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Add 'Star Wars' lightsaber effects to your videos for free

For a limited time, free video editor HitFilm 3 Express includes lightsaber and lightning effects. May the force of filmmaking be with you.

You might not have heard, but there's a new "Star Wars" movie opening later this week. Whether it's amazing, pretty good or just "meh," chances are good it's going to inspire a lot more fan films.

And, of course, the most important ingredient in such a film is a lightsaber duel. But who has the software and editing tools necessary to turn those broomstick handles into glowing vwoom-vwoom laser swords?

You do. For a limited time, HitFilm is offering a special edition of its free HitFilm 3 Express video-editing software (Win/Mac). What's so special about it? This version includes lightsaber and lightning effects.

You supply the sets and costumes; HitFilm 3 Express will provide the awesome lightsaber effects.


For those unfamiliar with it, HitFilm is a powerful video editor with a strong focus on special effects. Most of them are sold as add-ons, and in fact the "lightswords" effect normally requires the purchase of the Sci-Fi Adventure Pack, which costs $24.99. And lightning typically sells inside the $24.99 Destruction Pack.

As part of the promotion, the developer is also offering HitFilm Strikes Pack, a collection of seven add-ons (including the two aforementioned packs) that would normally cost you $220. But until Dec. 30, you can get it for $169.

Thankfully, there's no money required at all to grab HitFilm 3 Express and start adding lightsaber effects to your current or future movies.

You will, however, need some time. Video editing can be a slow, painstaking process, and as you'll see in the following how-to video, the learning process here is tough. There's a lot to do just for this single example scene.

Hey, no one ever said moviemaking was easy. Just imagine what J.J. Abrams had to go through!