Fun level:★★★★★ Usefulness:★★★★★
Lens Flare, along with Glow, Camera shake and Motion blur, is one of compositors' best friend. With good looking flare you can instantly boost shot awesomeness by 5 times and cover up whatever imperfection you have. Optical flare is great with its customized presets, but whats even better is a image driven flare system. I give u H_AutoFlare.
Inspired by one of the best VFX technical paper I ever came across by Animal Logic about the development of The Lego Batman Movie, I reverse engineered this set up in nuke.
https://www.expandedcinematography.com/industrialised-cinematography.html Its not as robust compare to what hey have but it's descent, fast and really good for TV work. I find myself using it in some degree 80% of the time when i have a really bright effect like superpower and explosions.
It takes the light source you plug in and generate all kinds of elements that match the movement and change of your light source.
Ideally You should use it on top of your CG render or comp element that is really bright, like particles, fire, explosion. But if u want to use it to enhance a footage you can. It Keys the highlight and use that to add flare.
You can easily tweak the intensity of each element and turn them on and off. Look into the group, tweak and add our own elements if you have specific need. Use your own lens dirt texture.
Here is the Demo of the effect, its exaggerated to show what its doing.
More automation is good and all, but i don't want to take away the artistic side of flares. Flares can look really freaking good when you put more Comp love into it. To see how juicy and tasteful flares can look like, make sure you check out the K/DA music video for League of legends. The use of flare here is gorgeous. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOxkGD8qRB4
Detailed information about the tool:
PreGain: gain up the brightness before pluging in. if the footage you plug in is too dark, the tool won't pick up anything.
This section key out the highlight. check KeyPreview to see what you are keying out.
If u r using the tool directly on a footage, sometimes the highlight is clamped to 1 and doesn't get any color. (This won't be a problem if you are using a cg render in linear with higher than 1 value.)
Use the ColorBlend to add surrounding color into your highlight.
Here you can control all the elements. note "Circle1" "Circle2" only works well when u have 1 light source.
Install: copy and paste the text into nuke.