Star Trek – lovely lens flare


Seems that the new Star Trek film is getting talked about quite a lot at the moment and quite a lot of it to do with the lens flare used through out the production.


I must admit that I really liked it, and I am sure a large percentage of that was to do with the look and feel of the film, lens flare included. Yes its geeky, yes its a summer blockbuster, yes its quite puerile – but its good fun and very attractive ( Colorist was Stefan Sonnenfeld ) at the same time.


According to a JJ Abrams interview on he thought it was too much as well. But that’s not the most interesting thing about the interview, its more his description on how they got the lens effects – literally using powerful torches (Flashlights) aimed at the camera lens, so its not so much digital trickery but good old fashioned optics in the first pass. It was shot on 35mm Kodak film using anamorphic Panavision zooms at a 2.35:1 aspect ratio, so no digital cameras here, just good lenses to help get the best detail currently possible.

In post additional lens flare was added by ILM. “ILM Sequence Supervisor Todd Vaziri was responsible for developing the artificial lens-flare software system, which the company dubbed SunSpot. The system essentially combines off-the-shelf software, certain proprietary ILM tools, photographed elements, and several custom paint elements to painstakingly match the flares captured on the negative.”

There is a lot more interesting information over at digitalcontentproducer about the production techniques used.

Go see it!

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