Project 3 : Lighting
Date Assigned: Tuesday, July 5th (week 4)
Date Due: Monday July 11th, 11:59am (1 hour before class)

Reading: Chapters 7 and 8 (Kerlow)
Also Recommended: Pixel Cinematography: A Lighting Approach for Computer Graphics

In this assignment you will experiment with character and mood lighting.

You can either choose to work on your own, or work with a group of your choosing. Each member brings along all the models used by his/her groups in the previous two assignments. Choose from these at least two shaded models that fit together well. Compose these models into a scene and light the scene in the ways described below.

Getting started

To get used to creating and manipulating lights in Maya Tutorials:Rendering:Lesson 3.

What to do

  1. Create a simple setting that makes sense for the objects your groups has chosen -- a room, or a backdrop and a surface. Choose one object to be the main character and place the models in the scene. The main character does not have to be in the foreground; lighting can be used to direct attention to the main character wherever it is.
  2. Light the scene so that the main character stands out. Keep the background lighting as simple as possible. Think of this as "hero lighting." Some standard lights that you might want to use include:
  3. Using the same objects, same composition, and same camera angle, light the scene again. This time, choose a different object to emphasize and choose a specific mood to convey. It is critical that as a team you come up with a definite mood or atmosphere that you are trying for. As in the shading assignment, the mashed potatoes defense will not stand.
  4. (Optional) Light the scene in some other interesting way. Some suggestions: as a fine arts painting, as an advertisement, as a night scene.

What we're looking for

We have different expectations for the results of each part of the assignment.
  1. The first part is just to give you something to light. Focus on achieving an interesting composition and a sense of relationship between and among the objects. Remember to model for your scene; clever use of camera angles and/or background paintings can minimize the need to actually build things like walls and floors.
  2. The second part is an exercise in character lighting. Play with the color and placement of the lights in your scene to get a feel for the kind of effects that they can have.
  3. The third part is an exercise in the power of lighting as a cinematographic and artistic tool. Think about the interplay of light and shadow, the use of color, the variation of lighting within a scene. Tell a story with a single image.
    You can change scene elements for this image.
  4. You have free rein here.

Turn in

Two or three quality rendered scenes:

Projects will be critiqued in class on Monday. Handin the files listed below to blackboard:
Access blackboard:

To handin a file (click thru the following menu options):