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

Here is an example:

Lens Flare Example


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

  • 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
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    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.


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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