Add lens flare: Give your video a cinematic effect

A lens flare is a lighting effect that you get when light directly enters and reflects off the camera lens. Because of the warm colors and soft haze, the effect lends itself well to evoking warm or nostalgic feelings. And you can easily add such a lens flare in post-production. In this workshop we explain how to edit the effect in Final Cut Pro!

Add lens flare


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1 New event

Add lens flare

Open Final Cut Pro on your Mac and choose ‘File>New>Event’. Name the event ‘Lensflare’ and click ‘OK’. Via ‘File>Import>Media’ you import the files you have downloaded from our website.

2 Timeline

Add lens flare

Bring ‘video clip lens flare’ to the timeline. Drag the “lens-flare-effect” clip above it and select the top clip. Make sure the playhead is at the beginning of the video clip.

3 Still

Add lens flare

Choose ‘Edit>Add freeze frame’. This way you have a ‘still’ of the lens flare clip and the sun no longer moves. Remove the video clip and make the added still the same length as the bottom clip.

4 Blend Mode

Add lens flare

With a Blend Mode you can let two video clips blend into each other. The Blend Mode ‘Screen’ filters out the dark colors from the lens flare video clip and superimposes the remaining colors on the layer below, creating the light effect.

Click on ‘Normal’ next to ‘Blend Mode’ in the top right of the inspector (Cmd+4). Select ‘Screen’ and the lighting effect will already shine in the original video. Realistic is different, so time to fine-tune things.

5 Transform

Add lens flare

Below the preview, click the Transform icon (the square) and select “Transform.” Drag the top left corner to magnify the rays of light and spots. You can also use the Video Inspector, right in the middle. There you adjust the values ​​behind ‘Position’ and ‘Scale’.

6 Move


Click the clip in the preview and drag the clip to position the sun. We place it roughly in the center of the scene, between the buildings. Click on ‘Done’ in the top right.

7 Color Inspector


A lens flare often produces a soft, warm glow. To edit the colors, click above the Video Inspector on the icon with the triangle for the Color Inspector.

8 Boost the colors


Click on ‘Saturation’ and increase ‘Global’ by 55% for warmer, saturated colors. Open the ‘Exposure’ tab and increase the ‘Highlights’ to 34% to enhance the lens flare effect.

9 Cinematic


Open ‘Color’. To give the images a cinematic look, slide the black sphere of ‘Shadows’ to the blue. You can warm up the highlights by dragging the white sphere to orange.

Lens flare clips

In this video we work with a free lens flare overlay from the website Vecteezy. There are more of those! You download them for free directly from their website.

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