Since I couldn’t let matters rest without actually illustrating my point, I spent some time creating what I think is a much better flare using Boris Continuum Complete 8. For comparison, first an image of the default flare:
Obviously it looks like one ripped out of a mid-90’s video game – it’s got way too many too saturated colors that even the worst real lenses couldn’t produce and the elements are out of proportion. Now with a little tweaking, we can get this:
At least in my eyes this is something that could exist in the real world and a little subtlety and restraint go a great length to making everything more believable. In fact, if someone were to take the time and sit down to produce some decent presets, this effect could be almost as good as the one in Sapphire if you don’t count the absence of proper anamorphic capabilities in the BCC offering (the crude 16:9 switch is simply completely wrong) and do not need more individual sub-elements. The basics are all there, they just need to be refined and all the various inconsistencies worked out. anyway, have a look yourself and download the project here.