Hello Everybody, today I hope to show that I am always trying to stretch my skills and the limits of my laptop. And I will attempt to accomplish this by showing you a little animation video that I put together after thinking about my post last weekend. I built a replica 3D model of Daisy Ridley(?)/Rey’s new “Switchblade” double ended lightsaber based on what I saw in the trailer for The Rise of Skywalker. Well the fact Rey might have a red lightsaber made SW fans excited but not only that but it folded out to form a saberstaff,
Around the 1min 45sec mark we see Darkside Rey brandish, then extend her staff and I realised that static images didn’t really show my replica off at it’s best….it needed some MOTION! So I animated the opening sequence…and then did a bit of Video Sequence Editing in another section of Blender 3D. I’ll talk about this later in this post but first here is my little attempt…(it is short for a video but I have a limited laptop!)…..
YAY! My efforts paid off I think, at least the video played. Believe it or not, this little clip took about three days to produce, partly down to hardware and partly down to the fact my first animation I programmed incorrectly. As you can see from the trailer Rey holds her saber and the BOTTOM half hinges and swings downward, but guess what wallybrain did? Yep, I animated the TOP saber to swivel up and over like this…. but when I realised, I found I couldn’t just flip the footage as you would be able to tell it was upside down! So I had to re-program the animation and re-render the footage. I admit it wasn’t as difficult to do the second time but was just time consuming. I had already spent several hours merging objects in my 3D model to make animating easier (you can combine multiple parts into single objects which means each saber – blades, emitters, handles and pommels are each one solid piece). Now the saber hinged and swung downward like this…
That fixed the animation but I still had work to do to make a “video” out of it, and that is where the Video Sequence Editor in Blender 3D played it’s part! As the title suggests the Video Sequence Editor (or VSE for short) is a section of Blender that allows you to edit your video footage and add special effects and soundtracks etc. Luckily I used to be a musician so I am fairly comfortable using “Sequencer” style software having worked in recording studios. However Blender has a few quirks where things don’t work as they should or as I’d expected. But that aside after an hour I worked it out and I set about arranging the footage. This included adding an Intro and Outro plate (a bit like opening titles and end credits) plus I added a transparent overlay that had my Copyright watermarks on (sorry I have to do that but I have had my images and content used without my permission before and this helps dissuade such activity!). To do all this editing you have a screen where all the parts are represented as little coloured strips on a timeline and you can layer parts and move them about etc…the screen looks like this…
The animation is actually the teal blue coloured strip and the Titles and transparent overlays are the purple ones. You may have seen similar screens in “Behind the scenes” documentaries of film and music production. This is the “Cutting Room” as it were of Blender, and if Marvel have used Blender then it’s good enough for me! (The first Marvel Logo animation with the comic book clips flashing in the background, shown at the start of the films was done with Blender!)
So I can say “That’s a Wrap!” I apologize that there weren’t as many saber Glamour Pictures this week but when I tell you that just the animation alone has over 178 separate images in it you might forgive me! Trust me though I have many more new designs to show you in future posts including my “Master Series”, some new Episode 9 themed sabers and some classics….plus I have more sabers from my friend PsychoSith. Thank you so much for looking in on this post and for all the support you show me, whether it’s your first visit or one of my regulars remember you’re all much appreciated. Till next time…..
“Rey of Darkness” saber is a For Tyeth Edition replica and is Copyright of For Tyeth/FTSabersite 2016-2019. “The Rise of Skywalker” and all trailer footage, names, logos and related material are Trademark/Copyright of Disney/LucasFilm. “The Rise of Skywalker”will be released on 20th December 2019.