CHECK OUT THESE LIGHTING AND COMPOSITING TIPS FROM BLUE ZOO’S ARTHUR TIBBETT AND FRANCESCA PESCE
1. FOCUS ON YOUR KEY SHOT
When I was a lighting and compositing artist I found my best results were when I spent time making a really nice key still image. It was much easier to render one frame and comp it, then get it approved by the leads and directors, than it was to render a load of sequences. Make your key shot as bulletproof as possible and use that as a template for the rest of your shots in the same sequence with the same lighting conditions. You'll find it a lot easier to adjust only lights based on the angle of the camera in the shot than setting up the same scenario over and over again.
2. TRAIN YOUR EYE
There’s a lot you need to go through with lighting. It's not just the technical side, it’s the creative eye to understand a sunset, what kind of light bounces from the sky, which colour and why – there's a lot of knowledge that’s necessary. There are a lot of resources online. If you want to be a lighting and comp artist you need to show that you can deal with at least an interior, an exterior, and maybe two or three different times of day. That's already telling me that you have the flexibility to approach different situations in different lighting setups.
3. GATHER REFERENCES
Get solid reference. Working to a solid reference and moodboard makes your life so much easier when trying to get a beautiful render.
4. HONE YOUR CRAFT
Try to do as much as you can, and try to do things on your own as well. Trying to see if you’re independent is really important. It's nice to have an understanding of the entire process of what you're doing when you learn any discipline, lighting and comp is the same. Rather than just being like a robot with that really specific knowledge that makes you just competent, try to have an understanding of colour theory, how the light works, how the 3D model works and how shading works. You don't necessarily need to go to animation or rigging, although a little bit does also help. A little bit of everything. I think that's really important.