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Up and Running with Optical Flares

with Chad Perkins

Video: Welcome

Learn how to create lens flare—the popular visual effect seen in commercials, TV shows, and feature films alike—with the After Effects plugin Optical Flares.
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Up and Running with Optical Flares
Video duration: 0s 2h 37m Appropriate for all


Lens flares are ubiquitous. They're in commercials and promos, TV shows, and feature films. And most of the time, those flares were created with the Optical Flares plugin for After Effects.

Learn how to create your own visual effects with Optical Flares in this course with Chad Perkins. After examining how actual lens flares work in the real world, you'll explore the core features and presets you'll need to create professional lens flares. Chad also gives you a look at integrating these flares with the 3D environments in After Effects, as well as how to create your own custom flares from scratch. Plus, learn how to add animation, obscure flares with layers, dynamically trigger flares, and use them in realistic scenarios like motion graphics, lower thirds, and beauty shots.

This course was brought to you by Chad Perkins. We are honored to host this content in our library.

Topics include:
  • Adjusting basic flare parameters
  • Using and adjusting flare presets
  • Simulating streaks, rings, multi iris effects, and more
  • Turning natural hot spots in footage into flares
  • Using After Effects lights as flares
  • Positioning with masks
  • Working with dynamic triggering
After Effects Optical Flares


(MUSIC) Hey folks, welcome to this training series on Optical flares, by Video Copilot. Optical flares is a lens flare generating plugin for Nuke and for Adobe After Effects. Now, although we're going to be using After Effects for this training, the effect works similarly in both applications. Before we get to making beautiful lens flares, we're going to first look at footage of actual lens flares, and spend some time learning a bit about them, so we know how they work in the real world.

Then we'll move on to the basics of Optical flares. We'll learn how to apply one of the many phenomenal lens flares presets that ship with Optical flares and how you can get your hands on many more of those. But from there it's going to get really fun, because we're going to create Lens flares from scratch. We'll look at the building blocks of flares and Optical flares, streaks, rings, the all-powerful multi-iris and more. We'll even look at a couple different options for simulating the look of a dirty lens.

Next we'll look at a variety of other great features. How to add flares to hot spots, and footage as if they were captured in camera. How to use after effects lights as lens flare controllers. How to automatically add random animation to flares, with flicker and shimmer, using flares in 3D space. Using other layers to obscure flares, and much more. We'll also take a stroll through Wonderland, to help us understand the most powerful feature in Optical flares, dynamic triggering which allows you to set up custom location-based actions for your flares.

Finally, we'll end this series by looking at using lens flares in real world situations. In motion graphics, as elements in lower thirds and using Optical flares to add beauty to shots. Honestly folks, Optical flares is one of the tools that I use most often and I think you're going to really have a lot of fun going through this training, so let's jump in and get started.

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