...is a new survey at PVC.
Volumetric lighting, Crepuscular rays,
God rays, and the like are visible rays or even globes of light. You
can't see lights themselves with the built-in lighting in After Effects
(for background see Cameras, lights, and points of interest), so plug-ins are used to help make light visible.
One of the first published examples of volumetric lighting in AE used the Radial Blur (Zoom) plug-in, and was presented by Sam DeWitt in a 1995 issue of DV Full Motion. Later tutorials are quite numerous, though they leverage newer filter effects like CC Light Burst, CC Light Rays, CC Radial Blur, CC Radial Fast Blur, Trapcode Shine (with a unique shimmer control), or similar.
...read the rest of Volumetric lighting in After Effects at PVC.