Lighting As The Production Process Cultural Studies Essay

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Lighting is an interesting process involved in production to give a mood and appeal of the scene. There are lots of lighting styles developed by the production companies. Most of them have their light setup as a default plug-in, in their customized interface which they develop for their common use. The normal setup will be the three point lighting, Omni lighting, area lighting, Aks light setup, and etc…for each scene different type of lighting is done. They create this setup using MEL (Maya embedded language) script. This will make the lighting artist 's work easy. If there is a complicated scene that makes the scene size heavier, they will design a light setup for the scene as an indirect light source that makes the render time faster.

This thesis will introduce an advance light setup for exterior setup. There are different types of places as exterior but the light setups are the same for all the sets. The moods and the season changes for each scene, only the interior is dependent upon the scene. The reflection of the light should be calculated as per the scene. The reason why the researcher took this exterior light setup is different from the normal setup. This light setup is totally different from the other setups. It's because the changing of the mood by clicking a button is going to simplify the work .

1.1. AIM

To create a script for an exterior light setup for Maya using MEL(Maya embedded language)


Study the colors of the seasons, Moods of the day,

Design the light setup,

Developing MEL script for the light setup,

creating a GUI(graphical user interface),

Study the advantages and disadvantages.


To create a light set up which will save the time and identify the moods in easy method.


This thesis is more use ful for a lighting artist, and the juniors who are interested in

lighting can get an idea of the lighting for each season . T hey can modify their needs also.


What are the kind of light setups and How is it implemented ,

How to develop the script for the concept,

Advantage and disadvantage of the light.


The hypothesis in this dissertation is to bring an exterior mood changing light setup as a script which gives a GUI to control it.


This are reference book s , E-books, publications, DVD's, Internet, Forums which were significant to gain enough information to complete this dissertation. There were few topics to be concentrated and learnt regarding this dissertation, Real world lighting and color analysis depending on each and every season. The Intensity, color key, shadow, and highlight all these information were key points that comes from these references .

2.1. Reference:"Concept in practice lighting (1997) torquil barker"

States light is giving life, without light the human resource could not exist ., Light can be used as a tool of sensory description. It briefly describes the design of day light, retail, hotels, art galleries, exterior of residential, past and future productions.

2.2. Reference:"("

The physics of light, vision, and color-2002 Physics of light, vision, and color in this book, the author has explained about the physics behind the natural light in this world. The importance of light in this natural world,. the theories behind its evolution. This stage of physics in light has been more efficient in creating fundamental light techniques in 3d applications. (By Gary Waldman, 2002)

Designing with light -2006

2.3. Reference:Designing with light (By Victoria Meyers - 2006)

This book explains the designing aspect of light. The same book contracts more visual emphasis in forms, shapes, color symbolism, the light design for architectures, the physics behind reflection and. the light interacting with materials. The author emphasizes many ways of implementing this lighting design for a suitable situation.


This DVD speaks about the tools used for image based lighting and rendering. This is a form of lighting technique in 3D Application. The speaker discusses some good Key points tweaking the preset for a good quality of graphical image.

2.5.Reference:"" accessed on 28 September 2010

This link gives basic moods and its priority of lighting for each situation "Lighting and Moods" . A lighting can really affect your mood. If you take natural lighting for example think about how much of a difference it makes to people's moods. If it is dawn it makes people more brisk, if its dusk it makes people rest. We need more light because we need to focus and pay attention to the small details if there is a need for more intensity. Romantic Mood - setting a romantic setting is very different than the full blown light situation. .You have for work mode the light should have low intensity and the characters should be reviled.

2.6.Reference:"" accessed on 28 September 2010

This website clearly explains the use of exterior lighting, ie."Creating an outdoor lighting masterpiece" The lighting you choose can be a dramatic focal point, give character, and brighten up dark corners .Outdoor light gives that finishing touch. And the colors can change the moods of the situation.

2.7.Reference:"" accessed on 28 September 2010

Lights becomes very apparent. The importance of exterior lighting is to make your scene appeal to any mood. Exterior lighting is essential for the visual enhancement of the scene.

2.8.Reference:"" accessed on 28 September 2010

This web site states on "Mood Creating Aspects of Lighting". Light is an element of design which should be used not only for visual comfort, but also to achieve predetermined emotional responses from the lighted environment. Through use of lighting patterns of varying levels of illumination, and of color in the light source and in the illuminated object, it is possible to produce certain moods such as: solemnity, restfulness, gaiety, activity, warmth, and coolness , Soft lighting is diffused light that minimizes harsh shadows and provides a more relaxing, direct lighting which provides highlights and shadows,

2.9.Reference:"" accessed on 28 September 2010 - "Dome Light"

This tutor says that dome lighting can be used as an exterior sky light for any complicated scene. It can make a fake sky emit light properties of sky

2.10.Reference:"" accessed on 29 September 2010. This brief on Ambient occlusion, has a propriety of making fill lights that gives the bounce and depth of the scene. This may work on the node basics, which can take the render time but output gained will be of more appeal .

2.11.Reference:"" accessed on 29 September 2010

This tutorial provides a detailed demonstration of how to approach outdoor lighting for any time of day. The nature of outdoor light, the sun, the sky, shadows and the use of reference material. the use of sky domes, bounce light, ray tracing, and Ambient Occlusion. Various times of day are created, including morning, noon, afternoon, evening and night.

2.12.Reference:"Advance maya texturing and lighting (2006) lee lainer" accessed on 28 September 2010

This book starts with various lighting concepts, and then offers readers detailed explanations of exterior and interior setup., which is quiet easy to understand so they can achieve amazing results quickly with the explanation.

2.13.Reference:"3d lighting, concept & techniques - 1992 (By Arnold Gallardo)"

This book completely explains about the evolution of lighting concepts and role of light in computer graphics, the supporting features for good lighting setups. The laws and color theories are also explained in detail. One who is very good in techniques of lighting can handle this book for a realistic enhancing output through a 3d application. accessed on 30 September 2010

This link explains the colors and its mood in brief. It show the properties of the colors and its suitable moods which will be highly useful for identifying the season by colors.

2.15.Reference: Lights and Shadows (2009) jeremy birn

Tutorial says that shadows and light both have a major roll in a scene, designing a lighting key concept for the scene is most important and have to decide the light then, So it gives a good output.

2.16.Reference:Designing with light -(2006) Victoria Meyers

Designing with light book explains the designing aspect of light. The same book contracts more visual emphasis in forms, shapes, color symbolism, the light design for architecture's, the physics behind reflection.and the light interacting with materials. The author emphasizes many ways of implementing this lighting design for a suitable situation.

2.17.Reference:The complete color harmony - (2004) kiki Eldridge

Kiki Eldridge is a graphic designer, who speaks exactly the role of colors in a situation. The book also redirects us to graphic suit and pure color knowledge based on the light value. A complete part of lighting is fulfilled in terms of color values also. This dissertation seeks much information in completing the necessity in needs.

2.18.Reference: Digital Lighting and Rendering (2000) David Dwyer

The complete book on lighting techniques and concepts. The speaker also speaks about production rendering techniques. The light quality used in a scene and how to imply it is based on the situation. Color theory and production materials, in depth and characteristics of color. The materials and rendering algorithms used in production is being discussed. This book has made a vast turn out in research and completing this dissertation.

2.19.Reference:[] accessed on 27 sepetember 2010

This DVD speaks about the tools used for image based lighting and rendering. This is a form of lighting technique in 3D Application. The speaker discusses some good Key points tweaking the preset for a good quality of graphical image.

2.20.Reference:The physics of light, vision, and color- (2002) Waldman

Physics of light, vision, and color in this book, the author has explained about the physics behind the natural light in this world. The importance of light in this natural world.and the theories behind its evolution. This stage of physics in light has been more efficient in creating fundamental light techniques in 3d applications. (By Gary, 2002)


This research paper consists of a qualitative method of estimation collected from secondary source like books, reviews and literatures that are already encrypted. The research describes about the user friendly exterior light setup this fallows the methodology from

This dissertation is based on the information gathered through different sources including







Research papers

Internet was used as in general for searching the website database, majorly Google search engine.

4.The Nature of Light

It is hard to speak about the light without its outline and history. The nature of light has been debated through history. In present light is to be a source of illumination [1], something that provides clarification, spiritual illumination. Light is everything.


What is Light?

W. L. Bragg, (1959) J. Rublowsky, (1964) Defines light:

"Light, visible electromagnetic radiation. Of the entire electromagnetic spectrum, the human eye is sensitive to only a tiny part, the part that is called light"

Reference: [,]

[1] Site accessed date 22nd June []

Theories Behind light

Light is an energy source in this universe. Where without light there is nothing. Light is our perception [5] in nature. The rays from the sun light is illuminated in means of intensity from the sun, and perceived in term like shadows, specularity and color. Where this light energy hits the color surface and color absorbs light and emerges the out the light in its color medium.

This conception was derived in early medieval stages around thousands of years ago, many civilizations worshipped sun as god in some form in 1370 BC. (By Gary Waldman, 2002)

There were many theories derived for light energy in physics, which include:

The Nature of Light

The Wave, Particle, and Electromagnetic Theories of Light Modern Theory of the Nature of Light

The Behavior of Light

The Nature of light

The primary character of the light i.e. the lights behavior according to scientific manner is called optics. This nature also covers reflection, refraction and diffraction of light. These are the most optical phenomena of light. These theories play a very major role in nature, where the reflection is taken part in contact with a mirror and the refraction is through prism. (By Arnold Gallardo - 1992)

[5] Site accessed on 22nd June []

The Properties of light:

The light properties can be listed as categories in terms of behavior:

Reflection: when a light hits a surface, light is thrown or bounced back is called reflection

Refraction: Refraction is bending or turning of light when passed through two different mediums like from air to water, the light gets bent.

Transmission: It is the conveying of light through a medium.

Diffraction: It is the bending of light in near edges, which results in directional changes. Diffraction emits light bands.

Interference: It is the wave like interaction of light.

Scattering: It is the spreading of light in all different direction when interacting with a medium.

Diffusion: This is an even scattering of light by reflection from a surface. It also refers to transmission of light through a translucent material.

Absorption: It is the retention of light by a collision of media which does not result in reflection or transmission.

Polarization: it is the selective transmission of light in orientation basis. When there is reflection of refraction orientation changes.

Dispersion: When light passes through a secondary medium, light is separated and broken into different wavelength because the medium has different refractive index.

The Behavior of Light

The light can travel with an infinite speed. i.e. The light reached from the source to the observer is instantaneous.

The Wave, Particle, and Electromagnetic Theories of Light

These theories where described in early periods in end of 17th century. In 1690, Christian Huygens gave the theory, which explained light as a Wave Phenomenon. When Sir Isaac Newton discovered the visible spectrum in 1666, said that the light is held by small particles or corpuscles which will be emitted through luminous bodies. When combining his corpuscles theory and law of mechanics he was able to explain many optical phenomena. The wave theory gained support in electro magnetic theory James Clerk Maxwell, who proved that electric and magnetic fields are proportional to each other and the speed was identical to the speed of light. (By Michael I. Sobel - 1989)



Arnold Gallardo (1992) states:

"A shadow can be defined as the area in which there is partial or total absence of illumination due to an obstruction between the light source and the area of illumination"

Light interacts with all objects, it reflects, refracts, bends. When light passé through any object it reflects. At the sane time when the object stops the light and does not let it pass through completely or partly, shadows are created. Shadows don't have a uniform shape, form or quality. It changes with the illumination.

Shadows could either have a sharp boundary or soft boundary. This variation of shadow formations leads into two classification called penumbra and umbra.

Its Important to control the shadow formation because their formation is the key for obtaining realistic renderings. The realistic simulation of shadows affects the way a sequence or scene by the audience.

Penumbra - It is the area of the shadow which is partially illuminated and partially occluded [6]. It is very lighter in tone than the darker central area.

Umbra - Its area is totally occluded area of shadow which has no illumination. Its appearance is mostly darker in center with a smooth change where it can blend with penumbra.

Type of light in 3D compared with real life:

lights are in different types that reacts with a shapes in real world those are implemented in 3d applications.

Directional light:

directional light are which has a property of scattering over the area it normally called as sun light but flows in the direction were the light is facing these are the light source that reacts with the intensity of light. The size of the light dose not matters it can be any were in the scene. The same property of sunlight is designed in 3d as directional light. This light dose not has any decay value.

Point light:

point light is also similar as sun light which has the property of scattering in all direction,

it is the light that can recant as sun were the lights intensity will more heavier near to the source and will decay when it starts traveling.

Reference: [,]

[6] Site accesses on 24th June []