While it’s quite common for 3D programs to support IBL (image based lighting) to simulate scene lighting based on realworld photographs, this is not always technically possible or feasible for plug-ins in After Effects, especially if they use OpenGL. This package tries to provide some of this functionality by using arrays of normal lights and arranging them in your composition and in addition sampling the color from input imagery. The setup contains a light dome setup to simulate 360 degree illumination as well as an area light for direct, soft lights that can easily be modified and customized using expressions. Refer to the included PDF file for more details and usage instructions.
The second download re-uses the setup with a few extra controls for Plexus. It’s kind of a tec demo to illustrate how you can control large numbers of lights using pixel data in a pre-comp and easily create some pretty fancy lighting or other effects based thereon. This setup would just the same work with your favorite lens flare plug-inb or tools like Trapcode Lux.