I've been studying JamesVillanueva's lightsabers for a while now, and have tried to recreate the effects in Blender. The trouble I'm having is with the blade in the compositor. Keep in mind that I'm also trying to animate it.
First off, this is the lightsaber I've created with help from Williamson's lightsaber tutorial. Obviously the color of the glow needs a little more work to be accurate, but that's not what I'm worrying about at the moment. This is also rendered in Blender Internal, but I'm going to switch to Cycles when I got everything prepared. The blade model is totally transparent, but its index is fed into the ID mask node.
I'm using two versions of Blender's Gaussian glow. The glow it creates is, unfortunately, omnidirectional. This is different than the glows Villanueva puts on his, where the white core continues into the saber emitter. Also, unlike his, my glow flows over and obscures part of the emitter. This also means that if prongs were placed on the emitter and closer to the camera than the blade, the glow would engulf them. What I'm looking for is something like this:
(source: James Villanua)
Where the parts of the model that are closer aren't affected by the glow, while those that are farther are.
Second, I'm trying to improve on Villanueva's method by having the glow applied to the reflection as well. A method to have the glow applied to the blade if it's covered partly by glass would be nice, too.
Anyway, help is appreciated for any of these questions. If there is a different way of going about this and getting the glow, like with Cycles materials, I'd be happy to know.