Knoll Light Factory EZ is a set of quick setup Lens Flare tools from Industrial Light & Magic’s John Knoll. Use it to instantly add color, depth and excitement to a live-action scene or your motion graphics.

Knoll Light Factory has been used on the Star Wars films and countless others for over a decade. Knoll Light Factory EZ is found under the Universe Stylize category of effects. It is a simplified version of the Knoll Light Factory plugin found in Red Giant's Effects Suite.

Getting Started   Premiere_icon AfterEffects_icon FinalCutPro_icon Motion_icon Vegas_icon Hitfilm_icon Resolve_icon 

  • Drag the uni.Knoll Light Factory EZ effect onto your clip.


  • Click the Choose a Flare button to see the presets based on real-world lenses. Double-click any preset to apply. Once a preset is selected, you will see its name selected within the preset category drop-down menu below.
  • Presets can also be applied directly from preset category menus:
    • Action & SciFi Lenses
    • Cinematic Lenses
    • Motion Graphics Lenses
    • Natural Light Lenses

Modify the Flare

  • Flare Brightness: Larger values cause the center of the flare to increase in size as it blooms or pushes towards white. A brightness value of 0 is handled as a special case and does not render. Use this feature to turn the flare on and off during an animation.
  • Flare Scale: Adjusts the overall scale of the flare elements, but does not brighten the flare or change its position. Animate Scale to simulate the adjustment of the focal length of a zoom lens. The slider range is 0 to 5, with a default of 1.
  • Light Location: Defines the position of the lens flare's light source in the X and Y axes. Enter numerical X and Y values, or move the crosshair or point control in the preview window. Animate the values to move the center of the flare throughout the clip.
  • Color: Specifies a color for the light source. Choose a lens color from a palette with the color well, or use the eyedropper tool to sample a color from anywhere on your screen. Color affects hue and saturation values. A bright blue and dark blue color will give the same results. Neutral colors like dark gray or black will not darken the flare. As you increase the color's saturation, the color will override the individual colors in the flare effect. Therefore, you can use Color to override the individual colors of the Elements and Sprites in the flare effect.
  • Angle: Presets such as Double Barrel and Quantum Five from the Action & SciFi category have elements that respond to changes in the Angle control. Flare presets with Random Fan, Photon Spikeball, PolySpikeBall, and Sparkle elements will appear to shimmer when you animate the Angle settings. To create this shimmering effect, enter different keyframe values for Angle at the beginning and end of the flare’s appearance in your project's Timeline. The flare elements that respond to Angle animation will change or rotate about the Light Location point.

    Tip: The Angle control will not rotate lens elements, so in many presets the Angle control may appear to have no effect.

Location Tracking

Location Tracking adjusts the visibility of the lens flare, including where its light source is located and if that light source is turned on.

  • Location Layer: Choose a layer from the drop-down menu to use it's alpha channel to set the position of the light source. This overrides the Light Location setting. The layer need not be visible in the Timeline to be used as a positioning layer. Setting the Location Layer to None will allow Light Location to set the effect’s position.

    Note: Location Layer searches the alpha channel of the selected layer for non-black pixels and calculates the average position of these pixels. If you have a small white dot in a black alpha channel, the light effect will be placed at the center of the dot. If the alpha channel contains multiple white dots, the plug-in will average the positions of each dot and place the light at the averaged location. If no non-black pixels exist in the alpha channel, the light effect will default to the center of the image.

  • Obscuration Layer: Choose a layer that will obscure (hide) the flare, making it appear to pass behind objects in another layer. The default setting of None causes no layer to be used.

  • Obscuration Type: Your lens flare can be hidden, or 'obscured', with different image-based options. Choose one of five ways to use the data in the Obscuration Layer:
    • RGB: Modulates the color of the light effect with the corresponding RGB value of the obscuration layer. It is possible to simulate the sun shining through a stained glass window by moving the light flare over the color area.
    • Alpha: The default option. Pixels with an alpha value of zero or black let the flare show through. Pixels with an alpha value of white will completely obscure the flare. Pixel values between 0 and 255 scale the obscuration by a corresponding amount.
    • RGB + Alpha: Combines the effects of the RGB and alpha types where transparency of the light effects is controlled by the alpha channel and the color is altered by the RGB channels just as in RGB type shown above.
    • Inverse alpha: Produces the same result as the alpha choice but white and black are inverted.
    • Luma: Use the source video as an obscuration layer based on it's luminance.
    • TIP: The RGB color change is added to any color the light effect might have, so a yellow flare passing through a cyan-colored RGB obscuration layer will result in a green flare. RGB + alpha type combines the effects of the RGB and alpha types where transparency of the light effects is controlled by the alpha channel and the color is altered by the RGB channels just as in RGB type shown above.
  • Source Size: Source Size is active when an Obscuration Layer is set. Its value defines the search area, measured in pixels, averaging around the current light source position. This search area then sets the amount of the layer that is obscured. Source Size does not change the size of the light source.

    The value range is 0 to 100 pixels. At the default value of 2, the Obscuration Layer is examined in a 2-pixel radius around the light source for obscuring values (white or black). If 20% of the pixels inside that radius are obscured, the brightness of the flare will be reduced 20%.

Render Alpha

This checkbox is off by default. When it's on, all of the black in the lens flare will become transparent. Render Alpha generates an alpha matte for the black pixels in the lens flare. This is helpful for compositing your flare against other clips in your project.