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Skill Level Intermediate
- Hi, I'm Nick, and you guessed it Jeff's not here this week. We're gonna take a look at creating some great lens flares with mFlare 2 inside of Final Cut Pro X. Some of the key concepts we're covering are an overview of mFlare. We're gonna look at the basic parameters available to us in the inspector, how we can play with the amazing lens flare presets and components that are included and we're gonna use tracking as well as auto animation features to enhance our scene that much more with not a lot of work. So first of all, mFlare 2 is a product that's created by MotionVFX and if you head to their site, motionvfx.com, you can find out tons of information as well as try a demo version and follow along with this tutorial.
There's also all the information in terms of buying it as well as you can preview all of the presets that are included. Let's hop inside of Final Cut Pro X and take a look at this. Inside my timeline I have two shots ready and I wanna point out in both of these shots there is some natural light in the scene. In the first shot I can see the sun setting across these mountains and in the second shot here I can see some light that's appearing from probably offscreen that's lighting up my field. So let's go to the first shot. I'm gonna select the clip and if you bring up your effects browser here it's already activated by, you can do this by pressing cmd + 5.
We can do a search under the mFlare 2 category once it's installed. If I clear my search here I can see there's over 100 presets. If you go over top of them you can load the preset and get a preview for how this is gonna look in the scene. Ideally we're looking for some natural light to attach it to, especially if its directly on this screen to really sell the believability of this lens flare. In other cases of course we can add a lens flare and find an area where we think we can sell the shot of where it light should appear.
Under my mFlare 2 category I'm gonna do a search and just type in sun and see that there are over 11 items specifically designed to mimic direct sunlight, and I can see some of these here. Right now what I'm thinking is that there is a preset for the winter sun and since this is, this shot was taken in a time in the winter I'm gonna select the winter sun shot and drag it onto my clip. I wanna make sure that I can see my full clip inside the viewer here, and I can see some on-screen controls as well as some buttons which will allow me to go directly into mFlare to edit my lens.
Let's stick inside of Final Cut for now. What is here is the center of my lens flare. I'm actually gonna attach that to the sun here in my scene, and then we have the rest of the lens flare which we can point out in several different directions. So we've got the center we can control as well as, in the viewer, we can control its brightness and intensity here. I usually like to start off with an extremely bright lens flare and then back it off so it's not so intense.
This is just to see the components that make it up. If I go over to my right hand side I can see that my inspector is already brought up. You can click on this button if it's not here, and I'm inside the video inspector, and this is my winter sun preset. I can choose from a few different blend modes for how my lens flare is blended into the scene. I'll stick now with add. And then I can choose the colors that exist here in my lens flare. Right now my mode is set to five colors, but I'm gonna choose three, and I'm gonna drag the center color to be kind of around red-orange to mimic a sunset.
I'll drag the two colors on the outskirts close to values of red and yellow of my choice and just see how that affects the scene and the color within the scene. That's looking pretty good. You can choose from a couple different options here as well as just a single color if that's what you scene called for. Scrolling down to see some of the other presets here's some of the basic settings. The brightness value that I adjusted onscreen there in the center of the lens flare. I can make the lens flare much bigger in the scene as well as add a little bit of distortion to my lens depending on the real-world lenses I would like to mimic such as if they were anamorphic.
Heading down a little bit further we also have some position values as well as some post effects. Now, first of all, let's add a little animation. If I turn off my lens flare temporarily here in the inspector. If we look at this shot we can see that the sun falls down in the scene over time so I want that to happen to my lens flare. I'll move to the first frame of the shot. I'll select my clip, turn back on my effects, and let's reveal the position parameters. I'm gonna head over to points and the first thing I'm gonna do is key frame the light y just to add a general animation here of the lens flare.
So I'll click to add a key frame at the beginning of the shot. I'm gonna move my play head to the last frame now, and I'm gonna just drag down inside the inspector to the position here so that the lens flare is now underneath the mountains and we should see that a key frame was now added to that point in the shot and that we have some animation between the two points here on my clip. The only problem is, as I look at the lens flare, is that it doesn't hide behind the mountains in the scene.
So I would like this to actually hide behind the mountains when it's done in the shot. There's nice feature in the mFlare presets, specifically under animation settings, you should become familiar with. If I choose to show those options I'm gonna go over to the track brightness values and I'm gonna turn this on. Now I'm just gonna move up and we can see here that based on the most lumated values in my scene the high-bright values is where the lens flare shows and as it gets obscured, the light, you can see that it's now hidden behind the mountain.
It still is being peeked through the ridge over here, but in order to make this a little bit better what I'm gonna do is start to play with the lens flare threshold just to hide that behind the mountain in its entirely, and by increasing that amount we can still see that we have these bright values when the sun is showing, but then it hides a little bit later in the scene. I wanna also increase the smoothness value, just to have a little bit more of a smooth transition for when the lens flare is hidden and now that I'm done with this effect I'll also choose to just bring down it's brightness overall so it's integrated a little bit better in the scene, and now we have just a lens flare adding a little bit to our shot and also being obscured from the mountains by using a little bit of brightness animation.
Now let's look at another example entirely. I'm gonna move to the next shot here in the timeline, and I'm gonna press c to select the clip. I'd like to add a lens flare over here in the top left hand corner of the screen, and as we can see this shot is moving and ideally I'd like to have the lens flare start onscreen and as we move further throughout the shot be hidden. So we get to do some form of tracking or key frame in order to accomplish this. First of all, let me just choose a light to add, and I'm gonna choose to add a direct sunlight preset.
I'll apply that to the clip, and first thing I'll add the center of the lens flare over here to the side and just so we can see it better I'm gonna increase its brightness so we can see the rays and I'll make sure the rays are kinda shining directly here on the field. So since this lens flare is not moving right now what I'd like to do is track it across the screen, and the real power of mFlare can be seen right now where we have a built-in tracker powered by Mocha in order to accomplish this.
What makes this tracker different than what's available inside of Motion or even other filters inside of Final Cut is that this is texture-based tracker. So it's tracking a pattern of pixels on the screen, which allows for much more flexibility. I'm gonna run into a slight problem during this track and that is that this mountian range is gonna go offscreen eventually, but it's so easy to do offset tracking with Mocha that we don't have to worry. In order to see this better under my brightness settings I'm just gonna bring down the brightness of my lens flare so we can see the tracked area a little bit better, and I'm going to choose to track this.
Now we can see here that another window comes up showing us a zoomed in view of the mountain range and how our track is doing. So this is the area that we're tracking, and eventually when we go offscreen, right around this point, is when we're gonna run into trouble, and at that point I'm gonna stop the track. So I'm gonna stop it right there, and I'll just play forward to see that it's tracked pretty well throughout the scene, and right before it goes offscreen is where I stop the track. So I'm gonna just move this box now over to this set of a mountain range.
Now it also moves the lens flare, but we're gonna take care of that here in a second. So I'm gonna track now the rest of this forward. The zoomed in display shows up and I'm able to see the rest of the progress for my scene and that, yes, there is still movement taking place, excellent. So now I have a fully tracked scene with my lens flare attached to it. What I'm gonna do now is just move this box over to the top left hand corner of the screen so we can see the lens flare there in the sky, and let's now increase it's brightness and see, just by doing that, how we have a lens flare integrated easily into a moving shot.
Now for some more advanced features what you'd wanna do is actually go in and edit this flare in its entirety, and right now when we click on that edit button I'm able to see the several components that make up my lens flare. By selecting one of these elements I'm able to then adjust its individual parameters here on the right or also just choose, in some cases, to select an element such as this iris ring and disclude it from the actual lens flare.
All of your presets are also available here inside, and you can choose from specific categories, such as cinematic, to adjust your lens flare. Now the best part about this is if we decide to pick one of these lens flares as we think it's better suited for our scene, such as this searchlight, and we choose to select it. It's gonna carry over all of the tracking and position information from the previous lens flare. So if I press the question mark to play this from in to out notice that that lens flare is tracked to the region that we specified earlier, and at any point in time we can go in and choose to edit our lens flare.
We can choose another preset to start from. Instead I'm going to go for organic and in this case go to yet another lens flare, such as natural light, which I'll now mark as a favorite to make it easier to access later on, and choose to integrate that into the scene, and there are just a few things that you can use to enhance your shots with the help of mFlare inside of Final Cut Pro X. Thanks for tuning into Final Cut Pro X Weekly. See ya next week.
Q: Why can't I earn a Certificate of Completion for this course?
A: We publish a new tutorial or tutorials for this course on a regular basis. We are unable to offer a Certificate of Completion because it is an ever-evolving course that is not designed to be completed. Check back often for new movies.