Lens flares could be an awesome addition to a scene if you use them properly. They are pretty indeed, or at least can be. So many things can get in the way and make these brilliant little specters look terribly wrong, things like adding a basic Lens Flare effect to the clip, or showing too much of them. In this video below, you will find many tips given by Jordy Vandeput of Cinecom that could help you create a perfect lens flare for your film in an artistic way. Check it out:
Although it appears for a short period of time, lens flares can be a smart addition to your shot to make it instantly prettier and give it a nice final touch, it’s the ultimate cherry on top. But just like the Dutch angle, it should be handled safely and should be done carefully, to not miss the whole point of it. Therefore, there are some things to consider before going completely wild on this one:
- In-camera or stock: In-camera is shooting them directly, which makes it look instantly realistic, so you don’t have to worry if it looks fake or not. But by doing that, you can’t make them disappear in post-production. For stock, there are many existent lens flares that could be added, but you have to make them look realistic, plus those can cost a lot!
- Making your custom made flare assets: If you’re on a budget, it’s possible to create your own lens flare. The cons of it are it might look unnatural, so do some research to avoid this issue. You should also find out what modifications you should make to upgrade it to the next level so you don’t look like an amateur filmmaker.
- Lens flares are perfect for transitions:a commonly used trick is using lens flares as a transition between two clips. It’s a very delicate and trendy way to switch from a shot to another, and gives a warm and smooth ambiance to the clip.
- Remove the unwanted: To block lens flares that have a chance of appearing and that you don’t want, you can use a flag, or a Cinefoil around your lens, or close the barn doors on your matte box. The thing is they shouldn’t enter your lens and reflect inside it.
- Does it make any sense?: The use of your lens flare should be justified, in a way that it goes in a logical sense and adds meaning to your shot, its presence shouldn’t be shallow and negligible, or illogical. You should definitely add it depending on your lighting. Frontal lighting doesn’t need a lens flare, only if you have some backlight or a visible light source like the sun, it could make sense that a lens flare should be present.
- Movement:Lens flares should follow the path of your camera, their movement should be synchronized with each other.
- Emphasis: To make your source of light stand out, add a flare to it! The sun, a headlight, the stars or a candle could use a good flare.
- Limit their amount: Unless your film is called The Return of Lens Flares 2, you don’t have to spill lens flares to every light source in every clip. Not only will it make you look desperate for your film to look indie, but it will make your movie look too artificial. Add them only where it adds sense and logic to the scene. Use them occasionally to add a distinctive style.
How do you use lens flares in your work? Let us know down in the comments.