Lasers and spacebattles

dalekseth
dalekseth Posts: 21
edited October 2013 in Post-production techniques
Hi there, i have a question, for ages i used VisionLab to do most of my effects and lasers, as it came with lots of brillant presets to make some awesome laser battles. Sadly thought my version of VisionLab does not like Win7, and crashes alot.
Now i have Hitfilm 2 ultimate but i have noticed that it does not have any real lasers presets. I the film i am working on it has some pretty intense spacebattles and i have hit a brick wall on how to achieve the desired effects.
The following video has the laser effects i am trying to do, from about 55 secs in is what i want to do.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbjojg8Ha_s
Are there any tutorials on how to do rapid fire laser weapons, as that is one big thing i miss from Vision Lab.

Comments

  • StormyKnight
    StormyKnight Posts: 2,722 Ambassador
    I have to agree that the laser features in VisionLab were pretty sweet.
    There's only one laser bolt/beam tutorial that I know and it shows how you can rapid fire by duplicating the effect.
    To set it up it takes a few steps. 
    It's not as fast and easy as VL but it should get the job done; and with a little practice you should be able to get what you're looking for.
    Hope this helps.
    http://youtu.be/MTsK7EtOwaA
  • AxelWilkinson
    AxelWilkinson Posts: 5,252 Staff
    For rapid fire lasers, I'd stick with using the particle simulator.  I didn't remember if I covered it in that tutorial, but you can use either Target, or Cone trajectory with an angle of 0, to fire all your particles in a straight line, then just adjust the angles to aim it.  Use a high speed and motion blur, and you'll get some nice bolt shapes.  Should be faster, easier, and more effective than the VisionLab method, as you get an actual 3D effect, and can point it any which way you want.
  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,072 Ambassador
    edited October 2013
    I'm going to agree with Axel here. I'm linking one of my own videos, where I attached a point to the front of the starfury, attached a particle simulator to that point and used the particle simulator to drive the weapon fire. There are three bursts of fire in this ten second shot--two in the distance, one passing close to the camera.
    Emitter: Because I had the particle sim attached to the Starfury it moved with the ship. I set emitter type to "Point," trajectory to Cone, but I DID use a tragectory Radius of  0.5 degrees. It gave a little bit of jitter that looked better than an Radius of 0. Motion Blur ON
    Particle System, General: I generated 140 particles per second, 0% Emitter attachment, 100% Velocity from Emitter.
    Particle Appearence: I used the built-in Sparks Streak Texture, billboarding OFF, Align to motion ON, Blend mode ADD, and an Alpha Boost of 100% My color was a light green. (The Alpha Boost was important, because I had motion blur and the particles are moving VERY fast.
    Movement: Life 1.5s, Scale 50%, Speed 50,000
    I layered the particle sim up with a Muzzle Flash preset locked to the same point as the particle sim and gave it the same green color.
    After that I just keyframed the muzzle flash and particle emitter's "Active" property off and on depending on when I wanted the weapon fire.
    Works Great.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZBNzy_JwWFw
  • Thanks guys, I did try the tutorial, using the lighting to try and create some, but i couldnt i noticed while you can change the size of the glow you cant really effect the white core size but i will try it with the particles. :D
  • StormyKnight
    StormyKnight Posts: 2,722 Ambassador
    edited October 2013
    For rapid fire lasers, I'd stick with using the particle simulator.  I didn't remember if I covered it in that tutorial, but you can use either Target, or Cone trajectory with an angle of 0, to fire all your particles in a straight line, then just adjust the angles to aim it.  Use a high speed and motion blur, and you'll get some nice bolt shapes.  Should be faster, easier, and more effective than the VisionLab method, as you get an actual 3D effect, and can point it any which way you want.

    Using the particle system wasn't in the tut but I've thought about trying that.
    The one thing I liked about VisionLab's laser system was there was a way to make a laser look like it was ricochetting and I could get the angle to vary as well. A while back I tried replicating the effect in HF1 but it didn't quite look right. Lots of practice to go. Part of the problem is I can't quite remember how I got that effect in the first place. :blush: It takes several laser bolts to complete and I think I positioned two with one ending at a fixed point in the scene while starting the second one at the same point just before the first one ended. Something like that. I wonder if I could use one laser bolt in the particle system and use deflectors to make it ricochet back and forth and change the angle of the deflector to get different angles where the laser bolt would go. The thing is, the laser itself has to bend or at least look like it's bending.
     

    I figured it out! It's not pretty and it's not perfect but it's farther than I've gotten before. I used the lightning technique. [slaps forehead] It was easier than I thought.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-8lKtrW0uGw&feature=share&list=UUfDzgvTZ1FGKKjeHwSrlJJg
     

    I'm going to agree with Axel here. I'm linking one of my own videos, where I attached a point to the front of the starfury, attached a particle simulator to that point and used the particle simulator to drive the weapon fire. There are three bursts of fire in this ten second shot--two in the distance, one passing close to the camera.
    Emitter: Because I had the particle sim attached to the Starfury it moved with the ship. I set emitter type to "Point," trajectory to Cone, but I DID use a tragectory Radius of  0.5 degrees. It gave a little bit of jitter that looked better than an Radius of 0. Motion Blur ON
    Particle System, General: I generated 140 particles per second, 0% Emitter attachment, 100% Velocity from Emitter.
    Particle Appearence: I used the built-in Sparks Streak Texture, billboarding OFF, Align to motion ON, Blend mode ADD, and an Alpha Boost of 100% My color was a light green. (The Alpha Boost was important, because I had motion blur and the particles are moving VERY fast.
    Movement: Life 1.5s, Scale 50%, Speed 50,000
    I layered the particle sim up with a Muzzle Flash preset locked to the same point as the particle sim and gave it the same green color.
    After that I just keyframed the muzzle flash and particle emitter's "Active" property off and on depending on when I wanted the weapon fire.

    Nice! Thanks for the tip. :)

     

    Thanks guys, I did try the tutorial, using the lighting to try and create some, but i couldnt i noticed while you can change the size of the glow you cant really effect the white core size but i will try it with the particles. :D/

    The only way to get the core to look thinner (that I found) is increasing the core feathering to 1.00 But it's not perfect. Changing the color more towards grey helps too but it dulls the overall effect. Have you tried changing the core color to a variant lighter than the glow color? i.e. blue glow with a lighter blue core Just a thought. ;)
    Apologies, I didn't mean to hijack your thread.

  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,072 Ambassador
    For ricochets, I do intend on experimenting with attaching a "deflector" layer to a "target" model and seeing if it looks right when shooting it with my particle sim gun..
  • AxelWilkinson
    AxelWilkinson Posts: 5,252 Staff
    Yeah, ricochets are super easy if you use particles, as you just have to set up a deflector, and the particle will ricochet automatically, at the correct angle.
    @dalekseth, you can change the size and softness of the white core, if you are using the Lightning tool to create your lasers.  In fact, you have separate controls for the Width at the Start and End of the bolt, then the feather, color, etc can be adjusted in the Core controls.