Plug-in developer Digital Film Tools has released a new lighting plug-in for Photoshop, Aperture and Photoshop Lightroom called Rays.

The Rays plug-in allows users to create realistic light ray effects. Known as volumetric lighting in 3D tools such as Maya -- or crepuscular rays in atmospheric optics -- this dramatic effect adds polish and style. With the plug-in, you can create shafts of light streaming through clouds, rays filtering through a forest canopy, beams of light on a foggy night, or rays shooting out from text.

Controls within Rays allow users to set the ray length and brightness; control ray direction with an on-screen control; and customise the colour of the rays using a colour picker. There is also a threshold control to specify where the rays will be visible, and tools to randomize the rays for more realistic effects.

Before and after shots showing the Rays plug-in in use.

Rays costs $50 (around £30).