LSMaker: Lightsabers For Free

Have you ever wanted to make a short film or Star Wars fanfilm that involved lightsabers? Of course you could use Adobe After Effects or FXHome EffectsLab, but why should you pay $199-$799 for software like that? Try LSMaker, a freely available program that may not be ridiculously easy to use, but works well. You can see a sample of the end product by playing the YouTube video I made where I added a lightsaber blade over my RuneScape player’s sword. I added a few sound effects and there it is. As you can see I’m not overly skilled at lightsaber-drawing yet, but I’m getting there. LSMaker can draw 2-point lightsabers where you just click at the start and end of the blade to place the effect, and the more advanced 4-point version which is used for blurring effects while the blade is moving fast. You can pick virtually any color for the center and outer glow of the blade, place flashes of light on the impact of the blades, and even make blasters by making “mini lightsabers” and animating them across the screen quickly. You definitely need to read the manual before starting, but all in all it’s a nice program (and you sure can’t beat the price). When you’re filming lightsaber sequences, you should use wooden dowels (or equivalent) with stripes made of duct tape so as to make it easier to draw the blades correctly. You can animate the blade extending by getting something to use as a lightsaber hilt (how about a flashlight?) and drawing a blade, slowly making it longer each frame. Then just switch over to the wooden dowels for the actual fighting. George Lucas did something similar. Give it a try, if your not in the mood to film anything, try doing what I did. Add a lightsaber over a sword from an MMORPG.


 

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