Star Wars Blaster

Hi, I'm making a Star Wars fan film using the SaberFX in the si-fi action pack, and I'm editing with HitFilm 4 Express. I was wondering what the best way to make Star Wars like laser blasts? PLZ HELP!



  • I don't have the expansion packs, but you could try using neon glow on white planes to make lazer blasts and then animate it.

  • The simplest wayis to use the Lightning effect. This tutorial details the process for using the Lightning effect:

    You could use a Lightsword effect instead, but the Lightning is convenient since you can easily build perspective into the effect, and you have growth properties on both ends to easily animate its movement.

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    Why not use the Sci-Fi Laser effect. That can be tweaked to a straight bolt. 

  • Hehe, also  good idea, Triem23. I overlooked the bit where he mentioned having the Sci-Fi Adventure add-on pack. Yes, if you have that pack, the Animated Lasers effect is the best way to go.

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    @AxelWilkinson I think that's the first time I've caught you missing the easier answer, rather than you throwing out the more elegant solution to my complex one. 

    But, you got me with another one of thise this morning. 

  • Aladdin4dAladdin4d Moderator

    Did I just witness a historic moment?

  • edited November 2016

    can you do this with out the pack?  and with the HitFilm 4 Express

  • @Jacksharkben there are at least two ways of creating blasters in HFE without the sci-fi action pack. The first would be hand-animation of a mask on a plane layer (which is very similar to hand-drawn animation in EP IV-VI) with some glows added. The second would be using the lightning effect with 1 trunk, 0 branches and wave scale and twitch turned to 0 while keyframing Growth. 

    Axel did a tutorial on the mask method years ago.

    For reference with add-ons or Pro the Lightsword effect, Sci-fi blaster effect, Atomic Particles and the Particle Sim are all other tools to make Star Wars style blasters. 

  • edited December 2016

    If you have the light sword effect, you can use the two point light sword effect.  I would turn the stability all the way up and the distortion all the way down, turn on motion blur, then key frame it to only last about two frames, one frame coming out of the blaster and one frame right before it hits its target.

  • @VideoFixTV - if you have the Lightsword effect, then you also have the Animated Lasers effect, which makes it super simple.

  • Is there a tutorial on using the blaster effect, or is it the same as the lightsword?


  • Is there a tutorial on using the blaster effect, or is it the same as the lightsword?

    It's not the same, but it's similar enough that if you know one, you can use the other.  You put the blaster effect on a separate plane and change the endpoints, same as the lightsword.  The difference is in how the settings can change its appearance so drastically.

    I made pretty heavy use of the animated laser in my most recent movie, DOWNFALL.  If you have any questions on how it works, feel free to ask.  Give it a go yourself first though, it's really easy to use.

  • You could use the free project files given to you in this video (It's from Hitfilm)

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator


    No specific tutorial on the Animated lasers, but it's easy to figure out. You need to create two points, one at the barrel of the weapon, one at point of impact (these can/should be 3D points for best results), then put the effect on a grade layer. 

    Refer to a Lightsword  tutorial to see how to connect the points to the filter, then play with the sliders. You'll pick it up. 

    Note Animated Lasers is a "bolt." For a "beam," use Lightsword. 

  • Note Animated Lasers is a "bolt." For a "beam," use Lightsword. 

    You can totally do beams with the Animated Laser.  There's a specific property that dictates how far from the start point to the end point the beam goes.  If you set it to maximum, voila.

    That's how I did most of the laser blasts in DOWNFALL.  They were set to maximum extension with the opacity keyframed so they faded out after like a quarter-second.

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