How to make a lightsaber and X-wing scene in After Effects

You can’t claim to be a filmmaker if you haven’t tried to make a scene with a lightsaber at some point!

The lightsaber has become such a cultural icon since it was first shown on the big screen in 1977, and many filmmakers have tried to duplicate the effect through the years.

Check out the meaning of the different lightsaber colors here.

Watch the video for the tutorial.

I’m no different! And I’m lucky because it has become so easy to do these days, thanks to Adobe After Effects and an awesome plugin called SABER from Video CoPilot.

So I bought this cheap plastic lightsaber with a blue plastic blade that was easy to see. Of course, you can get much more luxurious and expensive ones, but this was a quick, fun test, so I didn’t want to go overboard on Jedi merchandise.

So, I brought out my GH5S with the Sigma 18-35mm lens to shoot the scene.

I chose this combination for this tutorial because I wanted a real handheld camcorder feeling to help sell the illusion. And since neither the camera nor the lens has any stabilization, it was easy to create a handheld camcorder feeling.

I had hoped that my two-year-old son would play the role of Kylo Ren. But the snow had just fallen here in Denmark, so he looked at me like, “you crazy! I’m gonna build a snowman!”

So, instead, I kept nagging and pestering my girlfriend to take on the role until she finally, reluctantly, agreed.

The video shooting took 5 minutes, and I spent two nights animating the lightsaber and X-wing. And I’ve broken down the process in the video above.

I decided to make the video square to share on FB or Instagram.

As I said in the video, I promised to put a link to the plug-ins, fonts, and sound effects I’ve used in the film. So here they are:


Free SABER plug-in:

Free Star Wars Model Pack:

Element 3D:


Star Wars logo font:

Intro font (blue text and crawler):

Sound Effects:

*Some of the names included on this page are registered trademarks of Lucasfilm and used here under Fair Use for educational purposes.

Also, this is the first tutorial I’ve ever done, so please comment, share, critique, and help me improve.

I hope you find it useful. Feel free to share a link to any of your own SW fan films in the comment section below.


  • Jan Sørup

    Jan Sørup is a videographer and photographer from Denmark. He owns and the Danish company Apertura, which produces video content for big companies in Denmark and Scandinavia. Jan has a background in music, has drawn webcomics, and is a former lecturer at the University of Copenhagen.

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