I have always liked lightning, especially force lightning, but the only ways that I could find of making it were either using After Effects (expensive), or MainVision (more than I feel like spending and cheesy-looking). So, after a few days of tweaking, I came up with this.
I rendered the lightning core with Blender and performed the blurs with the GIMP. Since I made this picture, I have worked on making animated lightning that looks exactly like the one in the still. I believe that I have achieved it, using completely free programs and no python script. I would post the video, but I do not have a website :(. In the future, I hope to write a tutorial on how to do it.

Looks very close to what I’ve seen out of After Effects. I’m a newb here but that looks very promising. I for one, am extremely interested in a tutorial. Keep up the good work.

very interesting however i think you could do everything in blender if you take the background image and load it into the sequencer and then model the lighting object in another scene then sequence the lighting with the glow effect and light saber effect and then overlap that on the background scene…complicated but it would be completely blender! :wink:

I too would like to be able to do it completely in Blender, but I was not happy with the glow effect from the sequence editor. For the animation, I did the glows in Cinepaint (using the Gaussian blur). I then used Blender’s sequence editor to put everything together. Here ( is the After Effects tutorial after which I modeled the lightning.

Here is a link to a video I made of the lightning that is animated. I messed some stuff up, but alltogether, I am rather happy with it. (1.3 megabytes).

It looks good, but it’s not believable, because it doesn’t brighten the rest of the scene. The leaves on the trees, your face, your body, these should be lit by the lighting, and also, it could get reflected lightly on the snow.
I believe these could be done by altering the color properties of the image at certain parts, but I’m not sure, however to make it look believable, these are definietly needed imho, because at this time it doesn’t look like it’s part of the scene.
BTW, I’m talking about the animation, the still is much more believable.