In Wired magazine‘s second annual How-To issue (Aug. 2007), readers can learn a variety of tips and tricks on everything from outsmarting a mechanic to making old-timey photos. We especially liked the tips for action figure arranging and adding lightsaber effects to movies.
Wannabe Steve Sansweets will get a kick out of pointers on “How to Arrange Your Action Figures” from “Robot Chicken” head writers Tom Root and Douglas Goldstein. A couple of the ideas hit home for more than a few of us: “If you work in HR, don’t put Darth anything on your desk” as well as leaving precious toy accessories at home so they don’t get lost. “Take it from a guy who’s still mourning the loss of his Bespin Luke’s yellow lightsaber,” Root says.
But most notably is the magazine’s handy guide to “Adding a Lightsaber to Your Movie.”
1. Get a Lightsaber Prop. You can buy one from a site like Master Replicas or make one yourself (try a broom handle).
2. Shoot your saber-wielding scenes on video. Careful not to whack yourself in the head.
3. Import your footage into a video-compositing application. Don’t have one? Pick up EffectsLab Lite (fxhome.com).
4. Apply a neon-glow effect to the lightsaber. To do this, you’ll need to draw a selection box around the lightsaber, frame by frame (it goes quicker than you think), and tweak the effect in each box. In EffectsLab, the feature you want is called Neon Light.
5. Export your movie. Feel the Force.
Find plenty more ideas for on the Wired How-To Wiki