Consider the following photograph:
The first render resembles:
Note how the LEDs have no glare.
The second render adds glare by following Price's tutorial:
Adding glare introduces a number of problems (in no particular order):
- Since the glare is added during compositing, the cabinet door glass does not affect it.
- The star streaks are not pointed.
- Separating the cabinet door frame and cabinet door handle for masking eliminates incorrect glare, but produces a moiré pattern for the handles (even with dithering and DoF in place).
- Due to issues with alpha, the white environment background is no longer applied (this is not apparent with the glare reference image because JPEG does not support transparent backgrounds). This cascades to other problems (such as darker tiles and less window reflection).
How would you produce a realistic glare (or glowing LEDs) that is behind glass and correctly masked?
Compositor Node Setup
Here is the node setup:
(Aside: does Blender have an "save node setup as image" option? A screenshot won't necessarily capture a massive node setup.)
The glass nodes have the following node setup, from chocofur's tutorial:
And the absorption: