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Lighting 101

Most photographers, cinematographers, and stage-lighting designers will tell you that lighting is an art in itself. The photographic process is more sensitive than the virtual cameras you use in 3D animation, however, so you have more options than a photographer does. For example, you can create lights that don't cast shadows, objects that are not affected by a specific light, or lights that never fade in intensity. However, you can still learn some useful tips from the basics of photographic lighting.

Standard Lighting Model

Every scene you create has its own unique lighting requirements, but for standard lighting of a typical subject, photographers generally use a three-point lighting approach. This method is good for computer animators, too. These are the three points (see Figure 1.7):


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