You can add Star Wars lightsaber effects to your videos for free

Elegant visual effects for a more civilised age

We don’t know if you’ve heard much about it, I mean things have been pretty quiet, but there’s a new Star Wars movie coming out. “What?” I hear you cry, “That must be why I’ve been eating yoda grapes and BB-8 oranges all week!” Yep. It is. Fortunately not every promotion of Star Wars: The Force Awakens is quite as dire as character branded fruit.

In fact, some of it is pretty cool. In celebration of the new Star Wars film HitFilm is offering a special edition of its free HitFilm 3 Express video-editing software for Windows and Mac that includes lightsaber and lightning effects. It’s only available for this month, though, so get on it fast.

If you’ve never encountered it before, HitFilm is a powerful video editor that’s particularly good for applying special effects. Most of these effects are sold separately as add-ons; usually you wouldn’t be able to get the lightsaber effects without having bought the Sci-Fi Adventure pack, so this is a pretty good deal.

As part of the promotion, the company is also giving you the chance to buy HitFilm Strikes Pack at a discounted rate. This pack contains a collection of seven add-ons that includes the Sci-Fi pack and a light flares pack so that you can put JJ Abrams to shame. It would normally cost £171, but until the 30th of December you can get it for £131.

Or you could just stick with the free HitFilm express package.

Video editing is a time-consuming and sometimes frustrating process, particularly when you’re just starting out, so HitFilm have also helpfully included two tutorial videos that take you through applying lightsaber and lightning effects to your videos. You can see from the video just how much there is to do just to edit together one scene, but it looks awesome, and if you’ve always wanted to get into creating your own videos and learning to edit them, what better place to start than with your very own Star Wars fan film? Just don’t put spoilers in it, for the love of God.