Before lighting any type of shot, you must think about the mood of the scene and
what you want to the audience to focus on specifically in the overall composition.
How you light a shot will determine how the audience's eye will be guided around the composition
to the focal point. You can create compositions by the angles or shapes of different light values
from elements such as shadows or highlights. (READ "LIGHTING FOR CINEMATOGRAPHY"
to get more information about this particular topic). Colors are also very significant in the mood
or the overall feeling of the shot. Color can heavily influence how one feels mentally and/or physically.
For example, when a person sees the color red, they become more alert, their blood pressure rises slightly,
and can become more aggressive in the way they talk or feel. However, when a person sees the color blue,
it has the opposite affect. People can feel calm, peaceful, or sad.
Lighting is an art form, but is also very technical in software programs, as well as a science in the real world.
In the real world, you have to think about how light waves mix, reflect, or get absorbed. Software can't capture
all realistic attributes that light does in the real world, but there's definitely a lot of control and ways to make a scene feel believable.
Because it's an art form, it means that there is more than one way to light a scene.
Like painting, there is more than one way to create a painting from start to finish. Artists have their own techniques
and methods, which is the same for lighting.
Overall when you begin to light:
Think about the composition and mood. Where is the focal point?
How can shadows and highlights be used to add interest and direct the eye
towards the focal point?
What time of day is it?
Photo by Dirk Rabe: www.360cities.net/image/day-and-night-germany?
Consider why you're creating each light and its purpose in the composition.
Things quickly get costly when trying to render. If you have a shot that's 200 frames
long and it takes 3 minutes to render one frame, it would take 10 hours to finish
rendering that one shot.
By default, Maya 2017 has hidden the render layers we will use for this assignment.
In the bottom of the Channel Box, you'll see a Display and an Anim layer. In order to restore the
Render tab to this location, go to Windows, Settings/Preferences, Preferences. Click Rendering on
the side bar, and change "Preferred Render Setup system" to "Legacy Render Layers". You'll have to
restart Maya after this change, but once you re-open you'll see a new Render tab in the Channel Box.
We will need this later.
Light linking is the process of individually selecting which objects will be affected by which lights.
We will use the Relationship Editor (Windows, Relationship Editors, Light Linking, Object Centric)
extensively in this assignment to define relationships between lights and specific objects. To create connections between
lights and objects (say, to connect a spotlight (spotlight1) to only one mesh (pcube1) in your scene as opposed to all of your objects),
simply open the editor, click the object you want the light to affect, then the light. Lights that the object is connected
to will be highlighted blue.
Light linking can sometimes be a buggy process in maya. Make sure to give meainingful names to your lights
When you create a light, make sure you click on the light and move it around
a tiny bit before putting in the lights values (scale, rotation, etc).
Think about where the focal point is and where the main source of light is coming from.
There isn't a particular mood for this scene for the sake of demonstrating how all the lights work.
The main source of light will be from the lamp, not the window.
It's later in the day and overcast, so the lamp will have a stronger source of light.
The window will add in a soft fill light and will be less intense than the light from the lamp.
Allowing the light from the lamp to be the key light will also create a nice diagonal shape,
to guide the audience eyes from the lamp to the papers on the desk (the focal point).
Notice how aspects of three-point lighting is still being kept in mind;
We're keeping in mind the keylight and how we're going to fill in shadows that are dark in value.
We also want to create a group of main lights that will give an overall sense of the scene,
then add extra lights to make the composition more clear.
Once you're finished, you should end up with a scene that looks like this:
Create a Maya Area light and name it key_window_light. This light will simulate light coming from outside, into the room.
Place this light outside of the window and facing inside.
Size it up so it is roughly the size of the outside wall to simulate the outside light coming in through the window.
Exposure should be set to 17.2, this will make the light stronger. Take the volume slider down to 0.
We are going to be adding fog later and we don't want fog to show up on any lights except that one.
This light will be connected to everything so leave illuminate by default on
Lighting is not a linear process. You may find later on that you'd like
to change the way a light is linked to other objects, or its intensity,
etc. That's normal and to be expected. Make sure to be constantly rendering
as you work to see how your lights are looking.
Create a maya area light and name it backlight. This light will create basic lighting for the interior of the room.
Make this light the width of the room and turn it towards the window and desk.
Exposure should be 14. Turn Specular down to .277 to turn certain bright spots down.Volume to 0.
This light should also be connected to everything
Create a maya area light and name it ceiling_light. This light will simulate the direction of light that we are trying to simulate in the room.
Make a rectangle and situate above all the objects in the room, and size it up so it's large enough to cover the width and space of all the objects in the room.
Set Exposure to 14.5. Specular to .5 and Volume at 0
This light will be connected to everything so leave illuminate by default on
Take these three lights and create a group for them named main_lights
Now we will be adding in some more lights for all the objects in the scene to fill out some dark places and add a focal point.
This is a good time to quickly render out your scene and see how it is looking before you proceed. Your scene should be looking something like this, although since this
process is not as linear as before do not worry if it is not exact. You will have time to edit at the end and adjust you lights accordingly
The first filler light we are making is the bulb a mesh light, this is a light from the arnold tab.
First select the bulb_geo from the outliner and then go the Arnold tab, lights, and select mesh light, this will create a light in the shape of the bulb.
Name the light bulb_light.
Set the intensity of the light to 4(since this is an arnold light it is possible to manipulate both intensity and exposure).
Then set exposure to 10.5. Exposure in arnold lights acts as a multiplier so you don't have to bump up intensity quite so much.
Set Specular to .377 and keep Volume 1.
Go to the relationship editor and delink this light from the chair
Take a maya spotlight and put it top-down over the desk and name it desk_light.
This light will create the focal point and create the illusion of the lamp lighting up the desk.
Set the Cone Angle to 60.766 and the Penumbra Angle to 31.083.
Set the Color Temperature(Arnold tab) to 3420. Set Exposure under the Arnold tab to 15. Set Volume to 0.
In the Relationship Editor de-link the desk light from these items:
Create a spotlight and place it around the same area as the desk_light and name it paper_items_light.
This will act as the light for the papers, since they are lighter items that need more specific lighting.
Set the Cone Angle to 60.766 and Penumbra Angle 31.083
Color Temperature to 3420.
Exposure to 14. And volume to 0.
This light should only be connected to the following items, so un-check illuminate by default and link the light to:
Create a spotlight and place it behind the chair facing towards the window, desk, and chair.
This will help fill in some light on the chair and desk to help define the shape better. Name this light back_of_chair_desk.
Set Cone Angle to 51.268, and Penumbra Angle to 50.
Color Temperature to 5037, Exposure to 12.
Turn Cast Shadows off. Set Volume to 0.
This light will be connected to everything
Now we are going to create a light for just the plant, since it is in an odd place, behind the light source.
Create a spotlight and place it right above the plant light, facing down towards it. Name it plant_light.
Set Cone Angle to 51.268 and Penumbra Angle 50.
Color Temperature to 5037 and Exposure to 12.5. Set Volume to 0.
Connect this to just the plant
Create a spotlight and name it items_right_fill, this will help fill in the darker spots of some items on the right side of the desk where they are too dark.
Place this light towards the right side of the desk, pointing towards the apple, radio and picture frame.
Set Cone Angle to 93.418, Penumbra Angle 50.
Color Temperature to 5037, Exposure to 13. Volume to 0
Link this light to only the pictureframe, radio, and apple
This light will help brighten up the desk a little more. Duplicate the right_items_fill light and rename it desk_soft_fill.
Most settings for this light can remain the same except
- Turn cast shadows off
- Move the light so it is behind the chair facing down towards the desk at a slight angle
- Link this light to just the desk
This light will help fill out the darker cabinet corner and help define the shape and texture a bit.
Take the right_items_fill light and duplicate it, name it left_side_cabinet_fill, then change these settings:
- Exposure to 14
- Specular to .162
- Move the light so it is facing the left corner with the cabinets
- Connect this light to the Floor, Left Cabinet, Right Cabinet.
Group all these lights together and name the group filler_lights.
Then take the filler light group and the main light group and put them in a large group labeled lights .
Next we are going to add fog to the mesh light. Open the Render settings by going to render and selecting render settings. go into the Arnold Renderer tab and go dow to Environment.
Select the checkered box next to atmosphere and select aiAtmosphereVolume. A window should pop up in the attribute editor, adjust Density to .018, and samples to 15.
In Render Settings and under the Arnold Renderer tab adjust the settings so they match the above. These will be optimal settings for rendering your image with getting as little pixelation as possible.
There will likely still be some visible pixels around the fog, but for now it is fine. This shot can take a while to render so be patient and have something to watch or do on the side while it renders!
To Render the shot use the Arnold renderview and make sure you are rendering from the render camera.
Once it is done go to file and save the image in your folder
Again do not worry if it does not completely match the reference image. The goal of this excercise is to avoid odd shadows, and fill out the shapes of the objects as well as possible.
And to make sure your lights are properly named and set up.
For part B, you'll be establishing two moods for the same office scene.
This where you're free to set up lights any way you want, as long as it invokes
some kind of mood in the viewer. You will use the following moods: joy and sadness.
You can either find your own reference (Find 3 reference images for a mood),
or use the paintovers and renders for reference. During production, or in industry,
it's common for lighters to use color scripts or concept art to help get an idea how
to light a particular scene.
Render out an image of your two mood scenes and save them to turn in with the reference you choose.