Join Chad Perkins for an in-depth discussion in this video Making magic with the multi-iris, part of Learning Optical Flares.
So we're here in the Optical Flares options window on the Flare layer, and we're going to talk about the multi-iris, which is my personal favorite lens object here in Optical Flares. I'm going to go ahead and click Clear all, and it's like Yes. I'm going to add a glow, just so we have a reference for where the light is, and I'm going to go ahead and click on multi-iris. to add a multi iris. And we saw this earlier when we were looking at real world lens where there is a streak of kind of a series of geometric shapes that extrude out.
That's really one of the tell tell signs of a beautiful lens flare in my opinion. Sometimes you don't want one, it's a little bit too much but I really like the way this looks Now, I'm going to start here in the common settings in the editor. Again, making sure that multi-iris and not glow is selected. We'll have multi-iris selected, and I'm going to go ahead and increase the scale a little bit. Maybe do about 40% or so, and we'll scroll down a little bit, and be aware that color random in the colorize section is really awesome when you're working with the multi-iris. Because in real life, that's often how random the colours are they are really are just there is reds, and yellows, and greens, and blues all in the same lens flair the same shot.
Now I'll scroll down a little bit more and there is the multi Iris controls and this is really were we control the different components here and all of the different the bells and whistles in this multi-iris. So we can increase this spreads, we can split it out more or we could spread it out less. And keep in mind too, we don't always have to use optical flares for visual effects when we're trying when we're trying to simulate a real world lens flare. Sometimes you just want to use it to make beautiful patterns as we'll look at. A little bit later in the training series.
And so, keep in mind that, you know, that looks really awesome as those kind of overlay one another. Maybe not super realistic, but still very cool. We could also randomize the spread, we could also adjust the number of objects, and this one's very important. So if we want more, that's a ltitle, (LAUGH) a little over the top, and if we want to take this down to just have a few, we can do that as well. And soemtimes, with the multi-iris Actually let me increase the spread here. Sometimes you just have, just a few little shapes, here and there in random spots, and that's enough.
I could also adjust the Scale Random, and this is also very accurate for organic lens flares, they're. Often little tiny dots and then really big ones and we could also randomized the brightness of these, we could also rotate the randomized the rotation of these. And we could also offset random and I am going to go ahead and increase the number of objects, we could really see what's going on here. This is offset from this main line here so this refers to. So, as we increase this then they kind of start wandering.
Now a little bit is great but as you start getting into a high number, they kind of (LAUGH) go all over the place and it looks a little wacky. Maybe I'll increase the number and maybe I'll take down the scale randomness. And, now as I move my light around, you see that we have this kind of like, world of geometric shapes that move around, which again is very interesting. Not great for real world lens flares but this is a very interesting way, and a very creative way to create a bunch of shapes in z space, that are kind of offset from each other automatically.
Very cool. Now i'm going to go ahead and reset the multi-iris, go back to the top, and I'm going to increase the scale backup to about 40 or 50% and I'm going to scroll back down and the number of. Multi-iris pieces and also all the multi iris control settings are fine. I'm going to scroll down to Object shape. Now in the last movie we talked about creating a custom texture and we'll get to that in just a second. But there's a really cool trick here with using a polygon, now if we use a circle we'll basically just be creating like The after effects stock lens flare, which is just really not that great.
Usually there's just not plain circles. But if we go to polygon, we have a lot of really interesting choices. I'm going to take the polygon sides down to four, and now we have kind of like these squares. And it's amazing how much that little tiny difference makes in the design of our flare. Totally different feel now. Than it was with the six pointed polygon. We can also adjust the polygon roundness. There's a little bit of bulging around these edges by default, so we could increase the roundness if we want to or take this down. You can even actually make it a pincushion effect by taking it to a negative value.
That's a little on the ridiculous side, but I'm going to go ahead and take this to zero, and we have these really cool squares. I love that. Now there's also something called blade notching. I'm going to go ahead and crank this up all the way, so you can, maybe see what that looks like. And, it's kind of hard to see, maybe I could increase polygon roundness. And I'll go back up here and increase the scale. You don't have to follow along here. I just want to show you something, what this blade notching is. A lot of times, when you are creating a flare or the flare elements come because they are bouncing off the inner pieces of glass and it's going through the aperture of the lens and the aperture of the lens is a series of blades around a circle.
And sometimes those blades create creates this kind of like notching effect. So that's what this blade notching is referring to. Just another way optical flare gives you to make really realistic changes to your flare. Now I'm actually going to go ahead and undo that. I'm going to go to the Undo button here. And you see we have 25 undos in the bank. So I'm going to click this a few times til we get rid of that blade notching. And I'll go back to my object shape parameters here. And, then we going to adjust smoothness, basically that's kind of like feathering, and could also randomize this smoothness which is much more in line with what happens with real lens flairs.
We have some shapes that are smooth or feathered. Increase that little bit, and then we have some that are little bit more solid. Another thing is very common in real lens flares, is it is often like a little halo around each of the shapes and we can go and do that using these outline parameters. So it could increase the outline intensity and see we are getting that very organic outline here. You could also increase the outline thickness. That's a little over the top and ridiculous but that now looks about right. We could also feather that and now we have these very realistic flare shapes.
Just beautiful. Now another common trick that you'll find in a lot of the presets is to simulate anamorphic lens flares and when you have anamorphic lens flares, they're a little bit wider than they are tall. So if we go back up to the top to our common settings. And we adjust the stretch parameters, we could either a bring down the Y value or increase the X either or. And now we have this very cool anamorphic style lens flare. That is awesome.
Now let's see what this looks like with a custom texture in the mult-iris. I'm going to go ahead and click Reset. And then scroll down, and change the object shape to texture, click on Caustic blob to change this and again, we have all these great organic elements to choose from here. I think all these are going to look amazing, or create really interesting effects with the multi-iris object. I'm going to wuss out and play it kind of safe and choose this iris messy texture, and then I'm going to go ahead and click OK.
And I'm going to go back up to the top, and I'll go ahead and increase the scale so that we can see that a little bit better. And now you can see all these textures in there. Very organic, it has that outline that we made a little bit ago, but now it's actually really generating it from the texture. I'm going to go ahead and decrease the number of objects now, and let's go ahead and increase the spread, and I'm going to go ahead and take this scale random, yeah, maybe leave that where it's at and take the scale down just a little bit. And, then we could increase, there we go.
There we go. Simple towers controls. Increase scale random, maybe a little bit, maybe increase brightness random a little bit, and we have a very simple but very realistic Lens flare right there. So again folks the multi-iris is really one of the most beautiful and one of the most complex lens objects in optical flares.
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.
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- 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