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So today I've been working on making a model of lightsaber, I plan to use this to practice some animation. I was wondering if someone could assist/inform me on how I would animate it so that the lightsaber ignites. Make the blade appear, from the saber being turned off to turned on.

Lightsaber handle without blade. Turned off.

Lightsaber ignited. Turned on.

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I did this using shape keys. I'll show you how:

Shorten

Start by going to your lightsaber and pull it down.

shapekeys

Next you go over to the properties bar under "data", go over to "Shape Keys", and hit the plus button two times.

DragValue

This will produce two keys. One is titled Basis; leave it alone. The second is the one you mess with. Click once on the second shape key and drag the value bar all the way to one.

Lengthen

Now you go to Edit Mode and pull your lightsaber back out again. Go back to object mode.

Animate

Now, in order to animate, all you have to do is drag the value bar to the point you want it, move your mouse over the value bar, and press "i". This will produce a keyframe.

animateHide

When you animate the lightsaber, you will still have a short stub of lightsaber sticking out. The way to fix that is that you hide the blade until the very moment you want it to ignite. You can also animate hiding it by going to the outline, finding the object you wanna hide, mouse over the eye icon, click it on/off to show/hide, and hit "i" while still moused over it. If you were just wanted it to "blink" on and off, this is how to do it.

Good luck!

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