“Half of good lighting is good texturing, and half of good texturing is good lighting” is my favorite sage advice to new animators. It's difficult to separate the two areas of computer animation. Texturing—the re-creation of specific surface qualities through the application of shaders, procedural textures, and bitmap textures—is dependent on an understanding of light and how it interacts with various real-world materials. Lighting, the act of placing and adjusting virtual lights in a 3D environment, becomes a difficult and possibly pointless exercise if no appropriately textured surfaces exist. Conversely, even a beautiful texturing job can be ruined by poor lighting.

Although large animation studios separate the texturing and lighting ...

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