S_Glint
S_Glint produces star-shaped glints, or flares, around bright areas in an image.  Want to spice up a text animation?  Need to accentuate approaching headlights in a dark horror scene?  Does one of your characters have exceptionally pearly white teeth?  If so, this Sapphire plug-in will create the look for you.

 

Effect Controls

Based on a Threshold, S_Glint produces a gleaming light around bright areas in an image.  You have full control over the colors, size, and lengths of the glints.

While Brightness describes the overall brightness of the glints, the controls inside of Brightness Details adjust the brightness of the horizontal, vertical, and diagonal rays of the glints.  The glints' overall Color control can also be found here.

Threshold reduces the gleaming areas by placing a limit on how bright an area must be for it to be affected by the plug-in.

The Size control softens and sets the lengths of the horizontal, vertical, and diagonal rays of the glints.  Inside of Size Details, you can adjust the lengths of the horizontal, vertical, and diagonal rays separately.  Here, you can also distort the glints' red, green, and blue channels.

When using S_Glint in Adobe After Effects, if Show Size is enabled, you can control the Sizes of X, Y, Diag1, Diag2, Red, Green, and Blue with on-screen widgets.  The white widget controls the overall Size.  The orange horizontal, vertical, and diagonal widgets control Size X, Y, Diag1, and Diag2 respectively.  And, the red, green, and blue widgets control the Size Red, Size Green, and Size Blue settings.

 

 


Glint From Alpha

If the image is dark but has an alpha channel, as with a dark-colored text layer, you can use S_Glint to create a gleaming backlight.  With Glint From Alpha set to 1, the plug-in will create glints from the layer's alpha channel rather than from the bright areas in the image.  With Glint Under Source set to 1, the glints move behind the image.

 

Matte Layer

With a Matte layer, you have more control over where the glints will appear.  Where the Matte layer is bright, S_Glint appears normally according to how you set it.  However, where the Matte layer is dark, S_Glint is not as intense.

To invert the areas affected by the Matte layer, check the Invert Matte box.

 

Expand Borders

If the Scale of a layer is reduced in its transform properties and S_Glint's Brightness and Size are increased, the glints may not appear beyond the edges of the layer.  To correct this, enable the Expand Borders setting.

 

 

Technique:  Glinting Write-on Effect

  1. Draw a mask on a solid layer, but choose Layer > Mask > Mode > None to make it invisible.
  1. Apply Effect > Stylize > Write-on onto the solid.
  1. In the timeline, click on "Mask Shape" to select the control points of the mask, and choose Edit > Copy.
  1. On the first frame of the comp, click on the Write-on's "Brush Position" and choose Edit > Paste.  The mask's control points are converted into keyframes.

 

 

  1. While holding the Alt key (Windows) or Option key (Macintosh), drag the last Brush Position keyframe to adjust the timing of the effect.  Be sure not to drag the last keyframe to the end of the layer, so that the write-on effect has time to hold at the end.  Adjust Brush Size and Brush Spacing to taste.
  1. On the first frame of the comp, create a new white solid layer, and press P to reveal the layer's Position.
  1. In the timeline, click on the Write-on's "Brush Position" and choose Edit > Copy.
  1. Click on the white solid's "Position" and choose Edit > Paste.  This will duplicate the Brush Position's keyframes onto the Position of the white solid.
  1. On the first frame of the white solid layer, draw a circular mask that is the same size and position as the initial Write-on brush.  This should create a white dot that follows the Write-on brush.
  1. Select the white solid layer in the timeline, choose Layer > Pre-compose to nest the layer, and choose to "Move all attributes into the new composition."
  1. Onto the nest, apply Effect > Sapphire Lighting > S_Glint and Effect > Sapphire Time > S_Trails.  Adjust the S_Glint controls to taste.

 

Other Related Plug-ins

  • S_GlintRainbow produces RGB-colored glints.  Increasing Shift Out moves the glints' rays away from their centers.  Shift Red moves the red part of the rainbows while blue remains stationary.  Shift Blue moves the blue part of the rainbows while red remains stationary.

  • S_Sparkles produces a random pattern of sparkling glints.  Frequency adjusts the number of glints by zooming in and out of the pattern.  Density adjusts the number of glints at any particular frequency.  Seed changes the pattern, and Shift Start moves the pattern.

  • S_SparklesColor produces a random pattern of sparkling, colored glints.  Controls are similar to S_Sparkles.