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How are lens flares akin to that in shows like Battlestar Galactica, SGU, etc. achieved?

Here is an example:

Lens Flare Example

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

I think the type of lens flare you're looking for is anamorphic lens flare.

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Best to do it with a real anamorphic lens, but those are crazy expensive, and I hear diopters are a PITA to focus. – Jason Conrad Feb 10 '15 at 13:52
Ah, yes, that's exactly what I'm looking for! Thanks! – Soviero Feb 10 '15 at 20:21

All the main editing packages have lens flare as an option, so this is incredibly easy in post.

To do it live is less controllable, but is still simple - in fact avoiding lens flare is one of the challenges, as many lens configurations give unpleasant flare when shooting anywhere near the sun.

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If you have an editing package, you can see if any of the popular lens flare plug-ins are available for it. For example:


Knoll Light Factory

I know that Motion has a built-in lens flare generator. I'd assume most other packages do, too.

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