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Efficient Cinematic Lighting

with Jeremy Vickery

Sample Clip

This lecture covers the principles of good composition with an emphasis on effective cinematic lighting. Jeremy begins by discussing the fundamental concepts behind how light operates in the physical world, providing an overview of topics like reflection, absorption, refraction, color temperature and atmospheric dispersion. He then moves into camera based composition, discussing topics like camera angles, distance, lenses and depth of field which all help to define the mood of a shot. The lecture then transitions into more of the artistic elements of lighting and composition as it relates to computer graphics. Techniques such as three-point lighting, framing, tonal gradients, implied lighting, atmosphere and various lighting setups are used to set mood and assist in the story telling process. These principles are then applied using Maya as the primary 3D tool. Jeremy discusses basic Maya lighting but quickly moves on to setting up various lighting conditions using V-Ray for Maya, to achieve beautiful global illumination effects while still paying close attention to the principles outlined in the early part of the lecture.

  • Reflection, Absorption, and Refrection
  • Color Temperature
  • Atmospheric Dispersion
  • Camera Based Composition
  • Framing
  • Gradients of Tone
  • Implied Lighting
  • V-Ray Lights
  1. Recap
  2. Composition
  3. Maya Basics
  4. Examples
  5. GI Vray
  6. Wrap Up
  • Product Code: JVI02
  • ISBN: 1-59762-757-7
  • UPC: 805366018061
  • Duration: 126 minutes
  • Formats: DVD-ROM, Digital Download

DVD-ROM Requirements:

  • 1GHz or faster processor
  • 512 MB RAM
  • 64 MB Video RAM
  • DVD-ROM Drive
  • 5 GB of hard disk space
  • 1280 x 1024 display

DVD-ROM and Digital Download Requirements:

Minimum Operating System:

  • Microsoft® Windows® Vista®
  • Microsoft® Windows® XP Professional
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional
  • Apple® Mac® OS X 10.2


  • QuickTime Movie Player (Version 7.0 or higher)
  • Acrobat Reader (Version 5.0 or higher)

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Jeremy Vickery

Lighting Artist / Concept Artist

Jeremy Vickery's career started more than 16 years ago after graduating with a degree in Computer Animation. His first job was as a Modeling/Texture Artist at Big Idea Productions in Chicago working on the animated kid's show Veggie Tales. He then worked as a CG generalist and later the Lighting Supervisor at Fathom Studios in Atlanta on the film Delgo. In 2003 he was hired by Pixar as a Lighting Technical Director where he worked on the films The Incredibles, Cars, Ratatouille, Wall-E, Brave, The Blue Umbrella, Toy Story of Terror, and Inside Out. Jeremy has also worked as a freelance illustrator and concept artist on a wide range of projects for such clients as Disney, Sony, LEGO, Ubisoft, and many smaller studios around the world.

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"Jeremy has a deep understanding of the craft of CG lighting. His technical knowledge is strong, but his passion lies in creating artistically gorgeous images. As a senior lighting artist at Pixar, he uses these strengths to create breathtaking and memorable imagery. This DVD is a special treat since Jeremy is also a very capable and generous teacher and mentor, he truly loves to share what he knows."

- Sharon Calahan
Director of Photography
Pixar Animation Studios

Lecture Stills Gallery