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Optical Flares for After Effects: A Complete Guide to Installation and Activation

How to Get Optical Flares License Key for After Effects

If you are looking for a way to create realistic and stunning lens flares in your After Effects projects, you might have heard of Optical Flares. Optical Flares is a plug-in developed by Video Copilot that allows you to design and animate 3D lens flares with ease. But how do you get the optical flares license key to activate the plug-in? In this article, we will show you how to install, generate, and use the optical flares license key for After Effects on Windows.

optical flares license key

What is Optical Flares and Why You Need It

Optical Flares is a plug-in for designing and animating realistic lens flares in After Effects. It is based on the physical characteristics of real lenses, such as chromatic aberration, lens distortion, and edge flare-ups. It also features a powerful interface that lets you customize every aspect of the lens flare, from the shape, color, brightness, position, rotation, scale, and more. You can also choose from over 60 built-in presets or create your own from scratch.

Optical Flares is not just a visual effect, but also a creative tool that can enhance your motion graphics, compositing, special effects, and more. You can use it to:

  • Add final touches to your motion graphics

  • Simulate concert or stadium lighting

  • Fake volumetric lighting

  • Help blend 3D animations

  • Build a virtual light array for music videos

  • Add realism to your virtual sets

  • Add flares to live action footage

  • Simulate visible atmosphere with lighting

  • Simulate bright lights in your scene

  • Draw focus to a product or graphic

  • Accentuate highlights or contours

Optical Flares Features and Benefits

Some of the main features and benefits of Optical Flares are:

  • 3D Lens Flare Creation Studio: You can create 3D lens flares with AE lights or use lights exported from your 3D applications. You can also generate multiple flares with one instance of Optical Flares and choose to render flares for specific lights only.

  • Intuitive Design Interface: You can build, edit, and customize lens flares with amazing speed and simplicity. You can access a large pop-out preview window, rename and rearrange objects, show BG in preview window, integrate copy and paste, duplicate objects, undo/redo, and more.

  • Live Visual Preset Library: You can browse through over 60 built-in presets or your own custom presets in a live visual gallery. You can also share and swap presets with other users or save all settings in one place.

  • Real Texture Support: You can add realism with lens artifacts from actual photographic elements to create the most genuine lens flares ever seen. You can choose from over 25 built-in textures or use custom layers from your project in a flare. You can also auto-rotate textures towards light for realistic movement.

  • Dynamic Triggering Animations: You can use the After Effects 3D camera and lights to trigger animations with the built-in dynamic trigger system. You can also use the position, rotation, scale, and brightness of any AE light to drive animation. You can also use parent nulls to control individual flare objects.

  • Chromatic Aberration: You can simulate realistic color bleeding around the outside of the lens. You can also control the amount of chromatic aberration with a single slider or use a negative value to create a ghosting effect.

  • Obscuration Layer: You can use any layer to obscure the lens flare behind 3D objects. You can also use a track matte or a mask to define the obscuration layer.

  • 32 Bit Floating Point Support: You can work in 32 bit per channel color mode for more vibrant and realistic colors. You can also use HDR (high dynamic range) images to create beautiful lens flares that react to light intensity.

  • 3D Occlusion: You can set up a 3D occlusion layer to automatically hide or fade the lens flare as it moves behind 3D objects. You can also adjust the occlusion threshold, fade-out time, and edge softness.

  • Luminance Tracking: You can automatically brighten or darken the lens flare based on the luminance values of another layer. You can also use an adjustment layer to control the luminance threshold and curve.

  • Mask Positioning: You can easily position the lens flare at the center of a masked region. You can also link the lens flare brightness to the mask opacity.

  • Automatic Orientation: You can automatically orient the lens flare towards the light source or the camera. You can also manually adjust the orientation angle and axis.

  • Edge Detection: You can automatically create lens flares when lights are near the edge of the frame. You can also adjust the edge detection sensitivity and falloff.

Optical Flares Pricing and Bundles

The Optical Flares plug-in is available for purchase from Video Copilot's website. The price is $124.95 for a single user license, which includes free updates and support. You can also buy Optical Flares in bundles with other Video Copilot products, such as:

Bundle Name

Products Included


Optical Flares Bundle

Optical Flares + Pro Presets 1 + Pro Presets 2


Motion Design Bundle

Optical Flares + Element 3D + Pro Shaders + Motion Design Pack + Pro Presets 1 + Pro Presets 2


MotionPulse Bundle

Optical Flares + MotionPulse BlackBox + Shockwave


Mega Bundle

All Video Copilot products except Twitch and Evolution


Total Bundle

All Video Copilot products including Twitch and Evolution


You can also download a free trial version of Optical Flares from Video Copilot's website to test it out before buying. The trial version has all the features of the full version, except that it renders a watermark on the output.

How to Install Optical Flares Plug-in on Windows

Once you have purchased Optical Flares, you will receive an email with a download link and a license key. To install the plug-in on your Windows computer, follow these steps:

Download the Plug-in Installer File

Click on the download link in the email and save the installer file (OpticalFlaresInstaller.exe) to your computer. Make sure you have enough disk space to store the file, which is about 90 MB in size.

Run the Installer and Choose Your After Effects Version

Double-click on the installer file and follow the instructions on the screen. You will need to accept the license agreement and choose the destination folder for the plug-in. You will also need to select which version of After Effects you want to install Optical Flares for. You can choose multiple versions if you have them installed on your computer.

Open the Optical Flares Plug-in Inside After Effects

After the installation is complete, launch After Effects and create a new project or open an existing one. To access the Optical Flares plug-in, go to Effect > Video Copilot > Optical Flares. You should see a pop-up window asking you to enter your license key.

How to Generate Optical Flares License Key

To activate the Optical Flares plug-in, you will need to generate a license key based on your hardware fingerprint. This is a unique code that identifies your computer and ensures that you are using a legitimate copy of the plug-in. To generate the license key, follow these steps:

Login to Your Video Copilot Account

Go to Video Copilot's website and click on Login at the top right corner. Enter your email and password that you used when purchasing Optical Flares. If you don't have an account, you can create one for free.

Find the Optical Flares Download Link and Click on It

After logging in, go to My Account > My Downloads. You should see a list of products that you have purchased from Video Copilot, including Optical Flares. Click on the download link for Optical Flares and you will be taken to a page where you can generate your license key.

Enter Your Hardware Fingerprint and Submit

On the license key generation page, you will see a field where you need to enter your hardware fingerprint. To find your hardware fingerprint, go back to After Effects and look at the pop-up window where you entered your license key. You should see a code that looks something like this: 0A-1B-2C-3D-4E-5F-6G-7H. Copy this code and paste it into the field on the website. Then click on Submit.

Download the License File and Drag It to Your Optical Flares Folder

After submitting your hardware fingerprint, you will see a message that says "License File Generated Successfully". You will also see a download link for your license file (OpticalFlaresLicense.lic). Click on this link and save the file to your computer. Then locate your Optical Flares folder, which is usually in C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe After Effects [version]\Support Files\Plug-ins\Optical Flares\. Drag and drop the license file into this folder.

How to Use Optical Flares in Your Projects

Now that you have installed and activated Optical Flares, you are ready to use it in your projects. Here are some basic steps to get started:

Create or Import a 3D Light Layer

To create lens flares with Optical Flares, you need to have a 3D light layer in your composition. You can either create one from scratch or import one from another application. To create a 3D light layer, go to Layer > New > Light and choose the type of light you want (spot, point, parallel, ambient). To import a 3D light layer, go to File > Import > File and select a file that contains 3D lights (such as an OBJ or C4D file).

Apply the Optical Flares Effect to the Light Layer

Select the 3D light layer and go to Effect > Video Copilot > Optical Flares. This will apply the effect to the light layer and open up the effect controls panel. Here you can adjust the basic settings of the effect, such as the source type, position, brightness, scale, and color. You can also click on the Options button to open the Optical Flares interface, where you can customize the lens flare in more detail.

Customize the Lens Flare Presets and Objects

In the Optical Flares interface, you can choose from over 60 presets or create your own lens flare from scratch. To select a preset, click on the Preset Browser button and browse through the categories. To create your own lens flare, click on the Add Object button and choose from various types of objects, such as iris, glow, streak, spikeball, ring, hoop, etc. You can also edit the existing objects by clicking on them and changing their properties, such as shape, size, rotation, color, opacity, blend mode, etc. You can also rearrange, duplicate, or delete objects by dragging them in the timeline.

Animate the Lens Flare Parameters and Triggers

One of the most powerful features of Optical Flares is the ability to animate the lens flare parameters and triggers. You can use keyframes, expressions, or dynamic triggers to control how the lens flare changes over time. For example, you can animate the position, scale, brightness, or color of the lens flare by using keyframes or expressions in the effect controls panel. You can also use dynamic triggers to automatically trigger animations based on the 3D light or camera movement. For example, you can use the flicker trigger to make the lens flare flicker randomly or based on a sound layer. You can also use the shimmer trigger to make the lens flare shimmer when it moves across bright areas. You can access and adjust the dynamic triggers by clicking on the Trigger button in the Optical Flares interface.

Conclusion and FAQs

Optical Flares is a plug-in that allows you to create realistic and stunning lens flares in After Effects. It is easy to install, activate, and use. It also offers a lot of customization options and animation features that can enhance your motion graphics, compositing, special effects, and more. If you want to add some flair to your projects with optical flares, you should definitely check out this plug-in.

Here are some frequently asked questions about optical flares:

  • Q: How do I update Optical Flares?

  • A: To update Optical Flares, you need to download and run the latest installer file from Video Copilot's website. The installer will automatically detect and update your existing plug-in version.

  • Q: How do I uninstall Optical Flares?

  • A: To uninstall Optical Flares, you need to run the uninstaller file that is located in your Optical Flares folder. The uninstaller will remove all files and folders related to Optical Flares from your computer.

  • Q: How do I transfer Optical Flares to another computer?

  • A: To transfer Optical Flares to another computer, you need to generate a new license key based on the hardware fingerprint of the new computer. You also need to copy the Optical Flares folder from your old computer to your new computer. Then you need to activate Optical Flares with the new license key on your new computer.

  • Q: How do I get support for Optical Flares?

  • A: To get support for Optical Flares, you can visit Video Copilot's website and access their online help center, forum, tutorials, blog, or contact form. You can also email them at

  • Q: How do I learn more about Optical Flares?

  • A: To learn more about Optical Flares, you can watch Video Copilot's official tutorials on YouTube or Vimeo. You can also check out their user manual or their blog posts for tips and tricks.


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