3D World

AF­TER­NOON MAGIC-HOUR LIGHT­ING

- Greater con­trol When light­ing day­light scenes, it’s more in­tu­itive to paint out the sun from the im­age and cre­ate a sep­a­rate sun­light with that tex­ture, so that you have more con­trol over the ex­po­sure, tem­per­a­ture and di­rec­tion. You will also be able to c Stargazing · Space

01

Once again the HDR dome light is the best place to start. If you find a good, ac­cu­rate sky you will be able to use the colour and ex­po­sure cues to build the light­ing en­vi­ron­ment. If you can, sep­a­rate the sun from the sky on your dome light so that you don’t have to worry about in­creas­ing the fill light and an­noy­ingly in­creas­ing your sun light at the same time – bet­ter to have them sep­a­rate.

02

So much of day­light­ing de­pends on the height of the sun from the hori­zon and the an­gle the light hits the char­ac­ter. Try play­ing around with these val­ues to get some­thing that con­veys the right mood. In this scene the sun­light con­tri­bu­tion is made up of a di­rec­tional light ro­tated -20 in x to give an af­ter­noon low-light look. The colour was taken from the sun in the HDRI.

03

The next set­ting to per­fect is the aian­gle on the di­rec­tional light in Maya, which will de­fine how sharp the shad­ows of the light will be. I chose an aian­gle of 15 to get some­thing close to how the sun would cast shad­ows at that an­gle from the Earth. If you were to opt for a higher sun the an­gle would be less and there­fore shad­ows would be sharper.

04

Once you are happy with the broad light­ing, it’s time to light the char­ac­ter. You may find that hav­ing a sun and sky are enough for most shots – es­pe­cially if the char­ac­ter is trav­el­ling through a vast val­ley or large area. In this scene we will add an ex­tra spot­light to shape the char­ac­ter and give more def­i­ni­tion to his face. Try to keep the ro­ta­tions and aian­gle of the spot­light the same as your di­rec­tional light so that you don’t

start cast­ing ex­tra shad­ows and ru­in­ing the il­lu­sion.

05

Most likely cast­ing all the light at such a harsh an­gle will re­sult in quite heavy shad­ows, so to counter that we would add an ex­tra fill light on the op­po­site side of the char­ac­ter’s face to lift the dark shad­ows a lit­tle bit.

06

Another help­ful trick is to add an ex­tra Area light or softer light near the spot­light to give a kind of light wrap around the face. This will soften any edges and give a more pleas­ing over­all look to the face. You will find if the char­ac­ter should look at­trac­tive or like­able, you won’t get away with harsh shad­ows on their face. You’ll need to soften the nat­u­ral edges with an ex­tra light but hold onto the def­i­ni­tion from the sun­light.

07

Ex­tra steps can be to add more spot­lights on the back­ground to high­light pock­ets of the en­vi­ron­ment or even to use light block­ers to shade ar­eas you would rather not see.

08

For sun­lit scenes it is also nice to play around with Arnold’s ai at­mos­phere vol­ume and use the spot­lights to cast in­ter­est­ing shapes through the vol­ume. This can give a very ro­man­tic feel to an other­wise harsh en­vi­ron­ment.

“TO COUNTER THE HEAVY SHAD­OWS ADD AN EX­TRA FILL LIGHT ON THE OP­PO­SITE SIDE OF THE FACE”

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 ??  ?? Eye lights In por­trai­ture, when the sub­ject has a re­flec­tion of a light high in their eye­ball, they are gen­er­ally seen as good, and when the re­flec­tion of the light is low in their eye­ball, they are of­ten per­ceived as evil.
Eye lights In por­trai­ture, when the sub­ject has a re­flec­tion of a light high in their eye­ball, they are gen­er­ally seen as good, and when the re­flec­tion of the light is low in their eye­ball, they are of­ten per­ceived as evil.
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 ??  ?? Recre­at­ing sun­light in CG to set a spe­cific mood can of­ten be tricky to per­fect
Recre­at­ing sun­light in CG to set a spe­cific mood can of­ten be tricky to per­fect

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