So, I did a lot of looking around on the internet today to see if I could find a way to make accurate anamorphic lens flares in UE4. Unfortunately, I didn’t find anything, until an idea dawned upon me. So, with the basic bokeh lens flares you can actually change the shape of them, and you can make it so only the closest part of the flare to the object giving off light can be visible.
So, the tutorial.
First, open up Photoshop (you can use gimp but for this I will use Photoshop, it should be just as straight forward in Gimp as it is in Photoshop) and make a new file with a size of 2048x2048 pixels.
Next, you will want to make your background black, fully black. There are multiple ways to do this but I just like to use the brush.
Next, make both of the colour boxes you made black, white, and in the brush drop down section, set the size that suits you, and set it so the edges of the brush are soft, there should be a preset.
Afterwards you should have something that looks like this (possibly, depends on the shape you wanted):
After this, make sure to save the texture with whatever name you like, and make sure to save it as a png.
Now you can close Photoshop and open UE4.
Import your texture in, all you have to do is drap the texture from the folder and into the content browser into a folder of your choice.
Afterwards, you will need to set the texture to be the default texture for your lens flare in the post process area you have placed down. To do this, just drag and drop the texture onto the highlighted area shown here:
Afterwards, you should tweak the lens flare settings until you get something you like, if you’d like to copy my settings for the lens flare I like, feel free.
Now, with the tints all you have to do is tick the box beside them to enable them, then every single tint apart from the top one, should have settings like these:
Now for Tint 0, you can choose whatever colour you like, I went with a GTA V look, a light blue.
Now jump right back in your game and you should have semi accurate anamorphic lens flares, here’s a couple pics showing the post process method in action.
I personally love this method as it’s easy to do and requires no coding whatsoever. If you would like to test this with the texture I used in this tutorial, here is a link to the dropbox download: Dropbox - Anamorphic_Lens.png - Simplify your life
I hope this all works for you, enjoy!
P.S: This doesn’t look great with the sun as it is offset slightly.