Figures

Add a Jedi lightsaber to photos in 3 easy steps – Affinity tutorial

Before and After

Hi everyone, if you want your Star Wars photos to look more realistic but don’t know a good solution, this blog is for you!

This tutorial will show you how to easily add a lightsaber to your photos in 3 simple steps.
I hope you enjoy it, please leave a comment and like the post if you enjoy it. Also, don’t forget to check our Yoda’s photo gallery and database of Collectibles!

And remember

No! Try not! Do or do not, there is no try.

Master Yoda

For this blog, I will be using Affinity Photo (which I highly recommend if you are new or wants to switch from Photoshop). If you don’t have Affinity Photo, you can use Photoshop or buy it for 49 USD on Serif’s website

Before we start, you can download the original image I used for the tutorial and the affinity template with the end result of the tutorial, using the link below
Download files here

Step 1

Step 2

Step 3

Step 1 – Adding the lightsaber

The first thing we have to do is to draw a shape that will be used as the basis for the lightsaber

For that, we will use the Pen Tool .
You can find the Pen Tool on the left pannel, if you can only see the Node Tool , you can switch to the Pen Tool by clicking on the node tool

Remember, this part is all about control

Control, control, you must learn control!

Master Yoda

After you select the Pen Tool, use it to create the lightsaber by first clicking in one of the two corners of the bottom of the saber (just a simple click, do not drag)

Then click on the tip of the saber, on the same side, before the curve starts (just a simple click, do not drag)

You can adjust by selecting the Node Tool

The next step is to add a node on the tip of the lightsaber. This one is a little different, you have to click and drag.
Click and hold on the very end of the tip then drag in a perpendicular direction to the lightsaber (90°), dragging away from the last node.

Now click on the opposite extreme of the tip to finish the tip of the lightsaber (just a simple click, do not drag)

If you need to make adjustments, you can do so by using the Node Tool , before you continue creating the lightsaber

When you are ready to continue (select the Pen Tool back, if you made adjustments), click on the opposite bottom vertex of the saber (just a simple click, do not drag)

Now, you can simply click on the first node you created in order to close the shape in Affinity.

The final step here is to make sure you have the colour white in Fill and nothing for the Stroke
Your image should look like this by now 🙂

Step 2 – Light it up!

Congratulations! You have completed the hardest part of this tutorial 🙂
Now we are left with the fun part, after all…

Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter.

Master Yoda

In order to light your lightsaber on, we will use the Outer Glow and Inner Shadow effects
On the right side of your screen, you can see the layers in your file, at the moment you should have at least two layers.
One with the original image and one with the curve you created for the lightsaber

Select the layer with the lightsaber curve and click on the Effects tab (next to Layers)

Click on the Checkbox next to Outer Glow, expand the selection and then click on the settings wheel

On the pop-up screen, use the configuration below to achieve the lightsaber effect, using the RGB hex code #22FF1B for the colour (or any other colour that matches your lightsaber, use vibrant colours)
you might need to adjust your radius and other settings if your image has a different resolution
to select the colour using RGB Hex Code, you need to click on the colour and then select RGB Hex Sliders

On the same pop screen, select Inner Shadow on the left, use the same colour code you used before and the following settings
you might need to adjust your settings, specially Radius if your image has a different resolution

If the steps above worked correctly for you, you should have an image like this by now

Step 3 – Lighting effects

To make your lightsaber look even more realistic, you need to add light so it looks like it is lighting up the objects in the scene
While we do that, we will reduce the ambient light for dramatic effect

To start, we will add a Lighting layer, go to Layer (on the top menu) -> New Live Filter Layer -> Lighting…

Use the same colour that you used for the lightsaber on Step 2 (#22FF1B) for the field Colour (you can use the same on Specular colour, depending on your image)
The rest will be a little more Art than Science, play around with different distances, direction, inner and outer cone

If you used the same Yoda image above and the same settings, by now you should have the final result and your image should look like the one below!!

If your image doesn’t look like the one below, then

So certain were you. Go back and closer you must look.

Master Yoda

Otherwise

If no mistake have you made, yet losing you are… a different game you should play.

Master Yoda

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. Please leave a comment and like the post if you enjoyed it.
Also, don’t forget to check our Yoda’s photo gallery and database of Collectibles!

May the force be with you

Haslab fundraising campaign for Star Wars The Vintage Collection Razor Crest has been completed with 29k backers

Haslab has closed its Vintage Collection Razor Crest with almost 29k backers and 3 times the minimum amount for the project to move forward. This was Hasbropulse’s most successful project to date. In the US, the cost of the Razor Crest was USD 349.99 + VAT, while in Europe the ship could be bought in Zavvi for EUR 400.00 or GBP 349.00 + shipping.

Due to the high number of backers, Hasbro unlocked five different extras with the purchase of the Razor Crest.

  1. Escape pod
  2. Exclusive The Child figure with end-of-season-1 hover pram
  3. 4 carbonite blocks (as seen in The Mandalorian Episode 1)
  4. Clear display stand
  5. Offworld Jawa Elder (Arvala-7) with exclusive Kukri knife, Necklace, open Mudhorn egg, and card back

The Vintage Collection Hasbro Crest will begin shipping in around a year from now – Q4 2021.

Source: https://hasbropulse.com/collections/haslab/products/star-wars-the-vintage-collection-razor-crest

Are Hot Toys, Funkos and other collectibles really a great investment?

I have been reading in a few social networks, people talking about Hot Toys, Funkos, or Action figures in general as “investments”. As a professional in finance and a fellow collector, I can add my 2 cents for this conversation, without this becoming an academic paper : ) I will make an analogy with another exotic asset… wines and the super wines. Yes, wines, not wineries, which are definitely a type of investment.

First, a formal and less strict definition:

“A good definition of an investment is that it is deferred consumption. Any net outlay of cash made with the prospect of receiving future benefits might be considered an investment. So, investments can range from planting a tree to buying stocks to acquiring a college education.”

CAIA Association

In plain English. You would delay eating an apple today as to have more than one apple in a certain point in the future. So, benefits are that the asset becomes more valuable and/or that it produces something of value. As for deferred consumption, wine fits well because if you drink it… well no more investment : ) What about action figures in which the act to consume is taking it out of the box? Let us think about it. The only way for something to be considered an investment instead of an expense is if it produces a stream of revenue or due to scarcity, thus higher resale value than when you bought it. Even if the cost to operate it is higher than the value, it will be a bad investment, but still an investment. In addition, being expensive is not a requirement for anything to be considered an investment. There can be something expensive, well engineered, a beautiful piece of art, but be an awfully bad “investment” and vice-versa.

Thus, the capability to produce a stream of revenue and/or scarcity are enough to define the drivers of value for something to be considered an investment.

n this characteristic, the super wines hold well (it is not considered institutional-type investment, but this is out of the scope of this piece.). If a wine is considered extraordinary from a certain vintage and that it is exceedingly difficult for its producer to recreate it… well, you have scarcity. Same things for paintings (not printed, but man made and one off). There is limited supply and if demand increases for it… you have a boom in price.

This seems not to be the case of action figures in which the companies can produce the item at the same quality or even higher in the future due to technological developments. So less demand for your collectibles. The producers can finish scarcity at any time. This is the case for action figures. Just see recently the case of the Hot Toys – Iron Man Mark 47.

As for demand, you need to be sure that current and future collectors for your brand/figure are going to be in higher numbers than when you buy any figure. This is difficult to predict as it depends on many variables. Historical evidence shows that they will simply shift for the newer models instead of old ones in the long term.

Having said all that, it seems that there are opportunities to buy and sell for a profit in 1-5 years’ time frame since the launch of some products without being a flipper that takes the opportunity of actual collectors (looking at you Hasbro with the SW Black Series!). I will expand this another time.

Fellow collectors, collect! Just do not do it with the intent to sell it for a profit in the long term. It will very likely not happen.