It’s called “Lens Whacking“. Over the years indie filmmakers came up with a way to make incredible optical lighting artifacts inside the camera by removing the lens while shooting, then hovering it over the sensor to allow light to come in, thus creating an on-the-fly dreamy light effect.

Lens Whack is a product that gives you that simulated Lens Whacking effect in post production, without you having to try to focus and film while hovering your lens over the sensor…and you don’t risk breaking anything either!


The Lens Skew area of Lens Whack has everything to do with what happens when you take the lens off your camera and hover it over the sensor. When you change the Amount of the effect you increase or decrease the lens distortion, in-focus areas, lens drift, and vignette. Use the on-screen control to change the in-focus point of your footage. If you click the checkbox for Random Drift, the focus point will randomly drift around your footage as if you are creating it by hand. The amount of the drift can be sped up or slowed down and the distance it travels can be changed as well. Finally, you can always choose to have the out of focus areas and distortion turned off if you wish to just see movement of the vignette.


Often times when Lens Whacking, you get variations of light haze spilling onto the sensor because of the variations of light that is happening around you. This section of the effect does just that. Dynamic Haze extracts the light and dark areas of your footage and projects it as forms of light and dark areas. For variation, you can experiment with the X and Y positions as well as the amount of stretch. You can assign colors to the light and dark areas or simply use white for a neutral style of light spill.


This is one of our favorite areas. Simple choose a light leak style from the drop down menu to give your footage that extra bit of reality when using Lens Whack. You can adjust the brightness, color, saturation, and even flip it on the X and Y for many variations.

Once you have installed Lens Whack, you will find it in the Title area of Final Cut Pro X. Simply drag the desired effect and drop it over the video clip you want to affect. Make sure you expand or shrink the title to cover the entirety of the clip…then make the adjustments to the parameters you want in the Title’s inspector window. There are 12 presets and examples to give you some creative ideas and starting points.

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