About a year ago, some friends of mine were traveling to Iceland to shoot a short film. They had some pretty spectacular locations planned, and they were planning on framing some of their shots with shards of glass in the foreground. Unfortunately, due to harsh conditions and limited time, they decided against it… Too risky and time consuming to get right in camera.

Since then, my team and I have spent a ton of time researching and experimenting ways to get the same effect in post-production. We’re really excited about what we’ve come up with!
RED + After Effects

We created Lens Distortions by filming through actual shards of glass and crystal and combining that footage with customized effects in After Effects. We built each Lens Distortion it’s own AE template that you can import into your projects, and drag and drop onto your timeline.

The magic happens when you push “collapse transformations”. This button applies all the nested effects to your footage.
Timeline 2

 

Beyond Light Leaks

What really sets Lens Distortions apart from light leaks, lens flares and other effects, is that they actually distress your footage. They don’t just sit on top… They blur and warp the footage in the same way a shard of glass would.

 

[two_thirds]

Be more creative

Our goal wasn’t to replace the old-school way of doing this effect… We just wanted to give filmmakers another tool to help them be more creative.

Remember… if you ever find yourself clinging to the side of a cliff in Iceland trying to frame your shot with a shard of glass… It’s okay to do it in post.