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Efficient Cinematic Lighting

with Jeremy Vickery


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 software: Maya as the primary 3D tool. Jeremy discusses basic software: Maya lighting but quickly moves on to setting up various lighting conditions using V-Ray for software: Maya, to achieve beautiful global illumination effects while still paying close attention to the principles outlined in the early part of the lecture.

Duration: 2h 06m

Format: HD 1280x720

Jeremy Vickery

Lighting Supervisor at Axis Animation

Jeremy Vickery has had an interesting career in varied aspects of film and game production. He is currently a Lighting Supervisor at Axis Studios in Glasgow, Scotland. He previously worked for over seven years as a Lighting Artist at Pixar Animation Studios on films including The Incredibles, Cars, Ratatouille, Wall-E, Brave, The Blue Umbrella, Toy Story of Terror, and Inside Out. He’s also worked as a freelance concept designer and illustrator for clients including Disney, LEGO, Ubisoft, Sony, Mattel, and many other companies, big and small. 

At the beginning of his career, he worked as 3D Modeler and Texture Artist for the animated children’s series, Veggie Tales, and later as the Director of Lighting on the animated feature film, Delgo. He also had a short five-year adventure in the gaming world, first at Ubisoft in Quebec City, Canada, as an Assistant Art Director on Assassin's Creed Odyssey, and then as a Lighting Artist at Naughty Dog working on the game Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, and finally at Sony Bend Studio as the Lighting Lead on Days Gone.

  • "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 tutorial 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