It might be easiest to open one of the lens flare presets, and take a look at how it works. For example, Open the blue flare preset that comes with the program. Cogz has a better mastery than me over how this works, but I think I can explain it for you.
Basically, each shape that you add has sliders to control its Distance nad Location. Blue Flare has 13 different shapes, all strung out in a line. So you create each individual shape, adjust its color and move it to it proper location. Generally, all of the shapes will be in a straight line, so you won't have to use the Offset sliders at all. You just leave all of the pieces in the middle of the screen, where they are originally created, and set each piece to a different Distance. then when you move the origin point of the effect, the math will all be done for you, and the relative movement of each piece will be done automatically. You might look for photos with real lens flares to try copy if you are not sure what colors to use or where to pace them. Otherwise, you can just make stuff up.
Once you have all the pieces in line, you can control how the whole effect moves using the Optic Movement controls, accesible from the timeline. Now just click on the control point on the canvas, and drag the effect to where you want it to be, and all of shapes involved will move to maintain the appropriate angle. I think that basically explains it, but getting them to look realistic is probably best done by copying a real lens flare to begin with. If I was unclear or you hav other questions, let me know.
The simplest way to run through this process is probably to create all of the elements of your effect in the center, then move the origin point to one of the top corners. Now you will be able to see all of the individual pieces and how they relate to each other, then you can go back and adjust them accordingly.
Last edited Sun, 22nd Jan 2006, 8:17pm; edited 1 times in total.