ROTVD (Return of the Virtual Diorama)
Howdy all! Been a while since I've posted here; kinda took a break from star wars. Anyway, just got a Republic Gunship and it inspired me to do some virtual dioramas. This is the scene where Mace, Yoda, and Ki Adi look on as another gunship gets shot down.
lightsaber effects in Photoshop
Always a good subject, so I'll just post it here.
Right now I'm using Photoshop 7 which is a little different than versions 6 or below. I'll try to name the differences, but I'm really just going by memory.
1. First, you've got to select what you want to glow (in this case, the lightsaber blade). I use the polygonal lasso tool since if gives you more control over what you're selecting.
2. After you've selected just the lightsaber blade, copy it (ctrl + c) and then paste it (ctrl +v). This will create a new layer with just the blade in it.
3. Select the new layer (if it is not selected already) in the layers window. Make sure the blade is in the right place (you can always move it later though).
4. In the menu, select "Layer" and go to "Layer Style". It may also be called "Layer Effects" in earlier versions. Then select "Inner Glow". A window should pop up.
5. In the Inner Glow window, click on the color box and select the color you want the lightsaber to be. The inner glow of a lightsaber is white-hot, so I select a color that is white with just a tiny hint of purple for instance. In any case, the color should be white or almost white.
Next, make sure the Opacity is turned up to 100%, Noise should be at 0%, and the blend mode should be "Screen".
Below, in the Elements box, the Technique should be "Softer", and the Source should be Center.
Now for the "Size" and "Choke" sliders. I usually set Size to 0 or something close to zero. This fills the blade with the color you just selected. Choke should be zero. Now it's time for the Outer Glow of the lightsaber.
6. On the left side of the Inner Glow window, there should be a list of the other Layer Styles/Effects. Click on "Outer Glow". The Outer Glow options should now appear. Click on the color box and select the color you want the lightsaber to be. This is where the real color of the lightsaber will be most appearant so don't choose something too light.
Make sure Opacity is 100% and Noise should be 0%.
In the Elements box, the "Spread" and "Size" sliders are very important. The Size slider will determine how far out the glow will go, and the Spread slider will affect the gradient of the glow. The settings for these two are dependent on the size of the image and personal taste, so play around with them until it is to your liking. Generally, the Size should be greater than the Spread.
7. Click OK and you're done! This technique can also be used for blast effects, lights, hot metal, and other things that burn intensely.
If you have any other questions, let me know!