Hey everyone, thanks for the great site! I thought I would share my first creation.
I've created a preset using expressions to generate a nice lightsaber effect.
For anyone interested.
I used the "beam" effect as the core and the tricky part was getting the light saber to fan or have realistic motion blur when it is moved fast. The beam effect actually generates motion blur but the layer gets semi-transparent and the glow doesn't look good.
So by using the start and end thickness of the beam effect I created an expression to calculate the speed and drive the thickness. So essentially when the points are keyframed a fast movement will cause the effect to fan out which looks like blur.
I also added a show glow checkbox to make adjusting the saber easier.
I edited the preset xml file to create the preset in AE7 so the AE 6.5 file isn't quite as advanced...