View Full Version : Babylon 5 and Lightwave Lens Flare

05-27-2013, 04:34 PM
Sorry for the facebook link.

Was putting up a couple of bits from the B5Scrolls website that you might find of interest about Babylon 5, Lightwave and the Amiga. AfterEffects, animating explosions . . . . There’s a few others, but you get the idea. ; )


Lightwave was a constantly evolving product, and we were putting it through some very serious usage. We (more so Ron) were friends with Alan Hastings & Stuart Ferguson, and we worked with them almost on a daily basis letting them know what we'd like it to do (and I was getting a Lightwave update virtually every other week). THEY were the geniuses who figured out how to do it. Lens flares are a case in point.

John Knowles had just added them as a plugin for Photoshop, he got the algorithm from the Siggraph notes. Why he thought lens flares in a paint package was a good idea god only knows. Every cameraman spends his life trying to avoid them but a well placed one really adds a sense of depth to a shot as the flare traverses across the screen. Anyway, Ronny told Alan H that we wanted them. Alan asked for examples and I rendered the flares out of Photoshop onto black backgrounds and BBS'ed them over to him. Two days later we had fully realistic multi element (there's a flare caused by every surface) variable aperture (flares are shaped differently depending on the ‘cameras’ aperture) lens flares in Lightwave. It's first use was in the Demo that Ronny took to WB.

The interviews on B5Scrolls can be found here - away from FB.

05-27-2013, 06:19 PM
Awesome. Thanks a lot.

I love this stuff!

05-27-2013, 09:20 PM
I've just been re-watching this show from the start. I forgot how much of a roller coaster ride seasons 3 & 4 are! It's a shame that the composite shots are all blown up and look horrible (first season is the worst). I dream of a re-mastering of this show. It was so ahead of its time. And I love the lightwave-ness of it all even close to 20 years later.

05-27-2013, 09:27 PM
Thanks for the links.

LOVE the B5 Scrolls site - lots of stuff I never knew before. Still reading...

05-28-2013, 07:08 AM
Great read, thank you for posting http://erikalstad.com/backup/misc.php_files/smile.gif