View Full Version : Need help making thrusters for a satellite

07-01-2009, 01:00 PM
I need help. I need to make thrusters for a satellite. Normally I would use a spot light and volumetric lighting. However in this scene I unable to do that because I am using a light as the sun and lens flare to make it look the sun is rising over the Earth.

I can't use spotlights for the thrusters because of the lens flares that occur with lens flare turned on because the sun needs lens flare. So I need to find another way to produce the satellite thruster effect. I thought of particle effects but the information in the LW manual isn't specific enough for me to accomplish what is needed for the thrusters.

Can anyone help me with the specifics (or a very specific tutorial) on how to make realistic satellite thruster effects using particle effects? Or is there some other approach I'm not realizing therefore overllooking?
Please see attached image
Thanks for your help.


07-01-2009, 01:34 PM
It's been awhile since I used lens flare, but I thought you could turn them on or off, light by light. (??)

Mr Rid
07-01-2009, 04:54 PM
Mmm, I dont understand why flares would interfere with a volumetric light(?).

07-01-2009, 05:27 PM
Study up on lights a bit more, you should be able to accomplish an effect like shown in your sample fairly easily.

07-01-2009, 06:52 PM
There are some pre-made scenes here that might be of help to you:

07-01-2009, 07:05 PM
There are some pre-made scenes here that might be of help to you:

Cheers on that link. Some great reference files there! :)

07-09-2009, 12:13 AM
Is it possible for satellite radio to incorporate satellite telephones in the future? I wonder if "SAT" phones can be used in conjunction with satellite radio infrastructure in the future. "SAT" phones are extremely useful for remote places where there is no cell towers and since XM and Sirius already have the infrastructure set up - is this a viable idea?

07-13-2009, 01:11 PM
I like kitties.

07-14-2009, 04:00 AM
change the first letter and I'm right there. ;)

07-14-2009, 08:27 AM
... now we're getting to the thrusters ...

07-17-2009, 12:52 AM
Do you have a composite program (AE of Fusion etc.)? I do 99% of my renders with a multi-pass approach and just comp everthing in AE. You have a lot more control and you can tweak things faster if everything is a seperate render. I'd render out your scene with no thrust then render a seperate pass with just the thrust (vox spotlight would probably work) over black then in a composite set that layer to screen or add or whatever works. You can clone the thrust layer to make it brighter and you can blur it to fuzz it out more. You might have to render out some mattes to aid in the comp (if the thrust goes behind part of your object). I hope this helps. That's how I'd play it.


07-24-2009, 03:40 AM
I got something along those lines using volumetric lights for a probe from my BIS Daedalus, starting from the same reference image...

A simple blue volumetric spot light, and a light blue base plate with luminosity and a bit of glow works just fine. Add a bit of texture to the light and move it rapidly down the beam for a motion effect.