Lighting for Animation

Book description

Lighting for Animation is designed with one goal in mind - to make you a better artist. Over the course of the book, Jasmine Katatikarn and Michael Tanzillo (Senior Lighting TDs, Blue Sky Studios) will train your eye to analyze your work more critically, and teach you approaches and techniques to improve your craft. Focusing on the main philosophies and core concepts utilized by industry professionals, this book builds the foundation for a successful career as a lighting artist in visual effects and computer animation. Inside you’ll find in-depth instruction on:


• Creating mood and storytelling through lighting

• Using light to create visual shaping

• Directing the viewer’s eye with light and color

• Gathering and utilizing reference images

• Successfully lighting and rendering workflows

• Render layers and how they can be used most effectively

• Specific lighting scenarios, including character lighting, environment lighting, and lighting an animated sequence

• Material properties and their work with lighting

• Compositing techniques essential for a lighter

• A guide on how to start your career and achieve success as a lighting artist


This book is not designed to teach software packages—there are websites, instructional manuals, online demos, and traditional courses available to teach you how to operate specific computer programs.  That type of training will teach you how to create an image; this book will teach you the technical skills you need to make that image beautiful. 


Key Features

  • Stunning examples from a variety of films serve to inspire and inform your creative choices.

  • Unique approach focuses on using lighting as a storytelling tool, rather than just telling you which buttons to press.

  • Comprehensive companion website contains lighting exercises, assets, challenges, and further resources to help you expand your skillset.

Table of contents

  1. Cover
  2. Title Page
  3. Copyright Page
  4. Table of Contents
  5. Acknowledgments
  6. Introduction
  7. 1 Why We light
    1. The Role of Lighting
    2. Creating Visual Shaping
    3. Directing the Viewer’s Eye
    4. Final Thoughts
    5. Interview with Chris Wedge—Director :: Blue Sky Studios
  8. 2 Observing the World Around Us
    1. The Importance of Reference
    2. Gathering Reference
    3. Processing Reference
    4. Utilizing Reference
    5. Organizing Reference
    6. Final Thoughts
    7. Interview with Sharon Calahan—Lighting Director of Photography :: Pixar Animation Studios
  9. 3 The Lighter’s Toolbox
    1. Common CG Lights
    2. Basic Properties of Light
    3. Shadows
    4. Final Thoughts
    5. Interview with Andrew Beddini—Technical Supervisor of Imaging :: Blue Sky Studios
  10. 4 The Lighter’s Workflow
    1. Pre-lighting
    2. Understanding the Roles of Each Light
    3. Let There Be Light!
    4. Render Layers
    5. Render Workflow
    6. Final Thoughts
    7. Interview with Michael Knapp—Art Director :: Blue Sky Studios
  11. 5 Dissecting a Well-lit Shot
    1. Telling the Story by Emphasizing the Mood
    2. Directing the Viewer’s Eye
    3. Visual Shaping
    4. Final Thoughts
    5. Interview with Josh Staub—Visual Effects Supervisor and Lighting Supervisor :: Walt Disney Animation Studios
  12. 6 Lighting Scenarios
    1. Character Lighting
    2. Eyes
    3. Interior Lighting
    4. Exterior Lighting
    5. Final Thoughts
    6. Interview with Haji Uesato :: Blue Sky Studios
  13. 7 Materials and Compositing
    1. Materials
    2. Simulating Specific Materials
    3. Common Adjustments to Shaders in Lighting’
    4. Compositing
    5. Layering
    6. The Final Touches
    7. Final Thoughts
    8. Interview with Brian Hill—Supervisor of the Materials Department:: Blue Sky Studios
  14. 8 Honing the Artistic Eye
    1. Image Breakdowns
    2. Interview with Gabriel Portnof—CG Supervisor :: Dreamworks Animation
  15. 9 Lighting Walkthroughs
    1. Lighting Scenario One :: Character Beauty Lighting
    2. Lighting Scenario Two :: Character and Environment
    3. Lighting Scenario Three :: Multiple Characters
    4. Final Thoughts
    5. Interview with Yann Mabille—Creative Director/Partner :: Interstate
  16. 10 Master Lighting
    1. Lighting Pre-production
    2. Look Development and Master Lighting
    3. Creating a Clean Rig
    4. Final Thoughts
    5. Interview with Eldar Cholich—Lighting Lead :: Blue Sky Studios
    6. Interview with Kurt Kaminski—Lighter :: Walt Disney Animation Studios
  17. 11 Closing Statements
    1. Getting Started as a Lighting Artist
    2. Thriving in the Industry
    3. Final Thoughts
    4. Interview with Deb Stone—Manager of Recruiting and Talent Development :: Blue Sky Studios
  18. Index

Product information

  • Title: Lighting for Animation
  • Author(s): Jasmine Katatikarn, Michael Tanzillo
  • Release date: December 2016
  • Publisher(s): Routledge
  • ISBN: 9781317699934