DP-Animator: Lightning

DP-Animator: Lightning



About Program

As you may know, DP Animation Maker has great effects that can really juice up your animation. One of those effects, lightning, is now available in the freeware version of the program DP-Animator: Lightning. Lightning is the effect that can bring storms and bad weather into your animation. It is great for pictures that were taken on the ocean or on the sea. Furthermore it can be used on other pictures that are taken in bad weather so that the animation will look like there was a great thunderstorm. This animation is very realistic and, if used in the right way, the person seeing the animation will not be able to decipher whether the thunderstorm is real or not. You can alter this effect in any way that you desire and the animated sprite will be able to be used in any of your future projects. All you have to do is import it.

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How It Works

There are a number of options available for designing your lightning. Most of them are straightforward, however, we will describe the more advanced options.


Basic Properties

To begin, you can choose the shape of the light by setting the Seed parameter, or you can check the die icon in the “Basic properties” section. This way the shape of the lightning will be always unique. In this section there are another four options.

  • You can change the width of the lightning using the “Width” parameter.
  • Beneath it, you can find the “Detail” parameter which will determine the number of segments of the lightning that are going to be created.
  • “Tortuosity” is pretty important for the look of your lightning, since it is responsible for the folding of your thunderstorm. The higher the number is here, the more folded the lightning will be.
  • “Sharpness” sets the width of the end of the lightning compared to the width at the beginning.


Branch properties

Another set of options are “Branch properties”. This section is easy to understand. Just note that the “Deviation” is responsible for setting the maximum angle between the “child” branch and a “parent” branch.


Color properties

“Color properties” is pretty straightforward, however, it is worth noting that the “Main color” is the color of the central part of the lightning and that the “Translucency” is the opacity of that part. “Glow color” is the color of glow around the discharge, and the “Glow opacity” is the strength of that glow. “Glow size” is the width of the glow, and “Blending mode” sets the blending algorithm between two colors.


Timing properties

Finally, we have “Timing properties” that are responsible for the different durations of the effects of the lightning. “Fade in” is responsible for the duration of the appearing, or the growth of the lightning, while the “Fade out” is the duration of its disappearing. “Exposure” is the duration of the lightning effect. With “Delay” you can set minimum and maximum delay before the “Fade in” effect, while the “Pause” sets minimum and maximum pause after the “Fade out” effect. “Blinking” is responsible for the intensity of the blinking during the “Exposure” effect.

With this information, you should be ready to alter this effect according to your needs.

Saving the result

With this set of properties you can design your very own explosion animation and when you are satisfied with the result, you can export it. You can do this in two formats: QuickTime MOV and PNG sequence.

Export to QuickTime MOV

If you select the MOV export format, you will have to set several of options, like the “Width” and ”Height” of your animation, “Animation duration” that is measured in milliseconds (1000 ms = 1 second), and “Frames per second”, an option that sets the final quality of your animations. (Higher values make the animation smoother, but increase the file size.)

Export to PNG sequence

The second option for exporting is PNG format. Here the options are very similar, but you have “Sample duration” and “Number of samples” instead of “Animation duration” and “Frames per second” in MOV format export.