Lightsaber blades

How do you guys do your lightsaber blades?

How do you actually model them? Is there a better way than the heavily subdivided line with a halo material?

What material settings are good? I can’t seem to come up with anything good


this is best achieved using post effects, such as glow. blender has built-in glow in the sequence editor now, so this shoudn’t be a big deal (and much faster then rendering halos)

Well i’m as noob so what you just said was kind of Greek to me. Could you explain this a little better?

How do you use the glow?

The method i am playing around with is to have a sub-d line with around 8 copies parented and a Parent offset for trial effects. Would this still work with the glow?

Would the glow only be for the actual colour or the whole blade including the white hot core? (ie, would i keep white core the way i do it but if the blade is red, use glow for the red?)

Sorry for my noobish ways, but i suppose asking questions is the way to learn

no worries, that’s what those forums are for.

… ok i tried the way i thought it would work but the results weren’t satisfactory at all…

lemme think, maybe i’kll come up with a solution soon

cool, thanks mate!

By the way, using halos, is there any way to let them do the lighting in a scene? Just the blades illuminating whatever? Is that a job for Yafray?

Feels good getting all these Noob questions out in the open!

I’m too lazy to explain in detail the way I do it, but basically I render the animation with shadless white tubes for the blades, with everything else shadeless black, and motion blur on, then in VirtualDub use Levels to make it completely white instead of the normal semitransparent motion blur, and then I basically use the method described on to make the glow, but adapted to Blender and VirtualDub because I don’t have After Effects or a good enough version of Photoshop.

Check out

They mostly use post-production effects.

So what ur saying is if i want good saber effects, post-processing is the way to go?

I recently got Photoshop and am slowly coming to grips with everything. Would this be the way to go?

Do you guys no any tutorials for these sort of effects?

How much Blender and how much Post-pro is needed?

One of the links was to a page for doing it with a Gimp script. Gimp is sort of a free equivalent to Photoshop. It has all the same features but you probably can’t use the script in photoshop.

How much Blender and how much Post-pro is needed?

Post-pro is only needed for the glow in your case so very little. I found an afterglow texture plugin for Blender here:

but I don’t know how to use them. This might be all you need. In other apps like Maya, 3ds max, you get a glow effect built-in for any kind of texture and it’s applied just after the render. I reckon that might well be what the afterglow plugin does.

afterglow consists of two parts - a texture and a sequence plugin. both of them crash on recent builds and are hence not usable. the internal (sequence) glow is far too “weak”, it’s hardly visible.

Oh, in that case don’t use it. Maybe someone else has written a texture glow plugin.

what’s wrong with a heavily subdivided line with halos? :wink:

umm… (trying) … nothing :slight_smile:

When I tried it, I got an uneven distribution of light with a subd line. The halos were darker at the tips. Also, there’s still the problem of getting the thick illuminated pipe in the middle.

I think I would make a cube and scale it up in z. Then add 2 diagonal area lights across it. Make the tube translucent. Then either find a way of getting glowing textures in Blender on google or post-process the glow. You could use the halo line down the middle of course. And subd your cube so it goes circular.

you’ll need REALLY high subdivision. then a blend texture (using the halo type and a colorband) to achieve the white core/colored periphery. finally, i strongly recommend the unified renderer, as it greatly improves the result and smoothens out the overall appearance.

why not a plane with a texture? set it’s parent as the handle of the sabre, set a constraint so it always faces the camera, and add an alphamap. shadeless, emit, and you have a lightsabre?

There’s a brief discription of how to make the trails at the end of the page.

Hi. I am a big fan of Star Wars and I have been trying to make good looking blades. I am able to do them in single images, but I am more interested in making animations. I have tried using the halos on a subdivided line:

It also has a Halo Blend texture with the right alpha and stuff. Here is the rendered result:

Can anyone help me? Thanks.


use the unified renderer - it solves the problem (explanation: it’s slower, but more accurate, especially with halos and transparent objects. activate it in the render panel, bottom right corner)

Don’t use blend textures, just pump up the Add value.