Knoll Light Factory for Photoshop: Why You Need This Plugin for Your Photos
Knoll Light Factory for Photoshop: A Review
If you are looking for a way to add realistic lighting effects to your photos, you may have heard of Knoll Light Factory for Photoshop. This is a plugin that creates stunning lens flares and other lighting effects that can enhance your images. But what exactly is Knoll Light Factory for Photoshop? How does it work? What are its features? And what are its pros and cons? In this article, we will answer these questions and more. We will also compare it with some alternatives and give you some tips and tricks on how to use it.
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What is Knoll Light Factory for Photoshop?
Knoll Light Factory for Photoshop is a plugin that creates camera-inspired, photo-realistic lens flares that render fast, thanks to the power of the GPU. It was created by John Knoll, a visual effects expert who has worked on movies like Star Wars, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Avatar. He originally developed the plugin to create the lightsaber effect in Star Wars. Knoll Light Factory for Photoshop is part of the VFX Suite by Maxon, a collection of plugins for visual effects and motion graphics. It is also compatible with Photoshop CC and can be used as a smart filter.
What are the features of Knoll Light Factory for Photoshop?
Knoll Light Factory for Photoshop has many features that make it a powerful and professional tool for creating lens flares and lighting effects. Some of these features are:
Over 200 presets inspired by film, broadcast, and motion graphics. You can choose from realistic flares based on real cameras and lenses, such as Anamorphic, Cinema, or Star Trek. Or you can choose from stylized flares based on genres and themes, such as Sci-Fi, Horror, or Fantasy. You can also browse by categories, such as Sun, Streaks, or Rings.
An intuitive lens editor with 135 tools and sprite images. You can customize any preset or create your own flare from scratch using the lens editor. You can add, remove, or rearrange elements such as glow, spike, hoop, or shimmer. You can also adjust the properties of each element, such as color, brightness, scale, rotation, or blur. You can also import your own images or textures to use as elements.
Tinting and obscuration options to match the colors and objects in the image. You can use the tinting option to change the hue and saturation of the flare to match the color scheme of the image. You can also use the obscuration option to make the flare interact with the objects in the image. For example, you can make the flare dim or disappear when it goes behind a building or a person.
GPU acceleration for fast rendering and previewing. You can use the GPU option to speed up the performance of the plugin and see the results in real time. You can also use the preview option to see how the flare looks on different parts of the image.
How to use Knoll Light Factory for Photoshop?
Using Knoll Light Factory for Photoshop is easy and fun. Here are the basic steps to follow:
Installing and launching the plugin. After you purchase and download the plugin from the Maxon website or from the Red Giant website, you need to install it on your computer. You will need to enter your serial number and activate your license. Then you can launch Photoshop and open an image that you want to add a flare to.
Choosing a preset or creating your own flare from scratch. To access the plugin, you need to go to Filter > Maxon > Knoll Light Factory for Photoshop. This will open a new window with the plugin interface. On the left side, you will see a list of presets that you can choose from. You can click on any preset to see how it looks on your image. You can also use the search bar or the filters to find a preset that suits your needs. Alternatively, you can create your own flare from scratch by clicking on the New button at the bottom of the presets list. This will open a blank lens editor where you can add and edit elements as you wish.
Adjusting the position, brightness, angle, color, and size of the flare. Once you have chosen or created a flare, you can adjust its position on your image by dragging it with your mouse. You can also use the Position controls on the right side of the plugin window to fine-tune its location. You can also adjust its brightness by using the Brightness slider or by typing a value in the box below it. You can also adjust its angle by using the Angle slider or by typing a value in the box below it. You can also adjust its color by using the Tint controls on the right side of the plugin window. You can change its hue and saturation by using the Hue and Saturation sliders or by typing values in the boxes below them. You can also adjust its size by using the Scale slider or by typing a value in the box below it.
Applying the flare to the image and saving the result. Once you are happy with your flare, you can apply it to your image by clicking on the OK button at the bottom of the plugin window. This will create a new layer in Photoshop with the flare effect. You can then save your image as a JPEG, PNG, or any other format that you prefer.
What are the pros and cons of Knoll Light Factory for Photoshop?
Knoll Light Factory for Photoshop is a great plugin for creating lens flares and lighting effects, but it also has some drawbacks and limitations. Here are some of the pros and cons of using it:
It creates realistic, versatile, and easy to use lens flares that can enhance any image.
It has a large library of presets that can save you time and inspire you.
It has a powerful lens editor that allows you to customize every aspect of the flare.
It works in 3D space and can interact with the objects and colors in the image.
It is compatible with Photoshop CC and can be used as a smart filter.
It is expensive compared to other plugins or methods for creating lens flares.
It is not supported by Red Giant anymore, which means it may not receive updates or bug fixes.
It may crash occasionally or cause compatibility issues with other plugins or software.
What are some alternatives to Knoll Light Factory for Photoshop?
If you are looking for other options to create lens flares and lighting effects in Photoshop, you may want to check out some of these alternatives:
Ultraflares: This is a newer and cheaper plugin that claims to be the ultimate lens flare plugin for Photoshop. It has more features and options than Knoll Light Factory, such as dynamic triggering, chromatic aberration, light leaks, glows, streaks, rays, and more. It also has over 300 presets and a user-friendly interface. You can get it for $79 from [Ultraflares].
Optical Flares: This is a popular plugin for After Effects that can also be used in Photoshop. It creates realistic and cinematic lens flares that can be customized with various elements, textures, behaviors, and animations. It also has over 90 presets and a built-in camera awareness feature. You can get it for $124.95 from [Video Copilot].
Photoshop Lens Flare filter: This is a built-in filter in Photoshop that can create simple lens flares with four choices: 50-300mm Zoom, 35mm Prime, 105mm Prime, and Movie Prime. You can adjust the brightness and position of the flare, but not much else. You can access it by going to Filter > Render > Lens Flare.
Knoll Light Factory for Photoshop is a powerful and professional plugin for creating lens flares and lighting effects that can add realism and excitement to your images. It has many advantages over other plugins and methods, such as its realism, versatility, ease of use, compatibility, and 3D interaction. However, it also has some drawbacks and limitations, such as its price, lack of support, and occasional crashes. It is suitable for photographers, designers, and artists who want to create stunning images with lighting effects.
Q1. How much does Knoll Light Factory for Photoshop cost?
A1. It costs $199 as a standalone plugin or $999 as part of the VFX Suite by Maxon.
Q2. How can I get a free trial of Knoll Light Factory for Photoshop?
A2. You can download a free trial from the Maxon website or from the Red Giant website.
Q3. How can I learn more about Knoll Light Factory for Photoshop?
A3. You can watch tutorials, read manuals, and browse forums on the Maxon website or on the Red Giant website.
Q4. What are some examples of images created with Knoll Light Factory for Photoshop?
A4. You can see some examples on the Maxon website or on the Red Giant website. Here are some of them:
An image of a cityscape with a blue flare
An image of a car with a red flare
An image of a woman with a green flare
Q5. What are some tips and tricks for using Knoll Light Factory for Photoshop?
A5. Some tips and tricks are:
Use different blend modes to achieve different effects. For example, you can use Screen, Add, or Lighten to make the flare brighter and more transparent, or Overlay, Soft Light, or Hard Light to make the flare more contrasty and colorful.
Use masks and layers to control the visibility and intensity of the flare. For example, you can use a layer mask to hide parts of the flare that you don't want to see, or use an adjustment layer to change the opacity or brightness of the flare.
Use adjustment layers to fine-tune the colors and contrast of the flare. For example, you can use a Curves, Levels, or Exposure adjustment layer to adjust the tonal range of the flare, or use a Hue/Saturation, Color Balance, or Gradient Map adjustment layer to adjust the color balance of the flare.
Use smart objects to preserve the editability of the flare. For example, you can convert your image layer into a smart object before applying the plugin, so that you can go back and change the settings of the flare later.