lightsabers - how good can we get the flickering effect now?


Sr Member
I mean the 24fps strobing look of the hand-rotoscoped blades in the OT.

I've seen a few online videos of people's various sabers with flickering effects. It's better than a solid steady light, but . . . they all still look like they need more of it. They all seem like they still need a brighter blade (I know, it's never bright enough, but we're at the limits of available LEDs). And more importantly, they seem to need a greater contrast between the high & low points of the flicker. Maybe some kind of vague rhythm to the flicker, like the ANH spinning blades ended up having. Maybe try using several columns of LEDs within the blade, all flickering on individual schedules?

What's the current state of this?


Sr Member
Some of the modern day saber soundboards have the blade flickering effect. However as to how good it is, that may be a bit more subjective than objective. I've never worked with the high end boards like the Igniter 2 from Naigon's Electronic Creations or the Crystal Focus from Plecter labs so I don't really know how good I would think they are at it.


Sr Member
I would like to see the results of controlling batches of the LED's and programming their "flicker" individually. Is that practical? Like maybe 10 or 20 groups of LEDs to make up the whole blade? People already seem to be controlling at least half a dozen groups of LEDs individually on the existing sabers, when the blades appear to extend & contract.

Psab keel

Legendary Member
One of the really cool things about even an entry level board like the Nano Biscotte is that you can actually program the flicker effect to mimic the blade flicker you see in the movies. The parameters have a wide range too which you can fine tune to get the look you want. The flicker is hard to capture on a video, given that the light coming off the blade is overloading the camera lens to the point where you wouldn't even have to rotoscope if you were making a fan film.

And honestly when it comes to brightness, I think even the single die high power LED's like the CREE's are bright enough. With that kind of lighting system it all comes down to your optics and your blade method. You can have the brightest LED's in the world, but if your blade is crap then it will never look good. It's amazing how the far the tech has come in such a short amount of time, but if we get to the point where you have to wear eye protection then that's when our sabers are TOO bright.


Sr Member
batguy, what you are referring to is called an LED string blade. There are a few soundboards out there for LED string blades but I don't think any of them have blade flickering effects. Most saber soundboards are designed for a single PCB in the hilt itself, containing anywhere from 1 to 6 LED dies. The higher end versions of those sound boards do allow you to control most of those dies separately for some really cool effects, including blade flicker. However I think that blade flickering is usually done from one or one group of same color dies. Not sure on that.
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