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Tutorial: Creating a Lens Flare in Adobe After Effects

This tutorial will show you a quick way to create an animated lens flare effect that can enhance your transitions, lower-thirds, and more using Adobe After Effects CC 2014.

Animating the Brightness of the Flare

Next, select the flare layer in the timeline and press the U button on the keyboard. This shortcut reveals any keyframes that exist on your layer. As you can see, the flare center keyframes that we just added are displayed here.

Next, we will navigate back up to the Effect Controls panel and animate the brightness of the flare. Just like we did with the flare center, we will select the watch icon and activate keyframes. Since this is the starting point of our effect, we will drag the brightness to the left, down to 0. We want this flare to fade in and then fade out.

Next, we will move our playhead to the 1-second mark and increase the brightness to a high enough value that will cover our entire screen. We do this so that we can easily cut to another piece of video, while the flare transition is full screen.

Pressing U on the layer will reveal all the keyframes we have just added. This provides a nice guide along with the visual of the lens flare. We will add one more keyframe to the brightness so that the flare fades back out at about the 1.5-second mark. Here, we can adjust the Brightness value in our timeline or back in the Effect Controls panel.

Exporting the Composition to Adobe Premiere Pro

You can adjust this to your liking and then export this project for use in Premiere Pro or another editing application. To export, navigate up to file in the toolbar, then choose Export > Add to Render Queue. This opens up some options for exporting.

After you have imported this effect into your NLE, the last step is to change the blending mode of the file. In Premiere Pro, I can access these settings within the clips Effect Controls panel. Here you can change the Blend Mode from Normal to Linear Dodge Add. This will remove the black background from the lens flare.

You can now use this in your projects to add some extra flashes and effects within your video.


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