Creating Light Flares in Knoll Light Factory

Red Giant Software’s knoll light factory allows users to add some interesting effects, including light flares. These can brighten up dull photographs or just a different element to the overall picture. Further, it is so easy to use that nearly everyone will be able to get the hang of it.

Step 1: Using Light Flares

Light flares are most often seen when the flash or other light bounces off of a brighter object or a reflective surface and it creates these almost rainbow effects. But, capturing lens flares are not the easiest. Photographers have to be at the right place at the right time. For example, to capture a lens flare over the water, generally a photographer or videographer has to wait for the right moment.

This is usually sunrise or sunset, but it is also more than just simply showing up during these time frames. It also has to be at the exact time that the sunlight hits the water and creates the flare. It takes a lot of skill and a lot of patience to do this.

Knoll Light Factory comes with some preset light settings that allow users to quickly create these effects and this is all done within the Light Factory tool box.

Step 1: Using the Custom Lens Editor

To add a lens flare to a photographer or animation sequence, this can be done by going into the Light Factory Custom Lens Editor. Within this editor, users can either apply presets to lens or they can build their own.

Users can choose from 19 flare elements, including StarFilter, PhotonSpikeBall and Ellipse. Further, within this editor, users can adjust brightness, scale, angle and even color. Also, and perhaps most importantly, they can position the flare to the exact location where they need it.

This is important because just having a flare on the page does not necessarily make it add anything. In the water example from above, the lens flare needs to appear that it is bouncing off the water. It would not make sense to have the flare bouncing off of a house on the side of the water. It needs to be positioned correctly to have an effect.

Step 2: Other Lens Flare Effects

Lens flares can be further manipulated so that they actually become their own light source. Using the Alpha Generation tool, users can add a lens flare that actually creates its own alpha channel. This gives it the appearance of a star or planet. This effect can be further manipulated by adding different brightness or colors.

Step 3: Outputting the Effect

With Knoll Light Factory, all changes can be previewed before they are outputted. This allows the user to tweak the image further if it does not look right. This should be done before the output is complete.

Finally, users can then output the effect using 16-bit renderings and this helps reduce banding, which could lead to the color not looking right when it is outputted. This also means that the final product will look better when it is opened in either Adobe Photoshop or Photoshop Elements.