Laser Test

A very simple Revenge of the Sith inspired laser test.

Two slightly different angles in each of the following animations.

My first time using haloes, I wanted to see what kind of effect I could get. I’m pretty pleased with the result, even if it only took a couple of hours total.


Edit again:

use this link, and then click the links to the two (now three) files.[email protected]

wtf are those links?
they don’t work.

problem fixed: see above edit.

Briefcase only seemed to allow direct linking on my machine, even when I wasn’t logged in, so I assumed that it would work for everyone. Clearly, it didn’t. This means 1 extra click for all of you, but the files are now d/l-able.

it’s very nice
How exactly did you do it?


All done using simple in-blender methods, no post pro, no textures.

The starfield is blender’s own, accessable in the world buttons, mist, stars, physics tab.

Each laserbolt is made up of two meshes, each directly on top of the other. One’s material settings makes up the brighter core of the bolt, the other’s the colored outline. The meshes are just lines, subdivided many times in order to make the halos, which will appear at each vertex, look continuous. Under material settings, click the halo button to access the halo settings.
The mesh that I chose to make up the lighter core of the laserbolt uses the rings button, the mesh that makes up the “glow” around it does not.
I copied the meshes of a single bolt multiple times, and arranged them in a line, then duplicated the line into the 4 lines of bolts you see in the animation.

Most of my time was spent fooling around with the halo size, hard, add, and [alpha (under material settings tab)] settings. I tweaked them until I found settings that looked the most believable.

The animation portion of it was done by positioning the meshes away from the camera, inserting a location keyframe at the first frame, and then, moving the frame of animation to 90 (assuming 30 frames per second) and finally, moving the meshes to a location in which they were all past the camera. Then, I switched interpolation mode to linear.

When rendering, make sure to use the unifed renderer, or else things look all messed up in the animation (but not in stills). That messed me up for a short time.

hope that is enough to get you stared. If not, just say so, and I’ll be happy to post the .blend, and answer any specific questions you might have.

I’m not getting anything on the link you posted. Maybe try imageshack?

hmm… you are right. I don’t know what is going on though, the link is still valid, but it just isn’t working. I logged in, but even when logged in, I can’t access the files… I’ve used image shack before, but I can’t host .avi files there, can I? Don’t they only support images? This is rather disturbing, as the hosting that I am using was paid for. Looks like I got ripped off… or maybe yahoo’s servers are messed up for some reason. I don’t know… Anyone know of decent free hosting for .avi files?

In a few hours I will have finished rendering one final laser test. It is mostly a lighting test, putting the lasers into an indoor setting. After that, if I decide to continue working on it, I’ll probably make a wip thread, but seing as this is still a “test,” it is probably ok to post it here… that is if I can get it hosted :frowning:

I’ve seen used successfully for AVI hosting.

Latest file can be accessed here.[email protected]

(it seems to be working now) crosses fingers

click on the .avi file “Lasertest_room”

Final test is mostly of light interaction within an interior space. Tell me what you think.

works nicely.

good job

Ah, works now.

Looks nice. I think they would be slightly more believable if you added motion blur, sped them up a bit, and made them more teardrop-shaped (stretched as long as your cylinders are now). Still, even the way they are, they look nice.

yup, basic problem is the speed, and looks like they’re on a curve (speed up) as one piece, as opposed to either each one speeding up (they’d get closer) or constant speed, which would make more sense. (not that sw lasers are physically believable anyway)
light and color is cool, if a bit over the top :slight_smile: bet then again, so is SW.

@slikdigit & pickle:

  1. Motion blur:
    That is something I’d like to add, where would I go to achieve that effect? mblur in the render buttons window? I can’t seem to find any documentation on that particular feature, but I’d really like to add it in.

  2. Speed: I agree, it doesn’t look realistic. Right now the ipo is linear, so the bolts appear to speed up simply because of camera perspective. They still look a lot like somebody just stuck a bunch of laserbolts in the same plane and moved the plane towards the camera. One thing I thought about trying to do would be to randomize the direction in which the bolts travel, creating the inaccuracy that you would expect to find caused by the kickback of an automatic weapon. If I had it so that, for example, every bolt would start to speed up individually after passing a certain point, then the distance between bolts would increase as they became closer to the camera. I’m not sure, but somehow I think this would look rather funky, I’ll have to try it and see what happens.

  3. Shape: The bolts were made just using halos, so no cylinders there :slight_smile: I still think, however, that I will be able to change the shape of the bolts. I have a few ideas.

  4. Color: The color thrown by the laserbolts has too wide an effect. It was done using regular lamps parented to the laserbolts. I can’t seem to find a good way to focus the light to influence a smaller area of the surroundings. I suppose I could change the material settings of the walls, but that would mess up the room lighting. I had to set the lamp settings to “sphere” so that the light wouldn’t overpower the scene even more than it is now. Still, you can see the radius of influence is rather small. Light is visible on the walls and floor, but none on the ceiling at all. This, of course, isn’t believable. Again, I’m not sure how to achieve the desired effect, any ideas? Any way to achieve interesting shadows in the anim. without using raytracing? The laserbolt lights do not appear to cast any shadows at all. I’m not sure if it would be any better if they did or not though…

Thanks for your help

I thought that this would be just a quickie test, which is why I posted it in the finished projects area. Since I would like to continue working on it, any further updates, I will post in the wips section in a new thread, I’ll link to it here, though.

exacltly, mblur in the render window…
be aware, that this subsamples your scene temporaly, so render times will be x5 or 8 or 16 , depending on your settings. You can turn of OSA to help; mblur does a reasonable job of antialiasing.
there’s also a blur factor, which governs how much blur there is influencing from the subframes- you can think of this as being similar to shutter speed.

:smiley: as to the speed, it’s neat that perspective gives that impression!
I still think the whole thing has to be faster. As to the light… you could do two spherical lights one dimmer than the other, or try the quad button to see if that gives a nicer attenuation. You probably also don’t really need one light per bolt- try one per 4 or 5, your bolts are so close together…

another suggestion is to space the bolts further apart, or play with that to see how it looks…

another one is to play with texturing the lamps- you can get some neat lighting effects that way…

hmm, that is interesting, I didn’t know you could texture lamps. That is definately something to look into. My texturing experiences is very limited, All I’ve reall done are materials and some procedurals, although I hear that blender’s lcsm tools are very good. I do believe that I will be looking at some tutorials rather shortly, as that is one thing I want to get into when I continue this. Some very good ideas that I wouldn’t have thought of to try out there, thanks a lot!

and mblur, I assume the numbers under it relate to how big of a blur effect there is? I am also assuming that somehow blender is able to calculate motion in the scene between individual frames in order to determine exactly how to blur certain elements, since there is only that one variable that can be changed. If so, then can it be used for single frames? (ie a still image) how would it work then?

looks pretty cool like something a space craft would use to fly out of

Interesting animation, Have you thought of experimenting with particle emitters for the lasers? I’ve done missile launches and mini-gun stuff with particle emitters. That might help with the generation of the laser beams at least.



sounds like a great idea!
It may be a while before the next update, I have so many things to learn and experiment with. I havn’t done anything with particles yet, so that should be fun to try. I’m starting by “beefing up” the hallway a bit, making it look a little more real. Then I’ll add some weapons for those lasers to be firing from, and finally, I’ll tweak the animation itself.
This should be quite fun…