After Effects Plug-ins

Customize S_LensFlare with Sapphire, Free Demo

Lens flares are one of the most popular visual effects for motion graphic artists. Discover how to create varying types of flares with the Lens Flare plug-in. This tutorial teaches you how to quickly choose the right flare and customize several different types of lens flares by adjusting rays, light, colors, and more.

Note: This post has been updated with new links for Sapphire.

Sapphire tools were also top winners in the 2017 Toolfarm Top 10 Awards!

Here’s an older tutorial from August 2016 that you may enjoy.

Sapphire is the essential visual effects suite for broadcast, advertising, and film.

Sapphire saves you valuable time and money. Discover the superior image quality, control, render speed, and impact on viewer engagement compared to other plug-ins. Glow EdgeRays, LensFlare, Lightning, FilmEffect, Warps, and Textures are just a few examples that enable you to create sophisticated and stunning, yet completely organic looks, unmatched in the industry.

And there are options!

Get Sapphire Perpetual License – Available hosts include: Adobe and OFX; Avid; Autodesk (Flame, Inferno, Smoke, Smoke for Mac, Flint, Flare, and Burn); a license for All Hosts: Adobe, OFX, Avid, and Autodesk; and a Floating License Add-On.

Buy Sapphire – Annual Subscriptions – Host support: Multi-Host: Adobe and OFX; Multi-Host: Adobe, OFX, Avid, and Autodesk; Avid; Autodesk

Or Sapphire Unit: Lighting – Featuring Integrated Mocha Tracking and Masking

Flawlessly simulate natural and synthetic lights with the legendary Sapphire Lighting Unit.

Sapphire Units are only available as a perpetual license.

Sapphire Units are multi-host. One license gives users access to all supported hosts on the same machine.

Download Demo

More about Lens Flares

I did a 5-part series on Lens Flares a while back focusing on the general and expanding to specifics with several plug-ins. You can read the articles here:

After Effects FCP X Plug-ins Preset Tutorial

Free Animamorphic Lens Plug-in

According to Wikipedia, “Anamorphic format refers to the cinematography technique of shooting a widescreen picture on standard 35 mm film or other visual recording media with a non-widescreen native aspect ratio.” [ Anamorphic Format]

VashiVisuals has created a After Effects plug-in, VashiMorphic, that simulates the look of an 40mm Anamorphic lens and they’re giving it away for free.

Read more about the plug-in and download it from Vashi Visuals.

How about Anamorphic Flares?

Want to make something with the Star Trek or Transformers anamorphic flares look?  VashiMorphic does not create lens flares or the “oblong out-of-focus areas” like an actual Anamorphic lens. Here are a few plug-ins you may want to try for tht.

  • PHYX Flarelight – Add Lens Flares, Anamorphic Streaks, and industrial-strength Glows in After Effects, Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro / X and Motion.
  • Video Copilot Optical Flares – Custom Lens Flare Generator, Over 100 Presets Including new Nuclear Presets + Conspiracy Presets, 70+ Photographic Textures & Anamorphic sprites, and much more.
  • Red Giant Knoll Light Factory – With Knoll Light Factory 3, you get new features like realistic flare elements, time-saving animation behaviors, a redesigned interface, and over 100 beautifully designed presets. John Knoll’s new technology delivers the sexiness of lens flares while creating believable, accurate results. Also includes Knoll for Photoshop.
  • Rampant Design Tools Studio Flares –  real anamorphic flare effects.
  • Here’s an old school anamorphic flare preset using AE Flare from Andrew Kramer at Video Copilot (pre Optical Flares).
  • Boris Continuum Complete and GenArts Sapphire also contain a lot of nice flares. Check ’em out!

Note: PHYX, Knoll Light Factory, Boris Continuum Complete and GenArts Sapphire have free demos at Toolfarm.

After Effects Plug-ins Preset Tutorial

Tutorials: Zaxwerks 3D ProAnimator Flare Controls + Freebie

Zaxwerks has put out a series of 4 videos on the Flare Controls in Zaxwerks 3D ProAnimator 7. All 4 parts, plus a freebie Flares pack are below!

Flare Controls Part 1

Zax Dow of Zaxwerks explains how to apply flares and customize flare controls in 3D ProAnimator 7.

Flare Controls Part 2

Zax shows users how to set up multiple flares. He explains the tinting controls and the Flare Editor, to modify individual the light fixtures, allowing each flare can have an individual look.

Flare Controls Part 3

Zax goes in depth into the Flare Editor, explaining how to customize each flare and also showing some cool things you can do with glow elements.

Flare Controls Part 4

Zax continues his walk through of the Flare Editor, focusing on customizing Spike Elements.

Learn more about Zaxwerks 3D ProAnimator

If you missed it, Zax had a Holiday Freebie Flares Pack that you can still download.

Download this cool freebie from Zaxwerks
Requires v7.0.1 of ProAnimator or 3D Invigorator.

Here’s a video about how to use the freebie.