Lighting

Lighting can significantly improve on your animation, when done correctly.  Here are some questions that will help guide you, in selecting the best lighting setup.

What is the story?

The story could be a patentable portion of a device, where you might want to draw more attention to.

What should the viewer be focused on?

Viewers will read each scene or image in a certain order, lighting can help guide the viewer.

What emotion or mood do you want the viewer to feel?

The emotion you are trying to convey may will be dependent on the intent of the video.   Would you want the audience to feel excited, informed, surprised, concerned?

What lighting styles could have the most impact?

You might be making a promotional animation and want to go with a sleek look with a black background, or if your audience is a group of engineers, you want to make sure every aspect of your model if perfectly lit.

Soft vs. Hard

Soft lighting is created by a large, and dim light source, and the shadows are soft and blurry.  Soft shadows are great for portraits and characters, and is the reason why photographers prefer overcast days for shooting.  Harsh shadows are created by a small and bright light source, which creates crisp shadows. Direct sunlight it a good example.  Hard lighting can be good for showing detail.

Short vs. broad lighting.

Broad lighting is when you light an object dead-on. Such as a flash from a camera.  Short lighting is when you light the image from a side.  Short lighting can make an object pop out, look more 3D, but it may suffer from being too dark. Where as broad lighting can have an undesirable effect of being flat.

Rim Lights

This is a result of having a light source from behind the object.  It can give the model outlines and pull it out of the background.

Rim Lights

This is a result of having a light source from behind the object.  It can give the model outlines and pull it out of the background.

Three Point Lighting

This is a tried-and-true method used by artist and photographers. Consist of three main lighting sources; Key, Fill, and Rim.  The example below shows how they come together.  It is very effective for product demo type renderings.  Some argue that this method can take away realism, as it does not exist in the real world.  However, there might be occasions that you want your rendering to look more appealing than real.

Three Point Lighting

Key Light

Fill Light

Fill Light

Combined

HDR Lighting

The most realistic of all lighting methods.  It is achieved by importing a 360 degree photograph of taken in the real world, as the background.

HDR Lighting

References

How to Correctly Light a 3d Mode <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7o0PauhFQyo&t=407s>

Prashan Subasinghe © 2019 All Rights Reserved by Paroform LLC