Interior, Fluorescent, Night
We can use the scenic setup from the previous tutorial to continue on
into fluorescent lighting. Kitchens often make use of fluorescent lights,
and this one will be no exception. Let’s try to find a more interesting
position to place the lights, however. I have seen fluorescent lights
placed beneath cabinets where they provide bright, unobstructed illumi
nation of the counter working area. This is a particularly interesting
place to position lights because it means the lighting will be reaching any
people in the scene from below indirectly, which is a very unnatural and
interesting lighting angle.
Before we build and place these lights, however, let’s examine the
qualities of fluorescent lights and other similar light types such as neon
First, we know that fluorescent lights generally burn much cooler
than incandescent lights. That is meant both in terms of heat tempera
ture and color temperature. Fluorescent lights are usually in the 7000 K
range, often in the green range, while neon tubes can be any color rang
ing from subtle to wildly saturated.
Part III: Creating Lighting ··································
Figure 26.61
Second, we know that these tube lights can be virtually any shape
and size, but are almost always larger than household lightbulbs. Fluo
rescent tubes are most often long, straight tubes, but can also be bent
into a variety of shapes, while neon tubes are usually used in sign-mak
ing and can therefore be any of an infinite variety of shapes and sizes.
In this case, I chose to use two linear lights for the job. They are conve
niently shaped roughly like fluorescent tubes and are relatively fast to
render, although not as fast as point lights or spotlights. In lieu of a linear
light, you could always make an array of point lights, which is what we
used to do in the old days. Just parent a bunch of point lights together
and string them out in a line. This is essentially how a linear light works
We can further enhance this scene by adding a third linear light on
the ceiling to act as a main fluorescent light fixture for the room.
Although it is difficult to see in a black and white image, the cool flu
orescent lights tend to make the room look more stark and clean.
····························Chapter 26: Lighting Setup Examples
Figure 26.62

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