I've always been a firm believer that realism, especially in CG, lies in imperfections. CG renders, for the most part, come out looking too perfect - too symmetrical or too clean. Adding in the imperfections of real world filming; lens dirt, camera shake, depth of field and lens flares really helps convey realism.
I was happy with how 'BensFlares' turned out, but there were so many more features and tweaks that I wanted to include. The main issue that I want to fix before releasing the gizmo to Nukepedia is that it's based ontop of an existing lens flare gizmo called 'Flare Factory Plus' written by Doug Hogan (http://www.doughogan.com/toolbox/flarefactoryplus). Flare Factory Plus allows the user to place one of many different flares into their composition and have the position affect the shape and orientation of the flare itself. Flare Factory Plus made a great base for my gizmo as it let me focus on the actual innovative features of the product. Ideally I want to write my own flare utility to base the other features on top of, giving me full control over the final effect.
The basic functionality is there for the different features of the gizmo and once my major animation project is completed I'll be able to make the necessary changes and release it.
I really enjoyed the development process of this project. I purposely chose an area of CG in which I wasn't particularly comfortable; expression writing and scripting. I'd never been a confident programmer but Nuke's expression interface combined with it's node based architecture made the task less daunting. I ended up really getting into the problem solving mindset needed to write the expressions which drove the program.