Top Tip: Lighting

Alex Thorn our fantastic Junior CG Lighter is delivering this weeks Top Tip! He has 3 simple tricks to help improve your lighting skills:

1.  Switch between Black and White and colour regularly; it really helps you see the contrast levels without getting distracted by colour itself. It’s especially helpful early on in the lighting process when you want to focus on the form of the light and the contrast levels. It helps reset your brain, so you can see from a clear perspective where you may have made mistakes in the lighting. Zooming out and looking at the thumbnail size image also helps with this!

2.   Find references! It can be fun to try and light a frame from scratch, but I find that my lighting usually comes out best when I have references for it. Try using multiple references and taking elements from each to then compliment them with your own ideas. I always think it’s best to have a base to get you started.

3.   Iterate- Your first pass is never going to be your best! You can always find ways to improve it or to do something more interesting. Mess around with it, do three lighting setups and see what works best. Don’t be afraid to fine tune and compare new versions in Nuke. You can really feel the image improve over time and you’ll end up with a finely polished image.