cheap laser

When I read everyone having to do mask for lasers I was actually surprised no one saw this easy bit.
While playign with hitfilm adn using my kids in a test video (can you say free actors) I used the idea from the LIghtening tutorial.
By using the start and end points of lightening you just set everything to zero and WHAM instant laser!
Great think is you can add Neon and chose colors.
I used the effect and was able to connect to two Points and ready to go.
It was helpful when the laser had to bounce back and hit the gunman.
hope it was helpful.

Comments

  • SimonKJones
    SimonKJones Posts: 4,448 Enthusiast
    Excellent technique! I like it.
  • StormyKnight
    StormyKnight Posts: 2,722 Ambassador
    edited January 2012
    @-) Dice- I'll give that a try. Thank you for sharing the idea. Will you be posting the vid?
  • pixelizedFX
    pixelizedFX Posts: 77
    edited January 2012
    Used the same technique in my iphone video I posted a few weeks back:

    Just change all of the Lightning&Electricity effect properties(like twitchscale, amount of trunks etc) to 1.
    Add a little bit of flicker to the effect to create some activity in the laser. And ofcourse as Dice mentioned, you can add a whole bunch of other effects like glow etc. to get a really great laser.
  • StormyKnight
    StormyKnight Posts: 2,722 Ambassador

    Just change all of the Lightning&Electricity effect properties(like twitchscale, amount of trunks etc) to 1.
    Add a little bit of flicker to the effect to create some activity in the laser. And ofcourse as Dice mentioned, you can add a whole bunch of other effects like glow etc. to get a really great laser.
    I was wondering how you did that! Thanks!
  • Robin
    Robin Posts: 1,669 Enthusiast
    Lol, that's so obvious if you think about it... Now my complaint about the missing dedicated laser engine in HitFilm just got pointless, thanks for that! :D
  • MichaelJames
    MichaelJames Posts: 2,034 Enthusiast
    Your the hero today. Lasers are something I wanted to do. Im a trekkie.
  • DICE
    DICE Posts: 7
    edited January 2012

    Glad I was able to help out.
    Really liking the program and learning things and all the other aspects you don't think of when designing a video (sound,angles,lighting,etc etc)
    hope I pasted the url correctly. My kids doing a short vid using the lessons learned for lightsabers and also stumbling across the laser beam/lighting effect.
    Look forward to more ideas and everyones ideas!
  • StormyKnight
    StormyKnight Posts: 2,722 Ambassador
    edited January 2012

    Lol, that's so obvious if you think about it... Now my complaint about the missing dedicated laser engine in HitFilm just got pointless, thanks for that! :D
    While the laser in this video was done quite well, I'm looking for more of a Star Wars laser. This one was more Trek (which I can think about using down the road not my current project). So I'm still hoping for a laser engine. If not, I'll eventually find a work-around with which I am comfortable. Necessity is, after all, the mother of invention. ;)

    Three thumbs up on the vid, DICE!
  • Robin
    Robin Posts: 1,669 Enthusiast

    While the laser in this video was done quite well, I'm looking for more of a Star Wars laser. This one was more Trek (which I can think about using down the road not my current project). So I'm still hoping for a laser engine. If not, I'll eventually find a work-around with which I am comfortable. Necessity is, after all, the mother of invention. ;)

    Three thumbs up on the vid, DICE!
    You should be able to do Star Wars-like lasers with this method too... What does the laser engine in VisionLab do the lightning engine can't accomplish with some tweaking?
  • StormyKnight
    StormyKnight Posts: 2,722 Ambassador

    You should be able to do Star Wars-like lasers with this method too... What does the laser engine in VisionLab do the lightning engine can't accomplish with some tweaking?
    Good question. I'll play around with it some more. It's probably that I haven't learned enough about the program yet to figure things out.
    I was barely getting VisionLab down before HitFilm came out and HF is a little more involved and somewhat overwhelming to a novice such as myself. I've just gotten past the 'baby steps' phase on the learning curve- heading for toddler. :))
  • MichaelJames
    MichaelJames Posts: 2,034 Enthusiast
    I just did a test that used the lightning in a starwars laser type effect. Its under a different forum topic.
  • AxelWilkinson
    AxelWilkinson Posts: 5,252 Staff
    edited February 2012

    Your the hero today. Lasers are something I wanted to do. Im a trekkie.
    I thought they used Phasers on Star Trek?
    Anyway, very clever technique. In hindsight, its surprising no one thought of it sooner, but well done. By using the Grow settings on the lightning, you can easily animate a small bolt traveling from the origin to the end point, to create traveling laser bolts. Tweak the thickness controls as well to create some perspective, and voila!
    This technique is so simple that I might make a tutorial demonstrating it, as it should go quickly, and get it out there in the near future. If you wanted to do one yourself, Dice, you are welcome to, but having an "official" one out there will likely mean more people will benefit from the idea. And I'll be sure to give you props when I do it.
  • StormyKnight
    StormyKnight Posts: 2,722 Ambassador
    Axel- "I thought they used Phasers on Star Trek?"
    I wonder if this is a poTAYto / poTAHto type situation. Phaser / laser it's all good.

    I'd love a tutorial on this regardless. :D
  • AxelWilkinson
    AxelWilkinson Posts: 5,252 Staff
    Yeah, I forgot to use an emoticon to let the interwebs know I was just joking. I'm gonna work on this tutorial today.
  • StormyKnight
    StormyKnight Posts: 2,722 Ambassador

    Yeah, I forgot to use an emoticon to let the interwebs know I was just joking. I'm gonna work on this tutorial today.
    Well now you're just makin' me feel bad. :-? I'm sure I could figure it out....I haven't yet because a whole bunch of other things regarding the program and how it works just clicked for me this past week. Hopefully I'll have something worth looking at in a few days or so. B-)
  • SimonKJones
    SimonKJones Posts: 4,448 Enthusiast
    Axel's now put together a tutorial for this technique:
  • StormyKnight
    StormyKnight Posts: 2,722 Ambassador
    edited February 2012
    THANK YOU!!! THANK YOU!!! THANK YOU!!! THANK YOU!!! THANK YOU!!! THANK YOU!!! THANK YOU!!! THANK YOU!!! THANK YOU!!! THANK YOU!!! THANK YOU!!! THANK YOU!!! THANK YOU!!! THANK YOU!!! THANK YOU!!! THANK YOU!!! THANK YOU!!! THANK YOU!!! THANK YOU!!! THANK YOU!!! THANK YOU!!! THANK YOU!!! THANK YOU!!! THANK YOU!!!
  • MarkOm
    MarkOm Posts: 63
    I think that it is easier just to use lense flares
  • AxelWilkinson
    AxelWilkinson Posts: 5,252 Staff
    Yeah, you could use a lens flare if you want, but it doesn't look at all like its coming out of the gun. The lens flare completely covers the gun, and looks more like its coming out of the actor's chest. Its also going to be trickier to get the perspective right with a lens flare, when the laser is traveling toward the camera.
  • AxelWilkinson
    AxelWilkinson Posts: 5,252 Staff
    Here is a more finished version of the scene I used for the tutorial. With some muzzle flashes and sound effects added as well.
  • MarkOm
    MarkOm Posts: 63
    yeah you are right.
    When you do the next tutorial, can you play the end result at the start so we know what we are aiming for.
    Always a fan Axel
  • AxelWilkinson
    AxelWilkinson Posts: 5,252 Staff
    Good idea, MarkOm. I actually didn't finish this shot until well after the tutorial was released, due to scheduling time to finish it, but it is a great idea to have a demo of the final effect at the start, when the tutorial is based around creating an effect especially. I'm working on a 2D tracking tutorial right now, and plan to use this idea there, where I will show the final shot before breaking down the process.
    By the way, the final laser bolt in that video isn't done with the lightning effect. Its a true 3D laser, created with the particle engine. That will be covered in a later tutorial, and when I get to that one, I'll use a finished video at the start to demo the effect.
  • Hiker
    Hiker Posts: 11
    Sorry for opening up an old thread, but I have a problem.
    I'm using this laser effect for a Jedi/bounty hunter duel. It's been super easy and fun up to this point, but now I have hit a snag.
    I'm at a point where the bounty hunter goes nuts with rapid fire, and laser beams go everywhere. I want some of them to pass behind the actors, to add a little impression of depth. The problem is, I can't seem to mask out the laser.
    Subtract mask on the plane with the "laser" doesn't cut out the effect. I've tried converting the layer to a composite effect and that doesn't do the job either. If I mask it out in the composite it just becomes a black area when overlaid in the original shot.
    Am I doing something wrong, or is the lightning effect just not maskable at all? Still getting my head around the way the software works, and this is kind of boggling me.