Thanks for the replies!
Attached are some other views of this project.
The second image is actually a demonstration of a starburst effect I prepared based on the interest in this thread. This demonstration uses only Blender’s nodes.
For it to work, the render layer must have vector blur enabled, and there must be some object keyed motion and/or transformation going between two frames for there to be any vector blurring to be done.
This is not motion blur. No Blender motion blur settings were used in this project.
In this project, I have all the star meshes (about 20 objects of varying size, color, etc.) parented to an Empty.
The Empty is scaled between frames 1 and 2, being larger on the second frame, where this render occurs.
Once you see the nodes, as you might imagine, the vector blurring calculations can go very slowly =)
The incremental 1.2, 1.3, etc. values for the vector blur cause there to be more of subtle a transition between blurred images.
One vector blur node feeds the next.
And, yes, that’s all geometry you see there for the star =)
No halos were used in this project. Halos are very powerful and can lead to even better results under certain circumstances, but they can take a very long time to render.
Some objects here are set to wireframe mode for the wild energy surrounding the star being hatched.
This last technique was one I developed during my F1 2007 project, and it’s a technique I’m using in a couple other projects.
The rest of the render node pipeline involves taking the products of the blurs and performing additive/hue/saturation/color/etc. layer treatments.
GIMP’s zoom blur basically helped finalize the smooth striations of starlight.
I hope this information has been helpful – not in the sense of hoping to see this effect reproduced as is, but more that I hope it can be an example of how Blender can be made to do some really cool things if you’re willing to take the time and to experiment with its capabilities.