3D in Depth: Lighting, Part 2. | WebReference

3D in Depth: Lighting, Part 2.

3D in Depth: Lighting, Part 2.

The Fill Light is responsible for softening the light and brings more of the subject out of the shadows. In a photography studio (as an example), Fill is often provided by using a piece of white foamcore or a silver reflector to bounce light from the Key Light back into the scene. This softens the shadow created by the Key Light and adds more definition to the subject. Without a Fill Light, the part of the subject not illuminated by the Key Light tends to fade quickly into black (as in the previous illustration).

The Fill Light softens this effect as seen in this screen shot.

The Backlight is what separates the subject from the background. Sometimes referred to as a "Hair Light," the Backlight defines the edge of the subject.

In this case, the Backlight only illuminates the left side of the subjects head. In order to create an edge effect around the entire head, multiple Backlights are often necessary.

To show you how the lighting was actually positioned around the subject, take a look at the above screenshot.


What you've seen so far are the rudiments of 3 Point Lighting, but there is so much more that you can do with it. It's beyond the scope of these articles to give you everthing you need on the subject of lighting, but they serve as a good starting point. To read up on the subject in more depth, I recommend Digital Lighting and Rendering, by New Riders. Another useful book is The Art of Maya, by Alias Software.

Further resources, information, tutorials and forums can be found at: CG Talk, 3D Café and Highend 3D.


Created: June 5, 2003
Revised: July 2, 2004

URL: http://webreference.com/3d/column14/1