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How to Make Lightsaber Effects in GIMP
Ever wonder how to make those cool realistic Lightsabers using GIMP? Well click here then!
About this creation
So, first, open the picture you would like to edit.

Then, right click the the layer named "Background" and click "New Layer" and make the foreground black, and name it something like "Lightsaber". Then select "Foreground color".

Note the screen has turned black. Your going to click that little window near the top right corner and select "Screen".

Now that the image is back to normal, your going to select "Create and Edit Paths" then outline the lightsaber blade with it. (Click 1 corner of the light saber, the next, ect.) Then, click "Create selection from Path."

After that, select the Bucket tool and change the color it will make to white. Then click INSIDE of the lightsaber blade, and it will turn white. You can also do this with the paint brush, if you like. After that, go to "Select, None". That will take the mask off.

Now that you have a white stick for a lightsaber, lets duplicate the layer named "Lightsaber". That will make a copy of that layer named "Lightsaber Copy" Duplicate that layer and you should have "Lightsaber" "Lightsaber Copy" and "Lightsaber Cop #1".

Now, select "Lightsaber" Which is the original layer, and go to Filters, Blur, Gaussian Blur.

Then, your going to see something like "5.0"
Your going to leave both boxes like that, and hit OKAY.

Now, select "Lightsaber Copy" and go to blur, Gaussian blur again and this time, make it 20.0 in both boxes and hit OKAY.

Then select "Lightsaber copy #1" and go to blur, Gaussian blur and double that, so, make it 40.0 in both boxes and hit OKAY.

Now that we have a glow on our lightsaber, lets right click "Lightsaber Copy #1" and select "Merge Down". IMPORTANT NOTE, MAKE SURE ITS MERGE DOWN, I HAVE HIT "Delete" BEFORE AND YOU HAVE TO START ALL OVER!

Note the screen has turned black, again, repeat step 3.

Now, select "Lightsaber Copy" and hit merge down.

And the screen turns black, again. Repeat step 3 one more time.

Okay, make sure the layer "Lightsaber" is selected and this is where some fun begins. Select color, and then color balance.

This is pretty much straight forward from here, but just to make sure you don't screw something up. Keep reading and looking. Make sure "Preview" and "Preserve illuminastie" or something is checked. So, make your desired color for your lightsaber.

Then go to "Highlights" and make the colors on this no higher than 15, trust me, unless your going for a "Bold" look, keep it at least under 15.

Oh, if your making a Yellow lightsaber like I am, I suggest you add 10 Red. You can't see much of a difference, but trust me, there is.


After your done with your color, select OKAY and merge down your "Lightsaber" layer and your done!!! Just save and woola!

And because a friend is having trouble finding the little window, I've circled it so he can now find it.

I hope this helped you, if your having trouble understanding anything let me know and I'll see what I can do. The secret is out, now, go! Tell no one we have spoken! >.> <.< >.> <.< >.>

Comments and Questions welcome!
Oh, and I'd really appreciate it if you give me credit if you use this. Thank you.


Happy Building and Editing!



Comments

  July 4, 2014
Great tutorial, thank you! But I wouldn't advise following it exactly. Lightsaber blades aren't that thick. I played around and found it's best to set up the paths INSIDE the blade a little, rather than covering up the entire blade. Also, don't just put those exact values in Color Balance, tweak it until it matches the color of your blade. And it works great for other lights too! Here's my Revan and custom T3M4, to show you what I mean. http://larryarmstrong78.tumblr.com/post/90436487479/got-bored-found-a-tutorial-on-lightsaber-effects
 I like it 
  July 29, 2012
nice!!! do you know is there a way you can make like a macro or a service? because it takes a really long time!
  April 14, 2011
I said I CAN'T GO ON YOUTUBE.
 I made it 
  March 16, 2011
Quoting Weegee Malleo Great. But I searched all over the stupid internet and I still can't find out how to make a VIDEO with lightsabers in GIMP. I'm sure it's out there, but, help! And I am literally incapable of going on YouTube.
Hehe. I know how you feel, here's the link to a video tutorial. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oa0ELCEosGI
 I like it 
  March 16, 2011
Great. But I searched all over the stupid internet and I still can't find out how to make a VIDEO with lightsabers in GIMP. I'm sure it's out there, but, help! And I am literally incapable of going on YouTube.
 I made it 
  July 25, 2010
Quoting William Meng Fortunately, I have Linux, so I have Gimp. Macs don't come with any useful apps. But Adobe Photoshop should also work, so if you have Win/Mac, you can do it if you pay $70.
Or, they can use a PC because MACs suck.
 I like it 
  July 25, 2010
Fortunately, I have Linux, so I have Gimp. Macs don't come with any useful apps. But Adobe Photoshop should also work, so if you have Win/Mac, you can do it if you pay $70.
 I made it 
  May 2, 2010
Quoting LegoTeen1138 327 Do you have any flame tutorials? And BTW, thanks a million for the lightsaber effects!!! I experimented with it to make a blaster bolt too, and it worked!
No problem. Blaster bolts are pretty easy too, probably almost the same as making a lighsaber blade. Sadly, I do not have flame tutorials but I'm pretty sure google can fix that. Good luck.
 I made it 
  November 28, 2009
Quoting Dan Bhatt can it work on macs? plz respond!!!!!
I hate macs so I don't use them but I'm pretty sure they have a mac version on their website. Or you could try googling it.
 I like it 
  November 27, 2009
can it work on macs? plz respond!!!!!
 I made it 
  November 16, 2009
Quoting Lite . http://mocpages.com/moc.php/147726 Like so.
Oh yes, I see... I'll see what I can do if I have time on Tuesday.
  November 15, 2009
 I made it 
  November 15, 2009
Quoting Lite . Can you make a toutorial for clone helmets too? Because I'm having alot of trouble with this.
Clone helmets? Can you explain what you mean please? Because uh.. I have honestly no freaken idea what you're talking about.
  November 14, 2009
Can you make a toutorial for clone helmets too? Because I'm having alot of trouble with this.
 I like it 
  September 27, 2009
how do i save it as a photo, because windows movie maker can't open it
 I made it 
  September 13, 2009
Quoting commander rich . so thats how you do it!! many thanx. this will help ALOT!!!
That's why it's here. You're welcome.
 I like it 
  September 13, 2009
so thats how you do it!! many thanx. this will help ALOT!!!
 I made it 
  September 3, 2009
Quoting Fire-Shadow (AKA Commander Flare) you should figure out how to do sith lightining and show us here.
Heh, sure. Not right away but maybe sometime in the near future.
 I like it 
  September 3, 2009
you should figure out how to do sith lightining and show us here.
 I like it 
  September 3, 2009
Thanks that is sooooo helpful!!! and cool!
  August 24, 2009
YAY! Lol.
 I made it 
  August 22, 2009
Quoting Maxim (Yes, that 'Sushi Person') Cool! Thanks for the comment. I don't have GIMP, is it free to download?
Yes, very free.
 I like it 
  August 22, 2009
@ Maxim: Yes it is free. I have it on my computer.
 I like it 
  August 22, 2009
Cool! Thanks for the comment. I don't have GIMP, is it free to download?
  July 11, 2009
lol! the first pic looks weird!!!!!
Xserozon Hayabusa
 I like it 
Commander Raptor
  December 20, 2008
i tried downloading it and it didnt work so im all sad then i looking around and find this:( well anyways cool
 I made it 
  November 26, 2008
If this gets MOTD, I'll fall outta my chair. In a good way....
 I like it 
  November 21, 2008
Thanks i got it now. O and i dont know if you noticed but i put this page on my homepage as the best tutorial on makin lightsabers.
 I like it 
  November 14, 2008
Thanks dude i havent done it yet mainly becuase i dont have time but you have made my day. im putting a link to this on my homepage. ummm ok i have a problem when i do the layer thing and the image turns black the little window wont come up so i cant hit the screen button what do i do.
 I like it 
  November 14, 2008
Check out my ethan idonian page i added a picture of me with 2 lightsabers check it out.
 I like it 
  November 14, 2008
Dude you have made alot of ppl happy it deserves MOTD i tried everything and this worked the best so far.
 I made it 
  November 14, 2008
At this rate, it might even get MOTD. Probably not, though. Anyway, thanks for your comments guys!
 I like it 
  November 14, 2008
Heck ya use them in everything im modifying ur tutorial to make laser blasts.
 I like it 
  November 14, 2008
What kind of Aeg m16, p90, ak47? and what about your sniper?
 I like it 
  November 14, 2008
Im posting a picture of my second attempt with gimp check it out it will be up soon.
 I like it 
  November 14, 2008
k i fixed it and made my first lightsaber thanks so much.
 I like it 
  November 14, 2008
When i add the layer the screen is black and the litte window in the corner doesnt show up so i cant turn it back to normal what do i do.
 I like it 
  November 14, 2008
On the creation you commented on I did not use anything!!! I guess it was just the right time of the day!
 I like it 
  November 13, 2008
Not bad.... let me guess you got this off of MichahMatt's video on YouTube... the end result isn't as good as I have seen before... try using more Gaussian blur, it really makes the color stand out!
 I like it 
  November 13, 2008
You can download GIMP or GIMP 2 for free Peala!
 I like it 
  November 13, 2008
You can download GIMP or GIMP 2 for free Peala!
 I like it 
  November 13, 2008
Interesting! But I don't have Gimp!
 I like it 
  November 13, 2008
Sweet! Going into my favorites.
 
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