Type guru and former art director of Men’s Health Kerem Shefik (an old work colleague of mine), posted this on Instgram a short while back. He used the free Saber plugin for After Effects to make an animated letter ‘O’.
Pretty much immediately I downloaded the plugin and started messing about with it. It is unbelievably fun to work with, and has a ton of different settings for different ‘energy’ styles, commonly seen in lightsabers, but also wizard (Patronus) effects used in Harry Potter.
Last year our wedding photographer Chris Giles captured this image of my wife and I mucking around with his lights…
The glows from the lights in this picture are so good that I thought I’d replace the lights with some saber effects and create a cinemagraph. I removed the lights as best as I could in Photoshop, and changed the angle of the red saber to point above Laura’s head. There are presets in the plugin that require very little tinkering, and I was able to very easily create Luke’s blue lightsaber and Kylo Ren’s red one (minus the hand guard). I exported a 4 second video, and then merged 2 seconds over the top so that the video seamlessly looped. After converting it to a gif I was left with this!
This was about 5 minute’s work. How amazing is that!?