For this test I downloaded a free lighting dome kit from HelloLuxx. As I wanted to have a go at lighting a scene for myself rather than just being lazy and throwing some GI (Global Illumination) on it.
I decided to also make a basic 3 point lighting setup to really see for myself if it was worth using this kit for my animations. For the lights.
This is the shot with a simple 3 point light – key, fill and back. I also added a vignette to draw the attention to the centre.
This is with the lighting dome, (once i figured out the settings) it is basically a dome with around 24 different lights around it therefore illuminating the scene in a much more professional way. This also helps to speed up my workflow as the scripting can alter more than one light at a time and it comes with an inbuilt gradient adjuster meaning i can a gradient across all the lights rather than alter the colour behind each individual light.
The image gets darker towards the back, however this helps to show more depth within the animation. There is also less noise in the shadows which helps to create a cleaner and sharper picture.
I feel it is necessary at this stage to put real consideration, thought and effort into lighting as it can really improve what could be quite a dull and lifeless animation. Here are both animations, as i cant decide which i prefer with just a photo so i decided to render out each to give me more perspective and also see how each lighting effect is affected by different camera angles and movement…
With the light dome
I definitely prefer the light dome version. It is a bit darker than the 3 point however i can easily adjust the brightness. What really attracts me to this is the definition and different shading on each side of the machine the contrast between warm and cold make this look really professional and i think i will definitely use this for the rest of the animations needed for C-tex video 2 and 3.