Laser Beam

{ Artwork :: Computer Graphics }

Laser Beam
April 2009 :: Click Image to View
Coupe
Sea Mines
About Laser Beam
Laser Beam was developed for issue 114 of 3D World magazine. In this Q and A piece, I described a technique for creating a laser beam effect using TrueSpace's built-in particles tool. When designing a tutorial for publication, it's hard to justify spending too much time on modelling or artwork that is outside the bounds of the specific topic being addressed. So while I spent a lot of time on the particle technique, I couldn't spend a lot of time on the rest of the image. The room in the image was built quickly using procedural textures and a few models that I had available. The laser gun is actually a detailed model of a Maxim gun that I designed for use in my World War II image. With a laser and sparks coming out of it, it certainly takes on a sci-fi vibe!

Laser Beam

Creating a laser beam with particles is relatively simple; you simply need a very tight and fast stream of particles with a very limited spread and an appropriate laser beam color. If the particles are moving very fast - from emitter to end point in just one or two frames - they will look like a laser beam when a still image is rendered. Motion blur settings will blend the stream of particles into a solid line with a very "light like" quality. The showers of sparks sell the feeling that the beam is being fired from a gun and is impacting a target.