Back in the 20th century, the Photoshop Lens Flare filter was really cool, but by now it is outdated and overused. It screams “fake”.
There are plenty of other applications and plugins that can create great customized Lens Flares. About time Photoshop got an upgrade!
What I would like considered in new lens flare filter:
- Real-time Preview.
- GPU acceleration.
- Can be used as a Smart Filter.
- An interface that makes it simple to quickly add a preset flare and change intensity/position. Advanced Options for total control.
- Customizable Lens Flare elements.
- Texture/image-based Lens Flare elements (not only synthetic shapes).
- Use a channel as an occlusion-map.
- Chromatic aberration.
- Lens Texture (dust, scratches, etc).
- Option for Image-based Lens Flares – the brightest parts of the image (or a channel) automatically turn into a flare.
- Flare source can be placed outside the canvas.
- It should work in After Effects (not only Photoshop).
- In After Effects you should be able to attach it to light sources (and have working occlusion based on the 3D scene).
- Good presets based on flares from real optics.
- The ability to load/save flares (users will create amazing flares and share them!). Image-based lens elements used are embedded.
- What is Lens Flare? by Cambridge in Color
How some 3rd party plugins and applications do Lens Flares: