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Can anyone point me in the right direction how I might achieve the effect without using Shine?
Trapcode Lux, 3D layers oriented toward the camera - both requiring you to deal with a lot of eitehr lights or 3D layers and naturally in the latter case causing its own set of issues with blending. I don't see why you wouldn't wanna keep using Shine, though. You are trying to fix the final output when you should be fixing the cause. The rays fade because the pixels generating them fade and that means you must increase the areas... Can be asily done using blurs (CC Vector Blur, Directional Blur, Box Blur) and adjusting their gain with a Levels effect afterwards. likewise, minimax and Matte Choker could be used to expand the islands. You may just need to pre-compose and use adjustment layers....
Thanks for the swift reply.
At the moment I have applied Shine to an adjustment layer, and the effect per se is working well in 3d space - as far as it goes. The problem seems to be with the inherrent limitation of Shine where the rays are not visible when the camera is perpendicular to the object.
The two examples I attached do not show a complete perpendicular shot - because the rays would not be visible. I attached these to to show the trend of diminishing rays as the camera cranes down to 90 degrees to the layers.
I still think you are overcomplicating... If you follow the advise about stretching the pixels, you can get an almost sideway view. Otehrwise the answer is realyl in laying out the items (eitehr the source points or the light beams themselves) as a 3D layer and oreienting them to camera so the remain visible all the time...