Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member

Creating lens flares

From: Animation Tips and Tricks with Flash Professional

Video: Creating lens flares

This is a technique that you probably don't want to use too often because it has a bad reputation: that's the lens flare. There are times, though, when it's good to be able to do a lens flare, and a super bright sun in your face is as good a reason as any. So here is a simple animation that I've created of a lens flare. Let's go into the scene and I'll show you how this was done. So again, I'll switch off the layers, so we'll see one by one. We have our sky or space field; see a slight radial gradient right in the middle dropping off to dark. The ground layer or the planet, again, another radial gradient; about four colors going from dark to light with opacity at the outer edge. And the light that surrounds the sun, and this is also creating a slight little ring effect around here.

Creating lens flares

This is a technique that you probably don't want to use too often because it has a bad reputation: that's the lens flare. There are times, though, when it's good to be able to do a lens flare, and a super bright sun in your face is as good a reason as any. So here is a simple animation that I've created of a lens flare. Let's go into the scene and I'll show you how this was done. So again, I'll switch off the layers, so we'll see one by one. We have our sky or space field; see a slight radial gradient right in the middle dropping off to dark. The ground layer or the planet, again, another radial gradient; about four colors going from dark to light with opacity at the outer edge. And the light that surrounds the sun, and this is also creating a slight little ring effect around here.

This would be the solar corona or atmosphere, the sun in the middle, with a yellow color to differentiate it a little bit from that pure white light. Let's lock these. And then we have the different rings, the gradient rings, that create the illusion of the lens flare. So by now I take it that you should know enough to be able to assemble these various gradients. I'll just look at them one by one. So this one is, again, slightly squished to make the shape a little more interesting. It consists of four colors, so let's look at these one by one so you can see the settings if you want to recreate this.

The ground layer is, again, very simple. And you can see how I have pulled out the circle of the gradient to really get a feel of a large planet. And again four colors, and you can see the color settings here, and the opacity settings. And then we drop off to 0% at the outer edge of the planet. And of course, you can change the density of the atmosphere by pulling these back and forth. I am going to zoom in a little bigger so we can see this better. The light area; super simple, and that's just two colors. Pure white on the inside, falling off to complete pure black on the outside at 0%.

Again, you can add more if you want, and that will change the shape of this, but I kept it as simple as possible. And the sun, and that's just a three color, radial gradient, 100% for the slightly less deep yellow. And again, falling off to 0% with a pure white. and then we have the eight radial gradients. So what I am going to do is show you how I created just one or two of these gradients for the rings. And let's work against the background.

So I am just going to make sure everything is padlocked, so we can't change anything. Pick the Oval tool, or O on the keyboard. Be sure we have Radial gradient selected. Hold down Shift, and drag. If you have the color of the stroke color set to red or black or whatever, you'll see a circle there. Sometimes I like to keep that, because it shows me the outer edge while I am working, so let's keep it there for now. Let's select the radial, and again the Gradient Transform tool, and what I am going to do is create a much more subtle gradient at this point with a lot more colors.

And I think we are going to need about seven, so I am just going to start clicking and dragging; let's just start making, I think, about seven different colors. I am not worrying right now about if they are visible or not visible, or what color they are. Let's space it a little bit like this. So I'm going to want the inside, which will be this marker here, to be maybe a deeper yellow, and I think we can keep him at 0%. Now we'll move to this one. Sometimes it's a good idea to click and drag these little markers to make sure that they are activated. Flash can be a little bit funny about this sometimes.

So this one I am going to make yellow as well, and let's make it 20%. This is the point when we begin to see the ring, and you'll see it popping on here. You might find that it's a good idea to grab the little dragger, and pull it a little closer. Let's reactivate the Gradient Transform tool. And now the third color over, that's this one; see it's changed here. Let's make that a bit deeper, 50% opacity. And I want to make this one a little more orange; slightly different colors. Now the midpoint, and let's make this one a brighter yellow, and I am going to take him down to 90%; it's pretty bright.

Then the next one over, 50%. Starting to drop off now as we move towards the outer edge. It does not to be exactly 50, but I like to be precise for some of these. And we'll slightly change it to an orange color. I am making very subtle changes to the different colors. I mean you can play with them; they don't have to be exactly what I'm doing here. As long as you're reasonably close, I think you'll be safe. So now a yellow color for the second last one, I am clicking them to be absolutely sure this is the one I am working in. And let's bring that down to 20%.

And then the final one, the outside, should be zero. It's a little too hot, and I think there's something funny going on. Essentially we should be going from invisible, to the most visible, to the least visible. So if I click on this, it should be 0, 20, 50, 90, oh, I am missing one. Something got deleted along the way. I am going to pop one back in; no big deal. Let's click on that, and bring that up to 50, and this should be 20, and we are starting to see a more consistent ring shape.

Now it's a little bit thick, a little bit too powerful, so I am going to bring the 90 down to 80 a little bit. Let's pull these in a little tighter. I am going to deplete these a little bit, they are still too dominant, visually. And I am going to bring the middle one down to 60. So what we are seeing now -- and I am going to pull these apart a little bit, and I'll show you again what the numbers are. Very careful; when you get these two close together, they can really begin to overlap and get confusing.

You can really only push these so close before they become a little hard to handle. Feel free to go in and adjust these settings. Now I am making a change here in the color field; I am keeping one eye on this and one eye on that. Very carefully select the next color. Maybe pull it over a little bit and see what effect that has on the lens flare. It might be a little too hot. So we are going to desaturate this color by simply moving it to the left. Little reminder: if you are seeing a slightly different color area, be sure you have H selected in the Gradient menu. They changed this with the later Flash versions.

And I am going to pull the orange down a little bit. I think we are looking at something reasonably nice. So it's 0, 20, 39% opacity. And you see the hues are making slight changes; they are moving back and forth a little bit. If you think they are a little too strong around the edge, let's bring them down a little. And as we are doing this again, we are seeing new little rings appearing.

So let's select this, hit F8, and we'll call it lens flare 1. And now it's time to get rid of that outer line. We don't need that anymore; Control+ X. And now this can be positioned. If you still feel it's too much, because it's now a symbol, now you have access to the color effect in the Properties panel, and you can make an Alpha on that and really bring it down. And now you begin to see a very nice subtle effect with the lens flare.

And so that's the process for making a flare. I'll show you one more flare just to give you an idea about how I will duplicate it. So let's copy that and I'll make a new layer, and Control+V to paste it in there. And this time I am just going to right -click and duplicate the symbol, and call it lens flare 2. And let's double-click to go inside. This one will be a little simpler. I am going to use five colors for the gradient, instead of the seven that we had here, and spread them out a little bit.

I am going to space them a little differently, too, to show you that you can modify this. I think as I was making those changes, this deactivated, and this happens with me a lot too. So let's select the Paint Bucket, and repaint that, and see where they went. So I am going to select the Paint Bucket again, and deselect the lock fill, click again, and now you see the thing reappearing. Again, select the Gradient Transform tool, and as long as this little widget is active, any changes that we make here will happen there.

So just keep an eye out for that. You can find yourself doing work in the Color palette that's not happening on the Stage, so it can be a little bit of a bother. Now I am going to pull these apart a little bit to change the shape of this. This is going to be a thicker bead, so that it has a different shape and appearance, because they are not all going to look the same. Let's mak the inside a little more visible, maybe 20%, and I am going to make that more of an orangey color, so all these little beads won't be the same color. I'll make the second one 40%, close enough, and that will be a lighter orange.

I am going to make this middle one, say, 50%, and let's make it a yellow. The next one would be falling off now to 20%, that's pretty close, and that will be a darker yellow. And the outside, I am going to make also darker yellow, and that's down to zero. And so now we go back to the outer symbol. Because I duplicated this from the first symbol, it shares the same opacity setting, 30%. Now you can bring it up; that's probably going to be too bright.

It looks like a sun. So it's nice to have the option of bringing this down to something really, really subtle, like 23, 20, 30%. Something in that region. Again, snaps come back on, so let's get rid of any snapping. And now you can simply position the lens flares as you need, and of course, don't be afraid to scale them. Now you begin to see the process of creating a simple lens flare effect. I use this very occasionally, when I really want to sell the fact that we're looking at something incredibly bright, and trick the eye into thinking that they are looking at something that isn't just a flat symbol on the Stage.

So basically at this point, all you do is repeat the same process. I would say play with this, go in, try if you can figure out different variations of these two simple forms, and then deploy them around the Stage as I've done here. I used a Google Image search to find some nice sample lens flares online. It's surprisingly difficult to get a nice composition in the rings. So if you do that, you will find lots of references that you can use as source material for your own, that you can then modify and build on. And then once you have got them in place, a simple motion tween; being sure that you have them all on their own independent layers. And that's it.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Animation Tips and Tricks with Flash Professional
Animation Tips and Tricks with Flash Professional

46 video lessons · 13309 viewers

Dermot O' Connor
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 6m 35s
    1. Welcome
      1m 4s
    2. Using the exercise files
      51s
    3. Common keystrokes and shortcuts used in this course
      4m 40s
  2. 1h 24m
    1. Understanding video versus SWF
      2m 30s
    2. Overview of shortcuts, extensions, and setup
      6m 27s
    3. Understanding linear and radial gradients
      2m 39s
    4. Overlapping and animating the colors
      3m 53s
    5. Lighting a scene
      10m 24s
    6. Creating lens flares
      10m 40s
    7. Animating ripples
      7m 2s
    8. Creating a gradient globe
      11m 41s
    9. Creating a gradient bottle
      10m 26s
    10. Applying gradients to a character's eye
      10m 2s
    11. Applying gradients to a character's skull
      8m 49s
  3. 56m 53s
    1. Tweening a circle to a square
      10m 9s
    2. Using thumbnails
      4m 39s
    3. Animating a magic carpet jump
      10m 12s
    4. Setting up a magic carpet walk cycle
      7m 41s
    5. Animating a magic carpet walk cycle
      9m 33s
    6. Shape tweening hair
      3m 50s
    7. Intro to overlapping hair
      1m 57s
    8. Animating overlapping hair
      8m 52s
  4. 1h 8m
    1. Animating waves
      8m 7s
    2. Animating clouds
      7m 48s
    3. Animating a flame
      11m 38s
    4. Animating an explosion
      9m 1s
    5. Adding in-betweens to the explosion
      4m 36s
    6. Adding explosion clusters
      6m 43s
    7. Optimizing the explosion
      7m 30s
    8. Animating smoke with particles
      12m 45s
  5. 32m 18s
    1. Introduction to staggers
      1m 5s
    2. Animating a simple stagger
      5m 8s
    3. Animating a diving board
      6m 15s
    4. Animating a tremor
      5m 56s
    5. Animating a scream
      7m 12s
    6. Refining the scream
      6m 42s
  6. 47m 49s
    1. Introduction to Virtual Camera
      5m 4s
    2. Animating parallax
      6m 9s
    3. Animating a crane shot
      6m 26s
    4. Animating a zoom and rotate shot
      9m 30s
    5. Animating a track shot
      11m 0s
    6. Lighting a 3D shot
      9m 40s
  7. 19m 48s
    1. Animating a cross dissolve
      6m 10s
    2. Animating a wipe
      3m 34s
    3. Animating a fadeout
      10m 4s
  8. 20s
    1. Goodbye
      20s

Start learning today

Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.

Become a member
Sometimes @lynda teaches me how to use a program and sometimes Lynda.com changes my life forever. @JosefShutter
@lynda lynda.com is an absolute life saver when it comes to learning todays software. Definitely recommend it! #higherlearning @Michael_Caraway
@lynda The best thing online! Your database of courses is great! To the mark and very helpful. Thanks! @ru22more
Got to create something yesterday I never thought I could do. #thanks @lynda @Ngventurella
I really do love @lynda as a learning platform. Never stop learning and developing, it’s probably our greatest gift as a species! @soundslikedavid
@lynda just subscribed to lynda.com all I can say its brilliant join now trust me @ButchSamurai
@lynda is an awesome resource. The membership is priceless if you take advantage of it. @diabetic_techie
One of the best decision I made this year. Buy a 1yr subscription to @lynda @cybercaptive
guys lynda.com (@lynda) is the best. So far I’ve learned Java, principles of OO programming, and now learning about MS project @lucasmitchell
Signed back up to @lynda dot com. I’ve missed it!! Proper geeking out right now! #timetolearn #geek @JayGodbold
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ.

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Join now "Already a member? Log in

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed Animation Tips and Tricks with Flash Professional.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferencesfrom the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Are you sure you want to delete this note?

No

Your file was successfully uploaded.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.