Knoll Light Factory 3

Using the Lens Flare Editor

The Lens Flare Editor lets you view and control the individual Elements and Sprites that make up a flare effect. The Lens Flare Editor shows all of the elements currently added to the effect. The Lens Flare Editor is part of the Lens Designer.

By default, Knoll Light Factory displays one Element, the Star Filter. From this starting point, you can add, modify or delete Elements to create your own effect.

Using Elements and Sprites

Elements and Sprites are easy to use and manipulate. You can use an unlimited number of elements in a lens flare, but typically you will only need 5-10 elements to make up a realistic effect. Here are the basic rules for working with Elements and Sprites.

Three Built-in Elements used in a lens flare.

  • Add Element/Sprite: Elements can be added to a flare design in a couple of ways. You can drag-and-drop elements individually from the Elements List to build up your own effect. The new element is added to the Lens Flare Editor list, and it is automatically active so it shows its available parameters. Alternately, elements are added as components of a Lens Flare Preset, which is a saved and ready-to-use flare design that is made up of several elements. The new element is added to the Elements list, and automatically selected so it shows its available parameters.
  • Save a Modified Element/Sprite: You can modify an element in the Elements List by changing any parameter in the Element Controls, then clicking the Save button on that panel. The new Flare Element can be added to an existing category, or create a new one.
  • Load Custom Element/Sprites: Select the Load button above the Element List to import any custom saved elements or sprites.
  • Export Custom Elements/Sprites: Custom elements/sprites can be exported by clicking the Export button at the top of the Element List.
  • Delete Element/Sprite: There are two ways to remove an element from the Elements List (and from the effect). Either select the effect and click the X icon in the upper right, or right-click on the element and select Delete.
  • Select Element/Sprite: You can select an element by clicking on its name in the Elements List. This highlights the name of the element, and makes any specific parameters of that element appear in the Element Parameters section.
  • Reorder Element/Sprite: To reorder an element in the Elements List, simply click and drag. A dark line will appear as you drag up and down the list. The rendering order is not significant and will not change the look of the rendered light effect. Reordering elements is a convenience that you can use to group elements by color, scale or other attributes.

Global buttons

There are three global buttons that apply to all flare items in the current preview.

  • Toggle View: The button labeled with three lines switches between a list and thumbnail view of the elements. Show in Thumbnail View if you want a preview of the element. Show in List View if you want to maximize your screen space by using less room for the elements display.
  • Clear All: This button removes all elements and sprites from the preview.
  • Save Preset: This button lets you save the current configuration. You can give your presets names and organize then into categories for easy identification.

Displaying Elements and Sprites

Lens flares can become pretty complicated as you add more elements. It can be challenging to keep track of which elements are responsible for which aspect of the overall flare effect. Each flare element used in the design has two buttons associated with it to make it easy assess in the context of the overall lens flare. This is also useful for working on copies of an element or comparing two or more similar elements with different parameter values.

Use these two buttons to turn on and off the use of an element.

  • Hide: Toggles the element on and off, so you can assess the flare with and without it.
  • Solo: Toggles all other elements, showing the element in isolation.

Elements, Sprites and Element Presets

  • Elements are flexible light objects that you can layer to build up a lens flare design, each with an assortment of Element Controls.
  • Sprites are bitmap shapes that are used as building blocks in Knoll Light Factory, each with an assortment of Sprite Controls.
  • Element Presets are pre-made settings for the Built-in Elements that can further customize your lens effect. There are three preset groups:
    • Flares occur when extra light hits the camera image sensor and add to the exposure, or when light reflects off the glass surface of optical elements within a lens.
    • Ghosts occur when reflected light hits the camera sensor. Ghosting happens when the reflected light is closer to the focal plane, which makes the reflections appear as bright and more distinct points that look more in focus.
    • Spreads represent lens flare patterns that are spread widely across the scene.
  • Each Element and Sprite can be edited for a specific look. The properties are in the Control area below the Lens Flare Editor. When you click on an Element/Sprite, its properties display in the Controls area.