How to become a Jedi in less than 100 Rupees (Just over 1 pound, without any fancy software)

It was a boring Saturday evening with nothing to look forward to. I sat watching my flatmates chat over whatsapp or watching some discreet football match. I kept staring at the things kept at my desk and suddenly my eyes fell on the uncared for torch light. And it lighted yet another idea in my mind. Being a single child makes you competent enough to not get bored even in absence of company.

‘Let me make a light sabre’ I told myself.

It took me 2 hours, a torch light, some used A4 size papers, cellophane tape, my digital camera and some help from Picasa. And what resulted was this

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Which is quite neat looking at the price at which you can do it. So I thought why not to share this with all of you. Although are lot of software available to create this and light saber toys in market, but for those who do not want to get into the complication of those graphic design software, less time at hand or restricted access to light saber toys (like many people in India) this one is probably the easiest way.

STEP 1 – Building a light saber

Get a torch. Most of us in India do have these at homes, due to the spontaneous nature of our power supply companies. If you dont have it is available at cheep rates in the market, thanks to Chinese labor and export laws. I got mine a few months back for just 90 rupees(about 1 pound with current exchange rates). wrap it with some paper. You can use any colour paper. I picked some waste printout available with one of my flat mates. And wrap the torch so that it conceals the light coming out of it and concentrates within the cylinder created by itself  Add some paper to it for height and it should look like thisImage.

Switch it on and it wont look too much of a light saber if you dont have an imaginative mind. Notice the print visible on the other side of the paper after switching on the light.

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STEP 2 – Photograpy

This is the trickiest part of the whole process. You need to have a decent enough digital camera. I have a cannon SX220 HS a bridge camera. A dark room, to hide the paper work of the light saber and elimate any background which can destroy the surreal effect of the light saber. Also, to look the part you need to put on something which resembles the Star Wars costumes. The cheapest one is a hooded jumper. I used one. So get into the dark room, switch off the light and start posing for the camera. Since I did it alone initially and then one of my friend took the pictures, I used a tripod. Tripod also helps because the picture needs to be clicked at low shutter speed. Now you need to set your camera at following settings

– A low shutter speed. I used 1/4 of a second. This ensures that even in a dark ambiance your light saber is captured along with the part of your face illuminated by it

– High enough ISO to  make your light saber look glowing and eliminate the inconsistencies of the home made light saber. I used 3200 which was the highest available in my camera

– Low f number, so that the background makes as less appearance in the picture as possible

Strike a good pose, no one can teach you that, you should be born with that talent to do that. So, below are the two pictures that came out of the shoot

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STEP 3 – Enhancing the picture

Now this is the most tedious part of the whole process. I used Picasa for video editing, it comes for free. There are several softwares available in the market to edit a picture or a video for the light saber effect. But they are either expensive or complicated for someone like us to get excited. In Picasa I tried a few effects and came up with following sequence which produces best results

– Crop the unnecessary part of the picture. Keep the dark areas, they make it look more mysterious

– Use the fine tuning option of Picasa to increase the highlight, then increase the shadows. This will further eliminate background if any, and accentuate the glow of light saber.

– Choose the Glow effect. This further makes the saber look glowing

– Warmify the picture to reduce any patches caused due to increase in the shadows

– Now use the soft focus so that the end of the light saber is faded a bit and your face is in focus

This should get you a good enough image. Now if you wish to add text then there are lots of online resources for getting the Star Wars font. I used this link http://www.dafont.com/star-jedi.font. Add the desired text and voila, your Jedi-lightsaber picture is ready.

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So, if you are getting bored just like me and have nothing to do. Use that forgotten torch light and become a Jedi with almost no efforts.

Do share your pics if this post helped you in coming up with any. 🙂

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About Rohan Kanungo

Suffering from a disorder that leads to a constant mental escape to other universes and create stories, images and what-not in my mind. I love making friends and catching up with them. Travelling is something which I like a lot but am not able to do much, so I do the next best thing - Reading. I love looking through the window in the nothingness. :) I love my parents, probably the coolest set of individual to get together on the face of the planet.

Posted on July 14, 2013, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Rohan Kanungo

    Reblogged this on ब्‍लॉगते रहो and commented:

    In case you missed this one 🙂

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