Game Development Reference
I'll then take the Length value to 100%, so that the beam goes
all the way from the Starting Point to the Ending Point. Next, I'll
reduce the Starting Thickness to about 5, and increase the Ending
Thickness to about 9. This will cause the bottom of the light saber
to be smaller, and its top larger. This corresponds to the way
I'm holding the stick, because it adds perspective to the beam.
Finally, I'll change the color of the beam using a light blue as my
Inside Color, and a bright, vibrant blue as my Outside Color, and
then top it all off by adding the Glow effect (Fig. 9.16).
Figure 9.16 The Beam effect,
used as a light saber.
The Cell Pattern Effect
The Cell Pattern effect creates grayscale patterns, many of
which resemble biological specimens. In Chapter 12, we'll look
at Fractal Noise, which is very similar to Cell Pattern. Here, we'll
only look at the major differences between the two effects.
Create a new comp and a new solid at the comp size, and
apply the Cell Pattern effect to the solid layer. Even at its default
settings, the Cell Pattern effect resembles an abstract biological
texture ( Fig. 9.17 ).
From my experience, the single most important property in the
Cell Pattern effect is the Cell Pattern property (I know it sounds
ridiculous, but that's really what it's called). It changes the type
of cellular structure that the pattern is trying to emulate. If we
change the settings from the default Bubbles pattern to Tubular,
we get another type of cellular pattern (Fig. 9.18).
While the Invert, Contrast, and Size parameters are self-explan-
atory, they really go a long way in changing the appearance of the
Using Beam for Lasers
use of the Beam
effect is to create
shooting lasers. To create
effects of shooting from
a point at one end to the
other, animate the Time
property. If you keep
the 3D Perspective box
checked, the beams will
grow smaller as they reach
their destination. This
creates the illusion that the
lasers are being shot deep