off again.


19.1 KB

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 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


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