Hi everyone! My name is Hussain Sheikh and I’m the Technical Director at FuturLab! I’ve been writing a series of ‘making of’ articles about Velocity 2X over on our blog, and today PlayStation.Blog has kindly offered to host this particular post about the most awesome of visual effects: LENS FLARES!
Since the release of J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek in 2009, people noticed just how much lens flares were synonymous with sci-fi. Carrying that baton forward, we decided to go full on J.J. Abrams crazy with on Velocity 2X.
Have a look at these beautiful things in our early concept art, seen just to the right of this paragraph.
Actually we were so inspired by J.J. Abrams’ style of lens flares that we started talking about them all the time.
After many months of this, the inevitable abbreviations began, and what started as “J.J.Abrams style lens flares” soon became “J.J. Abrams flares” then “JAbramzFlares” and finally settled as “JBraamz”.
JBraamz is now part of our codebase:
All lens flares in Velocity 2X are generated as a post-effect and are triggered by intensity levels of the rendered scene. This means the lens flares react to dynamic lighting, get hidden by foreground objects and react to other effects.
You can see our lens flares reacting to explosion lighting below. Notice the very subtle blue lens flare generated by the blue light above of the switch numbered 3.
Now see how the lens flare becomes brighter and stronger when the switch is blown.
We also wanted our lens flares to feel like they are being generated by bright or hot spots in the scene. To achieve this, our lens flares also generate halo glows around bright objects, making the flares look more natural. In the screenshot below you can see how the lens flares appear to be just streaks pasted on top of lights.
Turning on the halos gives the lights a more natural and brighter feel.
The particle effects also generate lens flares!
We are very proud of our JBraamz lens flares as they truly make the game feel sci-fi when seen in action! See if you can spot them in the trailer!
Velocity 2X is released for PS4 and PS Vita on September 2nd.