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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: 126 minutes

Format: HD 1280x720

Jeremy Vickery

Lighting Artist / Concept Artist

Jeremy Vickery is currently a Lighting Technical Director at Pixar Animation Studios but has also worked as a concept artist, freelance illustrator, modeler/texture artist, and CG generalist. After graduating from Full Sail Real World Education in 1997 with a general degree in Digital Media, Jeremy got his first job as a digital modeler/texture artist and concept designer at Big Idea Productions in Chicago, working on several of the popular kids animated videos Veggie Tales. He later worked at Fathom Studios in Atlanta as a CG generalist and became the Lighting Supervisor. He joined Pixar Animation Studios in 2003 and has worked as a lighting artist on such films as The Incredibles, Cars, Ratatouille and Wall-E.

  • "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