Boris FX, a Boston-based software company known for its visual and special effects, has just released an update to Boris FX Optics, the company’s standalone software and Photoshop plugin, which includes a powerful set of visual effects targeted at photographers. The new version, Boris FX Optics 2022, includes new features as well as some changes to the interface design. Here’s a quick overview of some of those changes:

  • New particle generator: The new iteration of Boris FX Optics includes “Particle Illusion,” a particle generator designed to create photo-real effects, including smoke, fire, water, sparkles, explosions, dust, and sci-fi effects, to name a few. What’s more, you can launch the Particle Illusion editor and not only create custom designs, but output the effects as an animated movie file, which could be a quick/fun method for creating cinemagraphs and other animations.
  • Improved masking workflows: You can now move layer masks between Photoshop and Optics, which allows for more flexibility in creating composite images. This means the masking tools, lighting effects, and render generators can now be processed and exported as layers.
  • More presets for effects: The designers have added more creative effects from the Boris FX Sapphire collection, including UltaZap (for superhero and sci-fi style lightning effects) and UltraGlow (for smooth and slick glows).
  • New interface design: The design team has also made some subtle, yet important changes to the user interface, to give it a more streamlined look. For instance, they’ve added compact sliders and new icons and also give you the ability to customize and import/export workspaces.
Here’s are two variations of the same photo, which shows you how you might use the particle generator to produce a cool effect.
Here’s are two variations of the same photo, which shows you how you might use the particle generator to produce a cool effect. Boris FX

One of the most useful aspects of Optics is its ability to quickly apply a filter and change the look of a photo, which will appeal to many types of commercial and event photographers, as well as designers and content creators. 

As with most plugins and software, you’ll want to take some time to get used to the overall workspace, which can be a little quirky, at times. However, the time you spend studying the Optics interface will pay off, because the plugin includes a ton of ready-to-use filters, which you can then tweak and even save as your favorites. 

Boris FX will also be adding to the video tutorials it already has on its website, which are helpful in getting you up and running quickly.

It also comes with additional filters and presets, which were in the previous version of Optics, including:

  • 600+ historical film stocks and film “looks,” including color grades from famous Hollywood films.
  • 126 optical lens flare presets from Boris FX Sapphire collection.
  • 800+ Gobo lighting patterns including Windows, Doors, Abstracts, and more.
  • 1700+ particle presets including Smoke, Fire, Water, Trails, Snow, Sci-Fi, Explosions, and more.


Boris FX Optics 2022 is available now on Mac and Windows as a plugin for Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom, and as standalone software, for $149. If you already have a previous version of the software, an upgrade will cost you $49. There are also two subscription options—$99, annually, or $9 per month. You can also try a free trial of the new software right now.