You can't get "off screen" rays - there would be no pixels that generate them. You really have to use larger layers/ pre-comps. Similarly, rays coming at the camera would merely be an illusion by cutting your contour "shadow" from another shape that generates the rays, but that shape would have to extend beyond the contour to actualyl be visible...
Thanks for the response Mylenium. I realize that the rays have to pull from a source but you lost me on the rest. Im sur eyour knowledge on AE is way beyond mine. I guess ill have to just keep trying things till i get the desired effect. I tried putting the rays effect behind my actor but as i changed the intensity, you could tell the light was flowing from behind and not at the actor so im still just messing around with it. Unless you have any tips in laymen's terms? =P
Hi Joey, what Mylenium referred to was Precomposing: Have a look at the screeshot. Supposed you have the object that is the source for the light rays on the "Your Object" layer and the CC Light Rays effect on an adjustment layer above. Then select both layers, right click and choose "Pre-compose" (Move all attributes). This results in a new composition, in form of a single layer, that took the place of the old ones. This new layer can be scaled up so that the source of the rays move outside the screen while still shining into the picture.