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LinkedIn Learning

Learning Optical Flares

via LinkedIn Learning


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.

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.


  • Welcome
  • Using the exercise files
1. About Real Lens Flares
  • Examining real lens flares
  • Understanding edge flaring
2. Getting Started
  • Applying Optical Flares
  • Exploring the plugin
  • Previewing the background
  • Adjusting basic flare components
  • Applying lens flare presets
  • Getting more presets
3. Building Flares from Scratch
  • Exploring lens objects
  • Using custom lens objects
  • Customizing streak settings
  • Simulating a dirty lens
  • Using lens textures
  • Working with rings and hoops
  • Making magic with the multi-iris
  • Saving custom flares and objects
4. Optical Flares in Action
  • Flaring hotspots in footage
  • Using After Effects lights as flares
  • Adding flicker and shimmer
  • Positioning flares with masks
  • Using flares in 3D space
5. Advanced Techniques
  • Using the virtual matte box
  • Working with groups of lights
  • Obscuring flares with other layers
  • Using custom layers as lens objects
  • Creating chromatic aberration
6. Working with Dynamic Triggering
  • Understanding dynamic triggering
  • Adjusting other parameters dynamically
7. Creative Ideas
  • Using Optical Flares in motion graphics
  • Using flares in lower thirds
  • Creating beauty shots with flares
  • One last thing

Taught by

Chad Perkins

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