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Still from the animated short The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore. Property of Moonbot Studios.

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The Lighter’s Toolbox

Lighting in CG is done by positioning virtual lights around an environment with either an interactive Graphic User Interface (GUI) or through code. Although there are many differences between these CG lights and real world lights, it is easiest to think about lighting for animation as one would stage lighting. Both start with a dark set filled with characters and props. It is then the lighting artist’s job to add lights of varying quality to illuminate the stage. Both have the goal of illuminating the necessary ...

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