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2022.5 Boris FX Optics

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Boris FX Optics


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Boris FX Optics 2022

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Boris FX Optics

Lighting Effects, Film Stocks, Color Grades, and More!

Got a vision for your image editing? Boris FX Optics is the ultimate toolbox to bring it to life! Featuring over 170 plug-ins and filters from Academy Award-winning effects artists, you can create stunning Hollywood film quality lighting & lens effects plus curated film looks. Take creative control with realistic particle creation tools that let you turn ordinary photos into amazing works of art – all in one comprehensive application.

174 unique filters and 1000’s of creative imaging presets in 10 categories: Color, Diffusion/Blurs  Film Lab, Grads/Tints, Image  Lens/Distort, Light, Render, Stylize, and new Particle Illusion

Optics is a plugin for Adobe Photoshop & Lightroom and a standalone application. Available on macOS and Windows.

Optics includes the Particle Illusion category. A fast and easy-to-use particle engine designed to create unique effects and elements.

Features 1700+ particle presets to enhance photo editing including Smoke, Fire, Water, Sparkles, Explosions, Dust, Sci-Fi, and more. Learn more about Particle Illusion

New in Optics 2022.5! Freeze time with cinemagraph-style video animations


optics photo manipulation exampleFAST AND CREATIVE PHOTO MANIPULATION

Featuring a robust layer-based compositing interface and powerfully flexible masking tools, Optics can be used for simple photo editing, full image manipulations, or to design and generate creative assets and graphics. Add a lighting effect in just one click or combine unlimited masks and filters to design your own look.

optics cloudsThe Best Lighting Effects

Explore the largest collection of procedural lens flares, lighting, gobos, and particle effects for photography. Why use stock footage elements when you can design, edit, and save your own libraries of presets and favorites?

Combine and build your own library of presets and favorites. Everything in Optics is procedural for creative control.

Trusted By Pro VFX Artists

Optics features plugins and filters regularly used on famous films and television shows. Top tools from the Boris FX Suite are included in Optics to help produce professional looking images.

Includes Lens Flares, Light Rays, Ultra Zap (lightning), UltraGlow, Light Leaks, and many more from the popular Boris FX Sapphire collection and Continuum’s Beauty Studio.

Physical Camera Qualities

Whether it is historical film stocks, color grading, or lens and diffusion effects, Optics is the only Photoshop filter designed to emulate the physical characteristics of optical camera filters.

Add beauty and depth to your digital images with diffusion filters like Mist, Fog, Net, Halo, and more. New Beauty Studio filter simplifies detail separation techniques for subtle skin retouching!

boris optics forest

Packed with Effect Presets

  • 600+ historical film stocks and film looks including color grades from famous Hollywood films
  • 126 optical lens flare presets from Boris FX Sapphire
  • 800+ Gobo lighting patterns
  • 1700+ particle presets including Abstracts, Dust, Smoke, Fire, and more

Masking and Paint Tools

Optics features powerful masking and paint tools to replace backgrounds, isolate effects, or fix and touch up pixels.

  • EZ Mask with gestural stroke based masking
  • Gradient, Spot, Path, Snap, Selection, and Paint mask types
  • Combine multiple masks using blend modes
  • Paint, clone, and blur with support for Wacom tablets

New! Exchange masks with Photoshop


Unique Photo Animations

Explore animated cinemagraphs with the Particle Illusion category.

You can create and export unique photo animations with animated elements using Optics in Photoshop, Lightroom, or the standalone application.

Explore Graphic Design

Apply Optics to text to create stunning graphics and inspired style frames. Optics also includes multiple generator and texture effects to design unique backgrounds and graphic elements.

optics basketball

Optics User Guide

Host Compatibility

  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Adobe Lightroom
  • Optics Standalone Application



  • macOS: 10.14 or higher
    Optics now runs as a native, Mac M1 application.
  • Windows: Windows 10 or higher on x64


Recommended Hardware:

  • Processor: Intel or AMD processor
  • Memory: 2GB of RAM (8GB or more recommended)
  • Disk: High-speed disk array or SSD storage. 1GB of available disk space for caching and temporary files

Graphics Card:

  • NVIDIA GTX 460 or better
  • AMD Radeon 57xx series or better
  • OpenGL 2.1 capable graphics card
  • OpenCL 1.1 capable graphic card
  • 1GB of graphics memory

Licensing options:

Nodelocked license

  • Licenses both the Photoshop/Lightroom plug-in and standalone

Host Applications:

  • Adobe Photoshop CC and up (64 Bit Only)
  • Adobe Photoshop Elements 2018 and up (Non-app store version)
  • Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic


  • Color management using ICC profiles
  • Exchangeable Image File Format (Exif)
  • Camera RAW, TIFF, JPEG as well as Kodak Cineon and DPX file formats
  • Mac Retina Display Support
  • 8, 16, 32 bit image processing
  • Multi-processor acceleration
  • GPU acceleration
  • Multi-processor support


Optics 2022.5

New in Optics 2022.5! Freeze time with cinemagraph style video animations.

Optics 2022

What’s new guide

New Filters

Particle Illusion

Particle Illusion is an easy-to-use, powerful, high-end particle generator that gives photographers and artists instant access to photorealistic particle effects. Particle Illusion is the choice for anyone looking to quickly and easily add amazing particle effects to any image.

Beauty Studio

In the age of cameras equipped with ultra sharp lenses and highly sensitive sensors, we’re seeing more detail than ever before in images on screen. Akin to digital make-up and filters, Beauty Studio was designed to automate the
process of eliminating wrinkles, pores and other undesirable blemishes from facial skin tones.

Pin Warp

Pin Warp warps specific image areas using pins, while leaving other areas untouched. Adjustments can range from subtle nip and tucks to something more obvious like repositioning an arm or leg.


Generates a variety of glowing light from bright areas of the image utilizing a primary as well as secondary, after glow.


Generates lightning bolts along a spline and renders them over a background with added UltraGlow options.


Embosses and warps the image using the Bumps input as a relief map and also distorts the result using the Bumps as a lens image.


The image is embossed and warped using the Bumps input as a relief map and lens image. A chrominance distortion is also performed, separating the spectrum for a prismatic look.


Embosses the image using the Bumps input as a relief map. A lighting model is used which includes highlights from specular reflections.


Creates an abstract texture resembling folded cloth or liquid.


TextureTiles draws a repeating pattern of tiles. The shapes can be hexagons, triangles, diamonds, stars, or variations on those, depending on the Morph parameters.


Warps the image using a pattern of concentric waves.


Warps the image based on its gradient. By default, brighter areas are puffed out and darker areas are shrunk.


Warps the image using two sets of overlapping wave patterns.

Alpha Support

Alpha Channel Processing

Applicable filters, for instance lens flares, glows and blurs, now affect the alpha channel.

Layer Mask Transfer from Photoshop

Photoshop layer masks import to the Optics’ original layer.

Layer Mask Transfer To Photoshop

Masks from a selected layer transfer to the Photoshop layer mask.

Mask Enhancements

Mask Output

Mask export is now enabled using a layer’s Export Masks icon visible to the right of the layer’s masks.
Requirements for mask export:

  • Photoshop: A layer mask is present.
  • Lightroom: Exporting to PNG or TIFF files.
  • Standalone: Saving to PNG or TIFF files.

Mask Reordering

Masks can be reordered using drag and drop.

Mac Metal GPU Acceleration for Sapphire Filters

Most Sapphire filters are now Metal GPU accelerated. See the complete list of filters featuring Sapphire Metal acceleration.

Native Mac M1 Support

Optics now runs as a native, Mac M1 application.

New Presets

Film Stocks

62 new movie looks presets.


50 new glass presets.

Particle Illusion

1700+ particle effect presets.


270+ new and curated presets.


20 new and 65 revitalized lens flares.

S_Rays and S_EdgeRays

S_Rays and S_EdgeRays effects now have blur parameters allowing the rays to be blurred before they are combined with the background.

External Monitor Support

Optics can now be displayed on an external broadcast monitor when using a Blackmagic I/O device.

Workspace Creation, Import and Export

Workspaces can now be loaded and saved.

User Interface Redesign

The new Optics user interface reflects a clean, modern design


Color Wheel Reset

Double-clicking on a color wheel in Color Correct resets the color wheel.

Bug Fixes

Standalone Color Management – Mac

Some images looked more saturated in the standalone and Lightroom than in the Photoshop plug-in on macOS 11 and later.

GPU Selector

Optics didn’t always choose the best GPU when multiple GPU’s were present.

Light > Displacement

Tiling Artifacts
When Displacement was used with the Shadow parameter, there were tiling artifacts in the rendered result.

Rendered Result Did Not Match
When the Preview Resolution was set to anything but Full, the rendered result in Photoshop did not match what appeared in the Optics viewer.

Paint Mask Inversion Issue

When Paint Mask was inverted, painting was not interactive and produced unexpected results because of the inversion post-process.

Sapphire Flare Designer Didn’t Open – Mac

The Sapphire Flare Designer did not open on some Mac OS’s.

Slow Performance On Some Windows Systems

On some isolated Windows systems, Optics would run slowly as a result of too frequent license checks.


Override Edge
Override Edge was not grayed out once a path had been created.

Path > Point Simplification Slider
The Snap > Path > Point Simplification slider wasn’t simplifying enough on large images.

User Entered EXIF Data Missing In Lightroom
User entered EXIF data was missing after adding an Optics filter in Lightroom.

Known Issues

Sapphire Lens Flare Designer

When you exit the Lens Flare Designer, the flare disappears in the Viewer until you adjust a parameter or move an on-screen control.

Smart Objects and Alpha

When alpha is exported from Optics to a Smart Object containing an embedded layer mask, it is exported as transparency. You can access the Smart Object’s alpha after applying Optics by dragging the Smart Object’s layer thumbnail and releasing on top of the Add Layer Mask icon at the bottom of the layers window.

Optics 2021.2 – 10/21/2020


Busy Cursor
A busy cursor now appears when processing filters and presets. Even though the busy cursor is displayed, the user interface is still responsive.

Duplicate Layer
Layers can now be duplicated by selecting Edit > Duplicate or right-clicking on the layer and selecting Duplicate Layer. The duplicated layer is added above the selected layer and becomes the new active layer.

GPU Rendering Preference
The GPU Rendering preference now affects the Sapphire filters as well.

Layer Context Menu
Previously, only Delete Layer and Delete Filter appeared when right-clicking over the layer thumbnail and Delete Mask when right-clicking over the mask thumbnail. Now, right-clicking over a layer, except directly over a mask, nows displays both Delete Layer, Delete Filter and Delete Masks (all masks). Right-clicking over a mask thumbnail still displays Delete Mask (single mask).

License Window
“Run in Demo Mode” was moved after “Request a Trial” in the license window.

Moving Layers
The click-able area to move a layer could be small depending on the width of the layer menu. You can now click in any open space within a layer to drag and move it.

S_LensFlare Presets > Flare Position
In S_LensFlare, if you moved the flare position and then selected another lens flare preset, the lens flare position was reset. Now, selecting another lens flare preset will not reset the flare position.

Bug Fixes

Delete Top Layer With Three Layers
Previously, when there were three layers, the top layer could not be deleted. Note: There is a two-layer minimum requirement–the original layer and the current layer.

Exiting While In Search Mode Crash
If you closed Optics while still in Search mode, and there was an active filter, a crash occurred.

Film Stocks – 3 Preset Misspellings

  • The Kodak Porta® 160NC and Kodak Porta® 160VC presets were misspelled. “Porta” was renamed to “Portra”.
  • “Fuji Externa 8573 35mm” was renamed to “Fuji Eterna 8573 35mm”.

Paint Crash
Optics crashed if you painted a stroke without a brush selected. The Color brush is now selected by default.

Paint > Invert Mask Had No Effect
If there were no paint strokes when a Paint mask was inverted, the effect did not appear in the Viewer as expected.

S_LensFlare > Flare Designer > Show Background
In the S_LensFlare > Flare Designer with Show Background enabled, background images larger than 1920×1080 did not fill the screen.

Special Character Filenames Didn’t Open
Optics did not open files or files in folders named with special characters.

Spot and Selection Mask Icons Too Small
The Spot and Selection mask icons were too small.

Star Filter Had No Effect With GPU Disabled
On Windows, the Star filter had no effect when the GPU preference was disabled.

Known Issues

AMD System With 128 Cores Crashing Certain Presets
Unless SMT (Simultaneous Multithreading) is disabled in the BIOS of AMD machines with 128 cores, a number of Film Stocks presets crash Optics.

Zap Crash – Windows
When using a portrait image, Zap crashes if it is the first filter selected.

Boris FX: Creating Beautiful Bokeh with Optics

Ben Brownlee shows you how to use Optics to create beautiful, blurred backgrounds that make your subject stand out.  He explains 3 different ways to use S_RackDefocus on its own and within Photoshop. 


Procedural Photo Editing & Effects with Boris FX Optics

Ross Shain dives deep into procedural photo editing and effect with Boris Optics. Learn color correction, masking, optics, and more.


Battle of the Bens: Live Photo Manipulation w Photoshop + Boris FX Optics

Battle of the Bens: Ben Eshagpoor & Ben Brownlee show how two different creatives approach the same task with wildly different results.


How to Add Stunning Lens Flares in Photoshop with Boris FX Optics

Ben Brownlee walks you through creating gorgeous realistic and stylistic lens flares in Photoshop using Boris FX Optics, based on the Sapphire LensFlare!


How to Create EZ Masks in Photoshop with Boris FX Optics

Ben Brownlee shows you the process of creating complex-looking masks with EZ Masks using Boris FX Optics in Photoshop. Try a free demo today!


Boris FX Optics: Quick Start Guide #gettingstarted

Watch this Optics tutorial to learn how to add Lens Flares, Glows and other Hollywood-style feature film visual effects elements to your photos.


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