“Paint with Shadows” – An exercise in Global Illumination

A lengthy explanation, as usual, this GI/IL Test Bed is a tutorial regarding setting up a scene for exploring the idea of ‘Painting with Shadows’ simply to gain positive experience that is sure to make lighting design more fluid and natural. You’ll be able to quickly and accurately test the results of a full lighting arrangement using only one light, while Carrara’s Global Illumination system takes care of the rest.

The idea of this is to gain experience in light angles and their resulting shadows, so that you build in your own mind a set of results that you like, and that work well for various situations, as well as to have fun with Carrara’s powerful raytrace engine.

Three Point Lighting Tutorial for 3d Animators

Three point lighting can transform your remders! Suddenly flat dull pictures take on a 3d quality of their own. The basic principle is this, shine a keylight onto the subject and a fill light to the side, plus a backlight to the side and rear. Now the magic happends when the three lights overlap on the subject.

However I take things much further in this tutorial. How about using three point lighting on individual objects to make them stand out in a scene. If you make the lighting so tight that It doesnt spill over onto the ground below or other objects you have massive control over your subject.

Fast Night Time Lighting for 3D Animation


The basic idea is to use moonlight with 4 distant lights each with their own colour shading and intensity, in order to simulate the slow to render indirect lighting that is available under global illumination. I go into how contrasting additional lights with this lighting can help the whole scene look like night time.

The video is geared towards surviving youtubes encoding for darker lights. Of course using some kind of gamma correction is useful, but how about fixing the scene at source? Gamma correction can light up everything, here you can select what is to stand out.

Finally I mix a three point lighting idea with this set up to show how you can cheat and help individual objects stand out in the darkness.

How to Light up Windows in a 3D Night Scene

The technique I’m showing here is to isolate the windows you wish to be on by cutting them out (and the immediate surroundings if you want that), and shining a bulb light onto the cut out (and only the cut out).

This gives you the ultimate control over where you light falls, and because you can assign a separate shader for the new model you can alter how the light interacts with the window pane.

You could even set up more than one shading domain and shader to have the windows behave differently.

This technique is not the quickest but I would argue its the most flexible set up.

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