Gradient Options
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Rendering menu Video Post Video Post toolbar (Add Image Filter Event) Choose a Lens Effects Filter from the Filter Plug-In list. Setup Gradient tab

Each gradient in Lens Effects has a set of common options. Right-clicking the gradient bar displays a shortcut menu with the following options.



Resets the gradient back to its default parameters. This action cannot be undone.

Load Gradient

Displays a file open dialog in which you can load a particular gradient. Gradients are saved with a .dgr extension.

Save Gradient

Displays a file save as dialog where you specify the path and filename for the gradient.

Load UV Map

Lets you load a bitmap image and use each row of pixels of the bitmap as an animated gradient. When a bitmap is loaded into a gradient control, Lens Effects reads the first 100 pixels across the top row of the image (for the 100 divisions of its gradient controls) and makes them the gradient. With each successive frame, Lens Effects reads in the next row of pixels as the gradient. When you scrub the animation slider, you can see the gradient change over time.

NoteIf the animation is longer than the chosen bitmap is tall, then the bitmap pattern is repeated.
Load Bitmap

Displays a 3ds Max file browser so you can select a bitmap to use as your gradient. Unlike UV Map, the Load Bitmap option only reads the first row of pixels for the entire animation. This is a good option when you need to have a complex but static gradient.

Flag Mode

Indicates you are using flags to set the colors of your gradient instead of using a bitmap as the source. Flag Mode is selected by default.

Compositing Methods

The last five options on the shortcut menu are different types of compositing methods. When you work with Color and Transparency gradient controls in any of the Lens Effects filters, you must be aware of both the Radial and Circular gradients. Both Lens Effects color gradients and both Transparency gradients are "locked together" and will work together based on the compositing method you choose to create an effect.

Each compositing method works on a pixel-by-pixel basis on the positional value in both gradients. The compositing methods define how the colors and brightness values are combined to form a single color. When combining the colors, the algorithms evaluate each color channel of the color to find the end result. This lets you create five very different looking effects with the same two gradients.

High Value

When this option is selected, the higher color or brightness value between the two gradients is selected. For example, if you had a color with RGB values of 255,210,255 and another with 225,240,225, the resulting color would be 255,240,255. This option generally results in a slightly brighter lens flare than the default settings.

This is the most common way of using only one gradient. Set one gradient to the color or brightness you desire, then set the other gradient to pure black. This assures that all of the values you set in one gradient are used exclusively to achieve the effect.


Calculates an average value between the colors. In the example above, the resulting color would be 175, 225, 225. This option is good if you want to mix gradient values and results in effects that are not as bright as High Value.

Low Value

Selects the lower color values, resulting in a less intense lens flare and a more subtle overall effect. In the example above, the resulting color would be 100,210,295.


Adds colors values together, pushing their composite value toward pure white, producing the brightest but most washed-out effects. Additive compositing is good when you want to burn effects out.


Subtracts colors values from each other, resulting in slightly muted and less intense colors.

These compositing methods may be applied to all types of gradients, except size gradients. The type of compositing being used for a gradient is noted above the gradient bar.

Compositing methods are applied to every gradient. Some gradients are linked together, so if you assign a specific compositing method to one, the compositing method is automatically assigned to the other.