Thursday, 23 January 2020

Lighting For Animators with Steve Lall

Steve Lall teaching at Escape Studios
Studio Assistant Steve Lall will teach our 2nd year animation students the fundamentals of lighting in animation today.

A basic understanding of lighting setups is an important part of the animator's toolkit, and a necessary part of the short films our students will shortly be making in PR5001, the 2nd year Studio Project Module which begins in a few weeks.

Steve will cover the fundamentals of lighting with Arnold, showing how our animators can achieve successful lighting setups with minimal complexity.

We also have a series of videos on lighting at our Vimeo Channel to support the classroom instruction.

The Importance of Lighting
Lighting can affect how an audience responds to a shot in so many ways, using (for example) a warm or cold colour palette. 

Any discussion of lighting inevitably involves some core film-making skills such as colour theory and colour design, composition, and art direction.

Three Point Lighting
Steve will begin with the fundamentals of three point lighting, showing how a blend of warm and cool colours can produce attractive lighting outcomes - far superior to a simple Playblast.

Warm -v- Cool: Colour Contrasts 
All our students need an understanding of the basic principles of colour theory, and how warm and cool lighting can produce different emotional responses from the audience. Film-makers use a blend of warm and cool colours to assist with art direction and support the storytelling.

Environmental lighting
Steve will also explain the basics of environmental HDRI lighting in exterior shots, such as the example of the leopard below. 

Lighting at Pixar
At the 2018 VIEW conference, Pixar lighting expert Kim White revealed some of the secrets of Pixar lighting setups on Cars 3

At Pixar, lighting techniques are used to support the storytelling, highlighting what's important - and guiding the audience's attention to the things that matter most.

The secret of good lighting is to lead the viewer's eye so that we only see what we need to see.

Lighting Tutorials at our Vimeo Channel
We also have many tutorials at our Vimeo Tutorial Channel to help our students get up to speed with lighting and rendering.

The Vimeo Tutorials are password protected, but are available to all our current students and Escapees (just send us an email if you need the password).

Award-winning "Golden Acorn" was lit and rendered in Arnold
Arnold Lighting Tutorials
To find find our tutorials on the use of the Arnold Renderer, recorded by our very own Michael Davies, follow this link

Where and when
Steve's class on Lighting For Animators takes place today from 9.30am until 12.30pm in Winterfell on the 3rd floor at 190 High Holborn WC1.

The Escape Studios Animation Blog offers a personal view on the art of animation and visual effects. To apply for our new BA/MArt starting in September 2020, follow this link. We train all our students with practical real-world skills, to give them the best possible chance of a career in industry. To see some of our animation success stories, follow this link.

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