Yes it is a supernova that I'm trying to re-create and well my interviewee mentions the supernova and it's first sightings and that brought me to the conclusion of wanting to show what is being send to have a better understanding.
There are light burst and blur effects that might do what you want, but you'll have to animate multiple parameters within a couple different effects simultaneously to get that flickering lens flare (or you could just get a lens flare plugin like Optical Flares or Knoll Light Factory).
As to the red, gassy stuff, the shockwave tutorial already suggested would be a good place to start.
- The Great Szalam
(The 'Great' stands for 'Not So Great, in fact, Extremely Humble')
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