Thursday, January 24, 2013

Master lighting

Master lighting is the first step in a broader approach to lighting a short. My thinking here is:
  • Master lighting (this demo) -  Lighting the whole scene.
    • Focus on intensity, contrast and color. 
    • You might refine slightly according to your establishing shot, but not too specific.
    • If you can't use something for a majority of your sequence, don't do it here. (ie. light linking)
  • Key lighting - Lighting unique and iconic shots.
    • Focus on shaping and pushing your lighting.
    • Bring in your master lighting and refine it.
      • Throw away unnecessary lights
      • Get more specific.  Add lights where necessary.
      • Work out technical issues here (shadow res, sampling, GI settings, artifacts, etc)
      • Be mindful of continuity among other keys in the sequence
    • The aforementioned establishing shot, used in master lighting, would be treated as a key.
  • Shot lighting - Lighting derivatives (same-as, close ups and one-off shots)
    • Focus on consistency and technical issues.
    • Should be minimal need to adjust lights beyond technical needs (shadow res, framing, etc)
If you're expecting anything extravagant in this demo, you will probably be very disappointed.  I am simply blocking in the master lighting, talking about what I'm doing and why.  Make sure you've watched my preview two videos on lighting, "Thoughts on lighting," and "How I use reference."  They are instrumental to my thought process in this one.

The compression hurts the saturation and contrast, unfortunately, but it should still work to illustrate what I'm talking about.  As usual, feel free to ask any questions.

I hope these are useful.  I might do a few more of these.  I was thinking one for key lighting, another for tips and tricks, and a lastly, one focused on compositing.  I'll skip "shot lighting" because it's technical and case-by-case so it wouldn't be much use.  Good luck!

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