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Light Factory2

Step 7
Below are all the controls that come with Light FactoryEZ. The store settings on the lower right side are unique to Combustion. The buttons (1,2,3,4,5) allow me to quickly switch between various versions of my flare. Neat huh? Well I thought so anyway. In the lower left corner is my flare type.

Click image for larger view

Step 8
Below you are seeing the result of adding "Light Factory EZ" to the existing flare. A default flare is used initially.

Step 9
Now I will change the flare by selecting another one from the list

Step 10
The result of selecting "Quantum5" from the list is shown below.


Step 11
Below I have added both grain and a slight blur to my solid layer (the flare). This adds more realism to the flare. It would be nice if Red Giant included some kind of artifact generating features to simulate the effects of a flare being captured on grainy film through focused lenses or compressed video(DV/Beta).

Here is the final piece:


On a final note, If I wanted to show off, I could have created my own custom flare from the ground up with ease using the flare editor.

Click image for larger view

The flare editor enables me to create and customize every element of the lens flare. You'll want to familiarize yourself with the terms and their meanings, but that's not a big deal to accomplish at all.

Here are some examples of real lens flares with some fake Light Factory flares. Can you tell which are real? Talk about this and ask any questions you may have on my visual effects forum here on DMN.



Light Factory supports Mac OS X 10.2 and Windows XP. Red Giant claims that Light Factory supports Adobe After Effects 5.0 (5.5 or later for Mac OS X), Adobe Photoshop 6.0 (7.0 or later for Mac OS X), Apple Final Cut Pro 3 or later (Including FCP 4) and Electric Image Universe 5 (Mac only), but it also runs on Discreet Combustion. Applications that use the same plug-in structure (API) as Adobe After Effects will probably work. Check with Red Giant or DMN's forums for confirmation on your application of choice before purchasing.

To run Light Factory you need:

Mac OS9 or OSX (PowerMac G4 or later)
Windows XP or Windows 2000, Pentium 3 600 MHz (or equivalent) or greater
RAM 256MB minimum


  • 16-bit support...yes I said 16-bit!!
  • Fast
  • Stable
  • Simple workflow
  • Flexible options
  • Easy to learn
  • Ability to save flares for later use
  • Compatibility with Photoshop, After Effects and Combustion
  • Good tutorials


  • Manual setup on some applications (I'm going to talk to Discreet and Red Giant about automating installation for Combustion)
  • No flare type/element preview3 (there is a post-selection preview)
  • No grunge tools (noise/blur)
  • You don't already have a copy...Just kidding
  • Photoshop interface could be better, but is more than adequate

Summary: I'm not really into plug-ins, but I can already see that I'll have lots of use for Light Factory. Who knows, the next movie or commercial you see may feature some Light Factory 2 lens flares that I created! The bottom line is that this is a really great product, which can certainly enhance your productions in a big way. If you think you can get away with using just Adobe Photoshop's basic lens flare, then think again. This product is a must have for any graphics artist, from motion graphics professionals using After Effects to Adobe Photoshop users.

You can download Light Factory right now, by going to In a few minutes you'll be on your way to lighting effects heaven!

$345.00 Knoll Light Factory 2 - Win (Download)
$99.00 Knoll Light Factory 2 Upgrade - Mac (Download)

1Digital Camera: Camera like a 35mm picture camera used for taking photos, that uses some form of digital media (SD,xD,Flash disk) instead of film. Ex. Fuji finepix s5000, Canon S1 IS, Nikon Coolpix 4300.

2A black solid in After Effects and Combustion is basically a graphic that is all black. It is not transparent so you can't see through it.

3When choosing a flare, you choose from a list of names of flares. Once you choose the flare you can see a preview of that flare while you work on it.


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Carlyle GordonCarlyle Gordon is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force. Having traveled to Europe to meet with the leading post houses in London and meeting with most of the leading houses in New York, Gordon is poised for the next big move in his career. He is the Pinnacle Commotion and Visual Effects forum host here on DMN. Click to visit these forums: Visual Effects, Commotion
Related Keywords:Light Factory , John Knoll , Knoll Lens Flare Pro, After Effects plugins, Photoshop plugins, final cut pro plugins, combustion plugins

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