View Full Version : arcing bolts of electricity

07 July 2003, 03:18 PM
I found two plug-ins on that are supposed to create lightning bolts and other electricity effects: Thor and VertiLectric. The bad news is: The website of the first seems to be down and the second doesn't support LW 7.5. :hmm:

Then I found another hint HERE ( Since I'm quite new to LW this very brief description of how they achieved the effects doesn't help me very much. I'm looking for a more in-depth tutorial.

Any suggestions? Thanks in advance.


07 July 2003, 05:31 PM
Hi allaboutkeys

THis is a method I used before in LW 5.6. There might be a more advanced way in 7.5, but youll have to get that off of one of someone else as Im still learning it:)


I did it with a line of about 50 2point polys ( just extrude a 1 point poly with 50 divisions. Then centered the resulting object. Loaded it into layout and added a fractal noise displacement, with falloff set so that the displacement ran out just before the ends( bit of trial and error). Attach the displacement to a reference null and move it about.
Obviously the surface was just made white and luminous, then a glow added. It looked ok.

LW7.5s weight maps should make the falloff of the displacement easier to acheive.

Anyway, I hope that helped a little :)

edit:lol, just checked your hint link and it sounds pretty much like the method I used. If you need any extra info just gimme a shout. It was AGES ago I did this, so I no longer have a scene but I could mock one up quickly for you if it would help.


07 July 2003, 06:10 PM
devi8: Thanks! I think I got the idea of your technique though I'm not sure about the displacement/fallof part (I have never used weight maps before). Anyway, I will give it a try...


07 July 2003, 06:20 PM
Do a search on flay in the plugins section under lightning.
Heres a link to one free plugin:

07 July 2003, 09:57 PM
Weight maps can be used as an alpha for the displacement map, but unless your already familliar with them ( and Im not), id stick with fall off.
Under the displacements texture options, near the sizing, position etc, therll be a tab called fall off. If youve already applied the displacement, changing the value in here should be pretty much real time. Ive always found it tricky to judge the falloff figure, or even the logic behind it. I just type extreme hi/lo values and gradually center in on the one I need to keep the ends still, assuming thats the effect you want.



07 July 2003, 12:08 AM
Larry: What a cool plug-in! Thanks again for your help!

I have just completed two versions of my very first LW animation that I did without any help from a tutorial. They differ in the lighting and color settings (DivX 5.0.5):

electricity_01.avi ( (5.39 MB)

electricity_02.avi ( (8.28 MB)


07 July 2003, 08:37 AM
Hey dude

I also just emailed you a zip containing the basic examples I did for the LWUG here on that subject - It also contains an XYDrift plugin example (combined with the excellent 'Tracelines' plugin from the same author!)

Sounds like you've worked out what you need to do however - Good to see! :beer:


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07 July 2003, 04:31 PM
Originally posted by kevman3d
I also just emailed you a zip containing the basic examples I did for the LWUG here on that subject - It also contains an XYDrift plugin example (combined with the excellent 'Tracelines' plugin from the same author!)

Thanks for sharing your files!

TraceLine is a neat plug-in. But I can't figure out what the "Spot Object" is good for?!

I can't see any difference in the example file (TheEnd2.lws) when I set the Spot Object to "none".


07 July 2003, 10:17 PM
Cool! Glad it worked out. :)

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