In Episode II: Attack of the Clones, the lightsaber effect change yet again, returning partly to the sabers seen in the original trilogy. The blades became a little thicker and the glow seemed a bit more compact and, though I've found no one who agrees with me yet, I thought I saw the blade even pulsate during a few scenes. Yeah, I know, I'm way to observant, but special effects are my life. This tutorial is actually quite different from the Episode I lightsaber tutorial. Look on and see.
Materials Needed for this Tutorial:
-Adobe Photoshop & basic knowledge of the program
-Digital Camera or any camera as long as you have a scanner
-A Hasbro toy lightsaber or something to represent the saber (I use a dowel rod)
Step 1: Open your image in Adobe Photoshop. Create a new layer set to Screen Mode. Make sure to check the "fill with neutral color" box.
Step 2: Create "pure" white line over your dowel rod, or whatever you're using for a lightsaber. The rounded tip for this style lightsaber should be a little more pointed, don't take away from the smoothness, just make the tip a bit longer. NOTE: Leave it so you can see some of the dowel rod around the edges. Our saber effect will expand to cover this later. You can use the line tool, but I prefer to use the polygonal lasso tool because you have more control.
Step 3: Go to Filter-Blur-and apply a Gaussian blur that is roughly 1/8 your saber width. Then go to Image-Adjust-Levels and use a value of 10 in the first input box and a value of 30 in the last input box. Apply another Gaussian blur, just enough to soften the edges so it doesn't look like a hard line.
Step 4: Duplicate your blade layer twice. I've labeled Copy Layer 2 = Tight Glow and Copy layer 1 = Loose Glow.
Step 5: On the Tight Glow layer apply a Gaussian blur that is about equal to your blade width.
Step 6: Go to the Loose Glow layer and apply a Gaussian blur that is double your blade width.
Step 7: With the Loose Glow layer selected, go to Image-Adjust-Color Balance. Set the midtones to 100% of your desired saber color and set the highlights value to somewhere between 60-75% of your desired color. Now go to the shadows and enter a value that is about 45-55% of the color of your saber. NOTE: If you're making a blue saber then here you would set the blue level to 55% and the cyan level to 45%.
Step 8: Merge the Tight Glow, Loose Glow and Blade layers. HINT: Use CTRL E to merge the layers, it's much faster. Now go back to Image-Adjust-Levels and use a value of 2 in the first input box and a value of 230 in the last input box. This gives the saber a bit more brightness and thickness. Congrats, you have successfully made and Episode II style lightsaber.
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