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Looking to make a "tractor beam" effect

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So I've been using paint.net for a whole now to crop and make clear backgrounds on images and layer them with others. As of late I've decided to take on a more ambitious project: to make an animated gif of a starship using a tractor beam to drag an object into the center of a picture and then leave. I am in the process of searching the forums as how to make an animated gif, and I would like to know how to create a sort of tractor beam effect. It doesn't have to be realistic (as the images I'm using are slightly cartoonish), but enough to look like a blue beam of light is shining (but gradually getting weaker) onto an object.

To put it simply, I need it to look like there's a blue light shining downwards onto on onbject.


EDIT: I just want to add that the light will be directed downward, there will not be any 3d effects in the picture I want to create.

Edited by USB Connector
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What about this ?

1. on a separe transparent layer create the shape of your beam (ex: triangle with the base at the bottom of the image).

2. gaussian blur it at 30-40.


1. on a separe transparent layer create a white line in dotted style with a brushwidth 10 - 30 on the vertical mediane.

2. radial blur with angle 6 - 20 and center x = -2

or combine the both suggestions...

like this:


Then you could finish it with brightness/contrast adjustments, glow...

Also try to duplicate the layer and test the layer blend modes...

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I appreciate both replies and I've been having great fun trying this out. However, that isn't quite the effect I meant to describe.


I'll be making the gif on a clear background and I need it to look like there's just a faint blue light going from one object to another. I just need to figure out how to get that kind of effect going.I'm looking to make this into a 2d effect.

Edited by USB Connector
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Great, This short video explains the most important steps.

You need these plugins:



And of course the Animation plugin, unfortunately it is no more working with me, I am getting an error massage every time.

EDIT: oops forgot to post the

Thank you! I really appreciate that you went through the effort to do all of this AND post a video. I'll be putting this to good use!

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