Exponential glow with shoulder
Would love to see the glow plug-in get an overhaul. I assume this is in the top 10 most used effects (it sure is for me) and there is plenty of room for improvement!
First feature would be to add an "exponential" checkbox with a gamma slider. This would of course make the glow fall off with an inverse square ratio - but with the addition of the gamma slider it could be user controllable. It is important that this effect is 32bpc "under the hood" so that we get accurate highlights - even in an 8bpc and 16bpc project (the output would of course be clipped in these cases).
Secondly when dealing with HDR projects the glow effect goes quite haywire. Not sure what math is going wrong but highlights tend to EXPLODE when they are super-white and I more often than not have to build by own glow with levels, blur and blending modes. Adding in a soft "shoulder" slider for 32bpc compositions would be a very nice way to handle this. Just one slider which mimics the shoulder node in Magic Bullet Looks, for example.
And lastly there seems to be something off with the current glow filter in terms of color and saturation. Try getting a nice golden glow and 99.9% of the time you get a hellish red color. I'm assuming this has to do with the (arguably) broken gamma and color workflow in AE. Whatever it is please make it so that glow colors are a bit more predictable, and add a "Saturation" slider to the glow effect!
As a bonus if one of the Adobe devs wants to dive in to incorporating Fractal Noise and Roughen Edges into the glow I think it would be time well spent ;) I'm quite happy with how Red Giant did this with Trapcode Shine. The ability to have 3D parallax is very nice and I use it quite often.
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Spencer Tweed commented
There is a somewhat old Nuke gizmo called ExpoGlow which does much of this that I use all of the time.