Starlight

What it does: Starlight accentuates bright spots with beacons of rotating light.

How to use it: First prepare the light source. This is the part of the video image from which the light should shine. To make it easier, enable the Setup control, and then adjust the Light Source parameters to isolate the portion of the picture that will source the glow. Once the Light Source is ready, disable Setup and design the light behavior with the Star Rays control group. Then, set the Shimmer controls to add random motion to the light. Finally, set the Mix levels.

  • The Light Source group sets what elements in the picture are singled out as star light sources.  Adjust these in conjunction with the Setup checkbox to more easily single out bright spots.
  • Color sets the color of the light source. Typically, this is white, indicating that the brightest objects should be sources of star light. However, it can be any color, light or dark. Colors close in brightness and hue to the chosen color radiate light rays, even if that color is dark. Examples are a white light, blue sky, or a bright red flower.
  • Sensitivity sets the strength of the light source. As the sensitivity is dialed up, more and more of the image becomes part of the light source.
  • Position and Radius define a circle within the image for the light source. This allows you to isolate the area of the image that can generate light.
  • Feather sets the smoothness of the light as well as the smoothness of the circle boundary. Increase Feather to reduce the harshness of the light.
  • The Star Rays group sets the number, length, and motion of the rays emanating from the light sources. It provides two sets of angles, allowing for complicated light motion.
  • Rays sets the number of rays emanating from the light source. Note that each ray is a line that travels in two opposite directions from the star, so 2 rays is really 4, and so on. And, if you turn on the 2nd Angle, that doubles it yet again.
  • Angle sets the beginning angle of the primary star rays.
  • Rotation sets the rotation rate of the primary star rays.
  • Length sets the length of the primary star rays.
  • 2nd Angle sets the beginning angle of the secondary star rays. Note that this angle is relative to the first, so it tracks as an offset. An angle of 0 positions it directly in the middle between the primary rays.
  • 2nd Rotation sets the rotation rate of the secondary star rays. Again, this is relative to the first, making it very easy to create motion that tracks relative to the first.
  • 2nd Length sets the length of the secondary star rays.
  • The Shimmer group sets random noise to make the light flicker and move.
  • Size sets the size of the random noise.
  • Intensity sets the strength of the shimmer effect.
  • Rate sets the speed at which the changing light moves and mutates.
  • The Mix group has three controls:
  • Liquify distorts the image underneath the light rays, using the light itself to set the shape of the mutation.
  • Picture sets the level of the original image displayed under the rays. Note that turning down Picture creates transparency, which can be used to display the light rays as an overlay over another track.
  • Stars sets the brightness of just the stars.
  • Set Up makes it much easier to design the light source. Turn on Set Up, then work on the parameters in the Light Source and Shimmer groups. Once these are ready, disable Set Up
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