Years ago I got Ulead's PhotoImpact and began using it on pictures of my figures to draw lightsaber effects. Then an injury kept me from customizing for such a long time that I have now forgot. Anyone help?
Don't know about PhotoImpact, but I get some good results from Gimp, the poor man's Photoshop. Most of these programs run on the layer principle...so this should hopefully translate to your app.
1. select the photo you want to use
2. create a layer in black and set it to screen mode (transparency)
3. trace the outline of the lightsaber blade on the new layer to make it a selection.
4. fill the selection with white (or simply skip step 3 and just paint the entire saber blade white.
5. deselect the selection.
6. copy it twice (so you have a total of 3 painted blade layers).
7. on layer 1 apply a light gaussian blur (in gimp I usually set it to 5).
8. on layer 2 apply a moderate gaussian blur (in gimp about a 35).
9. on layer 3 apply a heavy gaussian blur (in gimp around 65).
10. merge down layers 3 and 2
11. on the merged down 2/3 layer go to the colur balance and mess with it until you get the saber colour you want (be sure to leave layer 1, the one with the light blur, white...if you look closely at lightsabers all the cores of the blades are white)
12. merge down all layers to the original photo and you have your lightsaber effect.
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