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Blender is a powerful open-source tool for 2D and 3D graphics, full-on animation, compositing, and post-production. It is used to create movies and special effects, even in HD. In Blender Essential Training, Roger Wickes offers new Blender users a thorough explanation of its interface, tools, and features. He also demonstrates practical techniques and shows how to access the online and openndash;content resources of this amazing tool. Specific 3D techniques covered include navigating in 3D space, using cameras and lights, and rendering. Roger demonstrates how to rig, animate, and composite a character over live action. Exercise files accompany the course.
Now great lighting is a combination of lighting techniques. You get your Ambient Occlusion, the Radiosity that we saw and then the different kinds of lights. And you combine these lights into what we call rigs or lighting rigs, and they are standard rigs that great light riggers use. The first is the 1 pt light, which is the simplest light to show and is usually what's called a key light, because it's the key light and it provides the light into the scene. This is a great example of what I would call a 1 pt light, because it use only one point of light to light the scene.
This is for example, if we were doing to do our CG character on a stage and he is the stand-up comic, there you go. You would use this kind of a light to provide a direct focus only on the one object that's in the main light. And the other objects or actors that are on the fringe of the light, they won't get the key light, and they won't even be noticed by the audience. So now if we take that concept and we add on two lights, we would use like a hemi-light on either side and this lighting rig provides as you can see, there is one on the left and one on the right pointing directly at the object.
Nothing is pointing directly at the object between the camera and the object itself. So these hemi-lights as you know they don't provide any shadows, so it provides a nice even illumination of the object without any what's called a hot spot. A hot spot is where you could get some burnout and washout from the light. If these two hemi-lights are evenly balanced, they provide a nice even balance lighting. Let me get to the 3pt light, which combines the key light and these two hemis or other kinds of lights in the rig.
In this case, I have what's called the 3pt Standard lighting rig. This rig provides a key light that is parented to the camera, a hemi-light on the side to provide some fill light on the side, and then a sunlight around back shining back on the sphere to provide what's called back lighting. So you have a combination of side fill lighting, key lighting, back fill lighting. So when you render this, you get the kind of lighting situation you would have if the actor or this setting was outside in the sun with the sun on his back shining down with a lot of ambient light in the scene.
Now we can just rotate the sun like that and now the sun is going to be in his face and going to provide more highlight to his face, but it's going to add to the key light. So what you have to do on these multi- point rigs is to balance the lighting. And in this case, I would probably want to crank down the sunlight a little bit to maybe 0.2 and even though it doesn't show much in the preview, it's going to light up the rig quite a bit, and probably knock the key light down to about 0.8, and now I'm not getting a huge burnout area right here.
Now this sphere still does not have a shader on it, there is still no real big shading going on. So we have used all the default settings, there is still a lot of tweaking you can do when we get into the actual shader itself. For the material this is just setting up basic lighting. If you have a good basic overall balanced lighting scheme, then you don't run into a lot of problems later on when you are trying to set up the shaders. Now when I film in the studio against a green screen or just against a backdrop, I'm not outside and I can't have any light coming from behind the actors really, although, the lights are coming from stage lights.
And so this lighting rig has 3pt lights but it has the two fill lights on the side providing fill light, and then one main key light coming on that's pretty much offset from the camera that provides a nice little direct but bright focus light. Now in the render, you can press J and then compare the lighting that would be from these two. So as opposed to the other lighting rig, which had the sunlight up here shining down on top of the actor, this is a very filled lit or front-lit lighting rig that we would use.
You want to choose between these two based on what you are filming. If you find the image is distracting by having this top light and you are getting a lot of blow out on the top side of the model, then you would want to switch and use more of a balanced lighting scheme like I'm showing here by pressing the J key between these two renders. The last point I would like to bring up is a 4pt lighting rig and some lighting rigs go up into 20 and 30 lights in the scene based on what it is you want to show and what you want to draw the audiences attention to.
And this 4 rig consists of the two side lights, a back light, and a key light. I really like this rig, I think it combines the best of all worlds, combines the best of the standard 3pt lighting, the best of the studio lighting, and provides a great overall lighting. Now these hemi-lights are knocked down to only a 0.1 energy. The key light is full strength, so it provides a good crisp light that really lights up all of the features. But the sunlight is just a very soft overhead light.
So I don't get a lot of specularity on the tops of the models. But yet I still get that impression that there is lighting coming from behind and back filling backside and providing a nice general illumination of the entire scene. So there is an example of five different kinds of lighting rigs that you can use based on the kind of feeling that you want to convey in your scene and what you want to show and how well you want everything to be lit.
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