Anamorphic flare effects – Part 1

So I was inspired by MGS5’s trailer¬†which featured loads of anamorphic lens flares. It seemed like a nice effect to have aesthetically; but I have found a way to use it as part of the story.

The flares are usually horizontal or vertical; rarely 45 degrees. I’m using them to portray the state of mind of the main character as well as timeline differences.

In terms of technique, I’ll be using After Effects to create them. This is something I thought of by myself since the methods I’ve found in forums is quite time consuming. There will be 2 stages.

Stage 1) Duplicate layer, adjust levels, brightness and contrast (almost maximum), directional blur at value 400. Make the layer blend in ‘Add’ mode then scale and position it accordingly.

The screenshots below are at stage 1.

s1R guardhold_0046

s1R mansion_0112s1R arrive_0064s1start_0199

Stage 2) Haven’t really started this phase yet; only planning to do it after I render everything. This would be the more conventional method of tracking the main light source and using a good lens plugin (or in my case, custom made photoshopped ones). But since I did stage 1, I’m only using this tracking technique for roughly 20% of the entire film.