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"An elegant weapon, for a more civilized age:" Creating Lightsabre FX
Part 5: Animating the Lightsabre
by Jedi Knight Toren Depor

Of course what good is a Lightsabre if it can't be animated? The following tutorials show you how to make your Lightsabre pulse, activate and deactivate, blur, and fight just like "real lightsabres" do.

  Animation #1: Making the Lightsabre Pulse
    Animating the ambiance of the glowing materials so that they pulse.
  Animation #2: Making the Lightsabre Activate and Deactivate
    Animating the ambiance and the scale of the blade.
  Animation #3: Making the Lightsabre Swing
    Making the sabre appear to stretch as it is swung.
  Animation #4: Creating a Lightsabre Duel
    Making two lightsabres produce a clashing effect when they collide.

Part 1: Observation and References of Lightsabres
    A list of observations about the nature of Lightsabre blades, as well as visual references.
Part 2: Modeling and Texturing the Lightsabre Blade
    Creating a Lightsabre shaped plane that glows.
Part 3: Preparing the Lightsabre for Animation
    Adding a simple skeleton and creating two poses.
Part 4: Creating Lightsabre Collision and Blaster Deflection Lens Flares
    Creating a lens flare using A:M's built-in lens flare tools.

Completed Project File 70.4 KB
    Contains all of the materials, models, actions, and choreographies used in this tutorial.
Tutorial: Off-Line Version 996KB
    All of these tutorials downloadable as a ZIP Archive.
Tutorial: Off-Line Version 1.06MB
    All of these tutorials downloadable as a SIT Archive.

Tutorial by Jedi Knight Toren Depor (a.k.a. Filmmaker Matt Pfingsten)
Special Thanks to
Hal Hickel of ILM for verifying the existence of lightsabre shadows
Loring Veenstra for Beta testing my lightsabre tutorial
Jan Horjus for Beta testing my lightsabre tutorial
TheForce.Net for hosting this tutorial
Hash Inc. for making such powerful 3D software
George Lucas for creating Star Wars



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