Table of Contents
|Killer Lighting - Lighting for Photorealistic Renders - Part 5 Atmospheric and Volumetric Lighting
Have you ever rendered a scene in Daz Studio and wondered where the light's coming from? How to control it? How to make it brighter, darker, moody, sultry, or action-packed? Of course, you have. That's the reason most of us are creating digital artwork!
Once we have the pose right, the scene set, and the characters in place, clothed, makeup applied, hair coiffed just so, with a sultry expression, it's time to bring the scene to life, and you can't do that without light and — a key ingredient in John's technique — shadows. Light focuses our attention on the key shapes in a scene, and shadows give definition and depth. Without good lighting, your renders will be flat and unappealing.
Working exclusively with the Iray Render Engine, we use real-world lighting techniques. In terms of terminology and the types of lights we put into our scenes, we use softboxes, reflectors, color temperature, high-key, low-key, studio portraiture, bodyscaping, Rembrandt lighting, using a mirror as a backdrop, god rays, and haze. We know what the rules are and when to break them. John expertly takes you through examples of these kinds of lighting and more. John creates the renders using only Daz Studio and freely downloadable lighting resources (such as HDRI files). You won’t need to use third-party software like Photoshop.
Did you know that there are 2 separate f-stop parameters in different parts of the Daz Studio interface, one that controls the depth of field and one that controls scene brightness? John clearly explains these and the other parts of Daz Studio that make lighting confusing, highlighting the key parameters that actually make a big difference to a scene.
Painting with light is an artistic skill that the movie industry has long recognized as key to creating mood and feeling. Understanding the settings and how and when to use them will help you to create more photorealistic renders without the frustration of adding light after light to a scene without knowing in advance what they will actually achieve. After getting to grips with digital lighting mechanisms and the relevant Daz controls, John describes several rules that help you avoid common lighting errors, such as boring ‘flat’ light and shadows that go in impossible directions. Crucially, John explains when to break the rules and shows how lighting techniques that look terrible in some scenes can make others pop with energy.
Note: Although this product is available by single episodes, we highly recommend purchasing the bundle because each episode builds on information from the previous and, for time considerations, is not repeated in every episode.
Bonus for Bundle purchasers: We have included the custom IES Profiles that are demonstrated in Episodes 4 and 5. All in all, there are over 8 hours of content that will leave no question in your mind about how to light whatever scene you have in your imagination.
Each episode is professionally edited, sound balanced, and closed-captioned for ease of search and all include a PDF index of key points for ease of reference.
Part 5 - Atmospheric/Volumetric Lighting (1 hour and 43 minutes) This tutorial focuses on atmospheric and volumetric lighting — in other words, lighting using interference in the air. John demonstrates that in 3 simple, easy-to-follow steps, you can add the eternal 'God Rays' to any scene you wish.
We start with a sunset, perhaps in southern Italy, and adjust the density of the air to simulate the dust that would be in the air. But we don't stop there.
Atmospherics have so many more uses, so how about combining IES Profiles with a smaller object, an object actually IN the scene to create the illusion of a force field?
The sun streaming through a window into a dusty church illuminates a knight, pondering her quest. These are light painting tricks that the movie industry has been using since they discovered that smoke made the lighting look better — all lighting — so why wouldn't we take advantage of the same trick in digital art?
We even show you how to create a laser effect — another first!
About the Presenter - John Kent
I'm a self-taught digital artist with a background in software tools and professional photography. These 2 worlds came together when I discovered 3D composition and rendering environments. With these tools, I can exploit light, shape, and texture to build scenes that would be almost impossible for me to stage using real-world photography, rapidly iterating from initial visual sketches to compelling photorealistic art. I also enjoy teaching and mentoring others, so I'm glad to work with Meshology to help other artists develop and render their own digital visions.
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