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acdeslx

Trying to simulate a laser beam

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Hi all.

Today's fun project is to try to simulate a laser.

I'm trying to render a stage and show some laser beams coming from some set pieces.

I thought I'd be able to do it with a linear light with no falloff but that doesn't seem to work.

Essentially, I just one to create a visible line that can render with a colour that doesn't emanate any light -- i just want it to be visible if I point the camera at it.

 

Any ideas?

 

Thanks.

 

Edited by acdeslx

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So a VWX spotlight object with a really super narrow and hard beam with fog doesn't do what you want? Alternately, a custom Spotlight lighting device with a custom gobo? 

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How about the thinnest extruded circle with a glow texture applied?

 

the other thing you could try is an image prop of the effect you are thinking about, but this may be really tricky.

 

in theory, a gobo of the pattern should work if you make the gobo texture from a reasonably high resolution image with the instrument intensity turned up to 500% or more!

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Actually, I think I just figured it out... adding a glow texture to a narrow cylinder seems to do the job...

 

Still testing...

 

 

 

 

 

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Yup, glow texture on a small extrude is the closest I've gotten. I tried a few times to get an actual functional laser effect that would bounce accurately off mirrors, but the lit fog needed to show the volumetric light beam only appears as a coherent beam before the first reflection, not to mention the significant increase in render time needed from using Lit Fog.

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I would go with the extrude. Probably does not even need to be a circle to improve render times. Hexagons and octogons generally work fine for this. Actually a square would work fine as well. 

 

Quick tip, assuming you are rendering from a viewport:

 

Render the primary drawing WITHOUT the laser beam(s).  Make a duplicate viewport that ONLY renders the laser beam against a black background. Once exported, use a graphics program to comp the two images together.   You will want to make the black of the laser image an alpha channel of course and then add some additional glow to it. Should work pretty well. I do this all the time using Pixelmater. Really cost effective solution. 

 

 

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4 minutes ago, scottmoore said:

Render the primary drawing WITHOUT the laser beam(s).  Make a duplicate viewport that ONLY renders the laser beam against a black background. Once exported, use a graphics program to comp the two images together.   You will want to make the black of the laser image an alpha channel of course and then add some additional glow to it. Should work pretty well. I do this all the time using Pixelmater. Really cost effective solution. 

 

If you render without a RW background, and export the image via File<Export Image, choose PNG and check Save Alpha Channel, then you will end up with a transparent background, allowing for even easier compositing in Photoshop.

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Another vote for modeling it as geometry.  I have done this in the past many times.

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