Lighting and Compositing

So, the last two weeks involved learning about more complicated lighting within 3ds Max and how to composite CG objects within a real environment/photo. First there was a short afternoon class exercise to learn about the standard lighting in 3ds Max and how to replicate common phenomena by hand (ie place lots and lots of lights for reflected light etc) rather than with clever programming. We were given a room set up with 3 spheres, one of which we had to texture as metal, one as glass and one that was self illuminating. We also had one red wall and one blue wall and a light in the ceiling.

Next, we had to take our hand model from the previous advanced techniques project and create a “studio lighting” set up that would show our model as well as possible. This set up is extremely useful for any future projects as it provides us with a pre-made lighting set up for any renders to best show off our work.

Finally, we got to the main section of the project. This involved taking a couple of photos in very different lighting conditions and then placing a CG object within the scene and trying to make it look as realistic as possible. It was theoretically a very interesting project and the theory learnt will be incredibly useful. None the less, I can definitely say that I do not find lighting even remotely interesting or enjoyable. In fact, its spectacularly dull.

I think the desk scene with the pen was far less successful than the dice. I still haven’t really worked out why that was. I just struggled to get the lighting to work. Ho hum.

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