Thanks. To clarify, I do not want to to generate a light saber in motion. Rather I have a 2 d light line source that I want to add the 'sparks' to the edge of the light via a particle system. I guess I could try Blackmagic Fusion, just did not want to have to learn a new program for a simple effect.
If you have a Mac, it should be fairly straightforward in Motion, which is a $50 app. Or for $50 a month, there's always the Adobe suite. I don't think Vegas can do this. It's a great program, but it has limitations.
> "I don't think he'll be able to do the energy-type sparks in HF3 Express."
I beleive "The Force" edition includes them and it's free as a promotion for the new Star Wars movie. I downloaded it and there are definitely lighting effects in there although I don't know how to use it I was able to turn the lighting on and off via each finger so I believe it's an fx generator.
Download the sample projects to see how it's used.
I'm not seeing a "force edition." I'm see HF3 Express, some addon packs you can download (for $22). I see some videos showing off the examples of the addon packs for Star Wars related stuff.
EDIT: Ok, it doesn't say, but it's a new release of the free one to include some new free FX. I'm wondering if the new stuff is some of what HF2 Express had.
Weren't we doing this in Vegas a long time ago?
What they do with the lightsaber, yes, we've been doing that in Vegas for over a decade now (but not automated tracking).
I'm downloading the new version of HF3E now to see what's changed.
From what I can see (w/o running it) you can NOT do the new SW "evil" lightsaber with sparks going off the side with HF3E.
EDIT: I downloaded the new HF3E & installed it (didn't have the previous one installed). You have to finish registering it to get the new FX. I didn't re-register it (because it let me start a new project w/o registering) & the new FX wearn't there.
The only new FX I see is the lightning/electricity FX.
I recommend either Fusion (free) or After Effects + Trapcode Particular ($$$) for their high level of quality in appearance. The output of most other particle systems, especially HitFilm, look very cartoon-like and could not even remotely pass as being "real".
There is a very detailed video on YouTube about how to do it in After Effects by combining turbulence with a couple of other FX without a plugin, so that is an alternative as well for me. I am sure that developers will have plug ins ready in couple of months or so.