The Lens Flare Editor can be found in the "View" category in the ribbon bar and it's completely independent from the database dialog box unlike other editors based on the database system.
You can use the Lens Flare Editor to create Lens Flare items and tweak their parameters, but also manage and store them. In order to use a Lens Flare item you can either drag and drop an item into the perspective view or you assign the item to a selected light entity.
User Interface Overview
If you want to know detail descriptions of each icon in the tool bar, see the following link: Particle Editor
Lens Flare Creation Workflow
Prepare a library
Lens Flare data is saved in Library file (XML). Default place to put it is
Game/Libs/Flares. All Lens Flare items in game are managed on this way, and then you can find any Lens Flare items in game at this folder.
All items are classified into each library as it looks, like Crysis3 and c3mp_airport etc. The first thing you have to do is make a new library, and save it in the appropriate place. After this, add your new Groups or Items in it.
Group and Item
All Lens Flare items are belonging to Group. At first, you have to make new group to add new Item on your library.
Organize Lens Flare Elements of an item
When you select an item created newly, you can see that only a root element is displayed in the Element View.
New elements should be added under the root element by selecting atomic elements in the Basic Set View or pasting elements from other existing items.
Set Texture to an element
If an element in the Element View has been added from the Basic Set View, textures should be assigned to the element in the Properties View so that it can be rendered in the Preview.
The space to assign textures is different from the sort of the element such as in the case of "Ghost" atomic element, "Texture" space under "Lens Ghost" group in the Properties View should be filled with a texture.
Each atomic element has some common parameters and its own parameters. You should edit the parameters in the Properties View.
Lens Flare Tree View
A Lens Flare Item comprises some Lens Flares Elements, which are displayed in the Element View.
A Lens Flare Item is a basic unit to be able to be assigned to a light entity.
Whenever you select a Lens Flare Item in this view, the Element view, the Preview and the Light Entities View will be updated
automatically because those views depend on the selected lens flare item.
When you press a right button of a mouse over an item, a pop-up menu will come up as a left image.
Cut/Copy - Copy a selected item or group into the clipboard.
Paste - Paste Lens Flares Item or Elements from the clipboard. If the contents in the clipboard were cut, the original contents
will be removed after succeeding in pasting.
Clone - Copy and Paste operations take place at once.
Rename - Rename a name of the selected item or group.
Delete - Remove the selected item or group.
Assign to Selected Objects - Assign the selected lens flare item to the selected light entities.
Select Assigned Objects - Select all light entities with the selected Lens Flare Item.
Copy Name to Clipboard - Copy a name of the selected item to clipboard.
When you select a Lens Flare item in the Lens Flare Tree, the selected flare item will be rendered in this
view and every time you changes properties of each element of the Lens Flare item the changes will be
applied to the view.
You can move a camera by dragging a mouse holding a middle button. However sometimes you can
miss a lens flares while dragging a mouse because it can get out of the view or you may want to reset
the camera to have the initial position. In that case you should press a right button of the mouse then
the camera will be repositioned.
The Element View is used to display all elements existed in the selected Lens Flare item in the Lens Flare Tree.
You can turn each element on or off using a check box next to it. Whenever you turn it on or off,
you can see the result at once in the Preview or in the level if there is a light entity using this lens flare item.
By drag & drop or using Copy/Cut/Paste/Clone menus you are able to copy or cut element(s) and then
paste it or them to another position of the identical element tree or another element tree or under a group in Lens Flare Tree.
When you press a right button of a mouse, a pop up menu will be brought up as a left image.
Add Group - Add a group element at the current depth.
Copy, Cut and Paste - Copy or Cut items/elements and paste them
Clone - Clone consists of Copy and Paste operations.
Rename - Rename a selected element.
Delete - Remove a selected element.
Delete All - Delete all element of the current flare item. The element view will also be cleared.
Up/Down - Move a selected element up or down.
Basic Set View
The Basic Set View is a set of atomic lens flare elements supplied by an engine.
The objective of this view is to add an atomic lens flare element to a selected Lens Flare item.
When you click a atomic element in the view doubly, the atomic element will be added down the selected
element in the Element Tree.
The detail description about each atomic element are referred to in the following article: Optical Flare System
Maybe when you add a new atomic lens flare element to the item, you will expect it to be rendered in the Preview
but unfortunately some atomic elements won't be displayed at once due to textures. In order for it to be shown
you should assign textures to the newly added element in the "Properties View".
Light Entities View
This view exists to display light entities owning the selected lens flare item. When you double-click a light entity in the view, at
first the light entity will be selected. And if you double-click it again, the camera will move to look to the light entity in the main view.
When you change a name of a light entity listed in the Light Entities View in the level, the change will be applied to the view automatically
and in cases as well that you delete a light entity or assign a lens flare item to a light entity the changes will be reflected to the view.
When you select an element in "Lens Flare Element View", the properties on it will be displayed in the Properties View.
Basically each atomic lens flare element has its own properties defined in an engine. You can adjust each property of the selected
element so that the flares has looks you want.
Whenever you adjust each parameter, the change will be applied to the Preview and light entities with the selected lens Flare Item.
Copy/Cut and Paste
Copy/Cut and Paste are possible by both menu and Drag&Drop. When you try them by Drag&Drop, if the Ctrl button is held at the timing of beginning to drag, Copy will be done, otherwise Cut will be done.
The Lens Flare Editor supports the following 6 cases.
- Lens Flare Item in the Lens Flare Tree between groups.
- Lens Flare Item from the Lens Flare Tree to the Element View.
- Lens Flare Group in the Lens Flare Tree.
- Lens Flare Group from the Lens Flare Tree to the Element View.
- Lens Flare Element(s) in the Element View.
- Lens Flare Element(s) from the Element View to the Lens Flare Tree.
Select a Lens Flare Item in the Lens Flare Tree.
Paste it under a element to another Lens
The pasted item will be added as a
group under the selected element in
the Lens Flare Element.
You may want to change the name
after pasting it by selecting rename
- When working with lights on vehicles, updates to the flare won't be seen directly without restarting the Editor. To force an update for the vehicle flares, assign the edited flare to a light in the scene which will force update checks.
- To attach a flare to the Sun, use the "AttachToSun" property in the Light Entity Properties "Style" section. This will then send the flare information to the sun. This should only be done on one light entity per level. Optionally, you can also set this light entity to "FakeLight" to prevent unwanted light casting from it, the flare will still remain active on the Sun.
- Make sure you use the LensOptics preset in the CryTif exporter when dealing with textures for the lens flare system. Using standard Diffuse preset will result in a blurry result because of unwanted mips.
A dedicated Lens Flare Editor and library tool to simulate on-screen many various effects from light sources.