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Tutorials

Tutorials for Filmmaking

In this tutorial section you will find original articles on story development, script writing, filming, costume design, special FX, and more. So, take some time and read from those who have gone on before you and applied their skill to this new genre. And remember, do or do not. There is no try!

General Filmmaking

Guide to Star Wars Filmmaking
by Skyler "Jace Taran" Hall

Preproduction

Star Wars Fan Film Script Writing
by Nathan Butler of Prelude To Hope

How To Write A Short Star Wars Fan Film
Andrew Slater sent us a tutorial that has suggestions of how to go about writing a Star Wars Fan Film script.

Star Wars Fan Films for Dummies!
Brian Trenor wrote an informative tutorial on getting started on your fanfilm.

Production

Production Tutorial
Chris Fergo sent us a tutorial that has many useful tips on the production phase of film making.

Choreography of Lightsaber Battles
This tutorial has suggestions/tips and comments about Lightsaber Battle Choreography. It was taken from the Jedi Council FanFilms forum. The topic was initially started by Tumblemonster with a reply from LoganSaj.

Some Advice on the Shooting and Editing of a Fan Film
This tutorial, written by Christopher Leidenfrost (FilmJedi) has advice on scene structure, cinematography and editing techniques.

Lighting in CGI Scenes
Darryl Roman wrote this tutorial with tips on creating good lighting for your CGI scenes using a 3D program such as 3D Studio Max.

Thoughts On Staged "Lightsaber" Combat
Michael Haspil (Rogue428) has compiled a fantastic reference for executing convincing lightsaber duels. Using instructions, drawings, and video clips he outlines each of the basic techniques and how to combine and counteract them.

Fighting with Lightsabers
This comprehensive tutorial on lightsaber combat from a fighter's point of view was written for TFN FanFilms by John Clements, a professional swordsman and expert of historical fencing techniques.

Postproduction

CODECs and Compressions
CODEC is an abbreviation for COmpression / DECompression. It is critical in developing the fan film to understand the purpose and proper use of one.

Props and Costume Making

Building Your Own Lightsaber
by Brian Young

Creating Classic Costumes
by Amber of the Jedi Meditation Chamber

Adding Lightsaber Blades to Pictures and Films

Choice of Colors for Lightsabers
Choice of color for the blade of your lightsaber can be a very personal decision. It is a relection of the personality of the knight or sith wielding it.

Creating Lightsaber Blades on Existing Photos using Adobe Photoshop 5.5
Add that cool glow to a fake lightsaber photo.

Rotoscoping Lightsabers onto an Adobe Premiere Filmstrip
Well it's been a long wait, but finally the equipment and the techniques are within our grasp!

"An elegant weapon, for a more civilized age:" Creating Lightsabre FX using Animation:Master
No Jedi or Sith is complete without a lightsabre! Jedi Knight Toren Depor has put together this nice tutorial that shows you everything from modeling and texturing the blade, to animating a duel with pulsing blades that activate, swing and blur, as well as deactivate.

Lightsabers and Energy Weapons using Mainvision (Formerly Axogon)
J. Daniel Sawyer has sent in a tutorial for creating lightsabers and blasters using MainVision.

Creating Lightsabers in Ulead
This is for the Video Paint section of Ulead MediaStudio Pro (v. 5 or later).

Step By Step Tutorial to making your Light Saber blade glow.
This is a tutorial by Brent "BrentK7" Keltner to show you how to make an object (intended for a light saber) glow through video post using 3D Studio Max Release 3.

Saber Light
Ryan Fisher has created a program that renders lightsabers in video. This program, which he calls Saber Light, can be downloaded from his site for free.

Rotoscoping Lightsabres in Photoshop
Ryan W has created this video tutorial showing how to create lightsabres glows in Adobe Photoshop. This tutorial is a Quicktime movie file which helps produce great results.

Rotoscoping Lightsabres in Adobe After Effects
Ryan W and Link64PD have created this video tutorial showing how to create lightsabres glows in Adobe After Effects. Who needs the production bundle glow plugin when you can use this method? The tutorial is a Quicktime movie file.

Lightsaber FX in Paint Shop Pro
Michael Smith, aka DarkLordOfSmith in the FanFilms forum, describes step-by-step the process of adding lightsaber glows to your still images using Jasc Paint Shop Pro. The results are most impressive.

Opening Crawl Sequences

Blender Opening Crawl
J. Daniel Sawyer has sent in a tutorial for recreating the opening story crawl using Blender. He has included all the required meshes as well.

Opening Crawl General Information
Jedi Toren has created this useful page packed with essential information for creating the 'front end' of your Star Wars fanfilm, including fonts, colours, logo, style etc. Everything you need to replicate a perfect opening to your fanfilm. Use this in conjunction with one of the opening crawl tutorials to create faithful results.

Opening Crawl using Adobe After Effects
Probably the most requested tutorial. This tutorial is for creating the opening segment which unfolds the story at the beginning of each Star Wars film. Although this tutorial requires the Production Bundle of After Effects, TFN FanFilms is finishing up a tutorial variance for the basic package.

Adobe Opening Crawl Tutorial
The following tutorial by Adobe.com shows how to create the opening crawl using After Effects, Illustrator (although you can use Photoshop), and the Distorion plugin.

'Lucasfilm' Logo
So you want to create your own version of the Lucasfilm logo, but don't know where to begin? Check out this tutorial which uses Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop and After Effects, to help you create your own version of the famous Lucasfilm intro.

Bluescreening using Adobe After Effects
Michael Hobson has created a bluescreening tutorial which covers a lot of techniques including channels. This is a tutorial you will need to learn to create effective CGI with live action shots.

Blue-Screening in Photoshop 5.0+
Darryl Roman has written a tutorial on how to use blue-screening in Adobe Photoshop.

Greenscreening using Adobe After Effects 4.1 upwards
David Nutley has created this tutorial showing how to get the most out of the Adobe After Effects keying functions, to help create good greens/bluescreening. This tutorial does not require the After Effects Production Bundle.

Other Special Effects

"Blast 'Em!!:" Creating Lasers in Animation:Master
Where would Stormtroopers be without blasters? Alive, probably. No bounty hunter, smuggler, or soldier is complete without realistic blaster bolts to fire. Jedi Toren's tutorial covers everything about creating accurate and realistic looking Blaster Bolts.

Forked Force Lightning and Electricity in MainVision (Formerly Axogon)
J. Daniel Sawyer has sent in a tutorial for creating lightning and electricity using MainVision.

Sound Effects
Many of the sound effects you can use on your fan film maybe closer than you think. Dark Forces II: Jedi Knight and The Phantom Menace game have dozens of great effects. If you need the extraction utilities or just would like the .wav files, we have them.

Force Jumping
Jeff Carroll has written a tutorial showing how to create Force Jumping using Ulead Media Studio Pro 6.

Lasers in 3DS Max R3
Darryl Roman shows how to create laser beams using 3D Studio Max.

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