Ever wanted to recreate the exciting light-sabre
combat of the Star Wars
trilogy in your home videos
? With the advent of digital video
(all thanks to Steve Jobs
, according to... Steve Jobs
) it's possible to produce big shiny swords
that would have had the young George Lucas
weeping into his beard
. And the best part is there's no high-speed spinning foil-coated rods to fly out and blind your extras! This, briefly, is how it's done.
Perform your light-sabre scene, with the combatants wielding lengths of dowling / metal (something that won't bend when swung around). These poles should be painted white, and have red and green (or other high visibility colours) stripes painted on them at regular intervals. For added authenticity, the sticks can be attached to specially made light-sabre handles (I was distressed to learn that there is a company whose main line of business is to make "authentic" light-sabre handles).
Once your Jedi scrap has been completed (and roughly edited) to your satisfaction, load the footage into your handy video editing proggy (e.g. Adobe Premiere), and export the filmstrip to a paint package (say Adobe Photoshop ... this is starting to sound like an advert for Adobe, sorry). Draw a white shape over the rod on each frame. When done, you can then process all the frames in one go (making the white shape fuzzy, bright, and with a coloured fringe). Solid white blocks to indicate fast 'sweeps' of the sword should be possible. And sparks/flares for when two sabres collide.
Now copy everything back to video and add suitable sound effects (either nicking them from the film, or getting WyldWynd to do them). Voila, your own light-sabre fight, guaranteed to impress. Even though modern technology puts the technique within the reach of the hobbyist, it still requires a modicum of skill to get a decent result.
More info than you could possibly need : http://freeweb.pdq.net/smokin/rotoscope/
That looked just like a Respect The Fucking Monkey nodeshell challenge.
Yes it did rather.
In response to the below: Star Wars (the indoor bits) was filmed in Britain, the end credits list 'Sabre Effects' (spelt thusly), I am from the UK, and furthermore, THE MOVIE IS SET A LONG TIME AGO IN A GALAXY FAR, FAR AWAY!
(sigh) It's only a movie ...