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Old 6th Aug 2008, 03:04 AM   #1
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Default LightWave - Defiant Pulse Phaser Cannon

How would i reproduce the effect of the pulse phaser cannons of the Defiant in Lightwave. I want to create the setup scene so that i have a parent null that will be the base of keys for the particle emitters. I also want this to be the key bases for the light effect.

The difficulty i'm having at the moment is the effect for the particle setup.

Here are a few reference images of what i'm trying to achieve.

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Old 6th Aug 2008, 04:20 PM   #2
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You know looking at them like that, the pulses, I've never looked at them that closely before, but they actually look like there are 2 lights in there for each one. A point light to give the star flare and then another one with the star filter turned off and the Anamorphic streaks and diastortion added.

I've messed around with anamorphic distortion before and achieved a similar effect but I'm not sure how you could accomplish something similar using particles.

A possibility is to assign the particle an object to replicate everytime you generate a particle, but I haven't seen anyone who has had much success with that so far.

Sorry, I know thats not really any help but I hope you get it figured out.
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Old 6th Aug 2008, 08:14 PM   #3
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Sometimes these things are best tackled the same way the pros do it (or have done it).

Hand draw the pulse animation on the finished frame. You really only need 3 to 4 frames per pulse and that's not a lot of hand work in post.

Otherwise, I would suggest a model for the pulse with a light attached to the rounded end for the flare effect.
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Last edited by Rigel : 26th Mar 2009 at 12:16 PM.
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Old 10th Aug 2008, 03:45 PM   #4
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Wink Agree with Rigel

The easy way out is by doing post-work on the image, it doesn't take as much time as
setting up a prop with lighting. I get so caughtup in the details of stuff like this that I could spend a month working on a few frames, post working the image might take an hour.
The real question is how hard do you want to work and do you have the time to spend on it?
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Old 15th Aug 2017, 01:16 PM   #5
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I'm trying to do the same thing and I can't find anyway of doing it. Any help?
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Old 16th Aug 2017, 11:17 PM   #6
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Maybe I can help you get started.

In recent projects, I've produced disruptor cannon (discrete) and phaser (continuous) weapons effects, and I think the former is similar to what you want. If not, hopefully you can still find something useful here.

First, today it's so easy to do these kinds of effects in post (e.g., AfterEffects); however, when you are dealing with tricky camera work, it is sometimes a heck of a lot easier to produce the effects within your LW animation, so I completely understand why you might need a LW solution.

In situations where it makes better sense to do this stuff in post, most of the traditional Trek weapons effects can be pulled off quite nicely using lens flares plugins (which you then modify with motion blur, glows, etc.) or "beam" effects. For example, I highly recommend Andrew Kramer's saber plugin (for AE), which gave me an easy method for producing a continuous phaser weapon (skip to about 40 seconds to see the weapons effect):

In a different project, I had to animate the Klingon disruptor firing, which might be similar to your pulse weapon...

I first created a basic weapon object by combining a cone with a sphere. These are some of the standard geometries you can produce in Modeler (or even Layout). The actual sizes and proportions are not critical, because everything can be scaled later.

In Layout, you can colorize the weapons, set the desired transparency, and light them. In my case, I parented one light at the head so that I could produce a strong hot point and even generate lens flare effects. I used a second light in the tail portion, but I can't remember why.

I was typically firing two of these things at a time, so I made a clone, and then parented the weapons to the cannons on the Klingon ship. Alternatively, you would parent the weapons to the receiving ship if you are trying to animate hits or near misses. When the weapon object is parented in this manner, it's super easy to animate the weapon across frames--because the weapon is either following the path of its source, or it's aligned to hit exactly where it's supposed to, regardless of how the ships are moving.
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Old 18th Aug 2017, 08:04 AM   #7
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I did this animation some time back, it may give you insights :-

I mainly use particle emmitters for pulse weapons, you can aim them at targets, stretch them for speed effect and crank up the luminosity for glow etc. Example I did below:-

If you're dealing with a big battle with many ships, particles are definitely the way to go to cut down work load :-

Pulse weapons can also be done with a row (3 or more) of lens flare enabled lights parented to each other - they can be keyframed for animation 'close calls' etc. Babylon 5 (Foundation Imaging) used this technique sometimes when they were pushed for time.

There are many ways of doing it, no right or wrong way. Choose whichever method works and fits the look of what you're trying to achieve. I hope my examples help you.
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