Create moods with CG lighting
Lucas Pozzey demonstrates the different ways to light a simple scene to convey various emotions and moods
Expert advice from Lucas Pozzey on how to use light effectively
There are many elements that go into creating strong emotion in filmmaking. Using a simple scene, we will explore the different choices we can make in a single shot to elicit emotion by creating four different lighting setups.
Whenever we start working on a shot or a sequence, we need to first define the most important factors – story and character. The first step should be to answer the following questions: What is the overall mood of the scene? Where is the drama? Who/what/where is the subject? Where do we want the audience to look? And the most important consideration, how are we emotionally affecting the audience?
Once you have answered these questions the rest of your lighting decisions should follow the same path. Often in VFX we are tied to some element of on-set or plate photography where a lot of the decisions will have already been made, however there is still a lot of room to complement the work of the DP when adding CG characters or set extensions.
For this tutorial we will be working in a full CG environment and therefore have the freedom to create the mood from scratch.
Look around the room you’re in – or even better, through a camera lens – and see how light affects the environment. Look at the sharpness of the shadows, how the colour of the light affects the colour and shape of the object. The more you study light in the world around you the more you will be able to manipulate it and recreate it in interesting ways.