Any tips on making a nice light saber effect?...

The subject explains it all. I was going to use some texture mapping and blending, but if anyone has some good tips they are much appreciated.


Well as far as the graphics are concerned, I would choose a suitable white, alpha blended texture, and use the primary color to set the color of the saber. To achieve the effect of a saber I would draw a single quad with the texture and rotate it along its long (primary) axis so that it is always facing towards the viewer. Also as the saber’s primary axis and the viewers line of sight become increasing parallel, i.e. the viewer is look down the saber rather than across it, I would blend an end-cap with a texture that is a cross section of the saber rather than profile. I would also tie the blending factor of the end-cap to the angle between the line of sight and the saber’s primary axis, so that the end-cap doesn’t appear to pop into existance.

You might try a simple line, use glLineWidth to make it bigger, and then modulate the color a little, you might even do 2 passes on it for a little antialasion, and get a decent effect at a much less strain on the system.