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Essential CG Lighting Techniques (Focal Press Visual Effects and Animation) [Paperback]

Darren Brooker
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Essential CG Lighting Techniques with 3ds Max (Autodesk Media and Entertainment Techniques) Essential CG Lighting Techniques with 3ds Max (Autodesk Media and Entertainment Techniques) 4.0 out of 5 stars (2)
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Book Description

26 Sep 2002 0240516893 978-0240516899 Pap/Cdr
Illustrated in color throughout, this comprehensive text not only looks at the technical and theoretical aspects of becoming skilled at using the light tools available in 3D software, but also provides invaluable tutorials so you can explore these techniques in-depth.

Lighting is a core CG skill that makes or breaks a 3D environment. Providing all you need to master this vital aspect of CG, this comprehensive guide looks at the key concepts that can be applied in any 3D package.

Every ounce of theory is backed up with practical tutorials, using the free demo version of 3ds max supplied on the accompanying CD-ROM. The tutorials deal with the fundamentals of lighting and as such are easily transferable to any other major 3D software package. The free CD also includes all the files needed to complete the tutorials step-by-step, as well as demo versions of Dark Tree Textures, Deep Paint 3D and Cinelook, acclaimed applications that every lighting artist should be aware of.

If you are new to CG lighting, are thinking of specializing in this area, or want to brush up on your existing lighting skills, then this book will provide you with a one-stop master class so you too can achieve professional looking results.

Product details

  • Paperback: 367 pages
  • Publisher: Focal Press; Pap/Cdr edition (26 Sep 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0240516893
  • ISBN-13: 978-0240516899
  • Product Dimensions: 24.6 x 19 x 2.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 932,346 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


"This book ... should be at the top of the list with Jeremy Birn's "Digital Lighting & Rendering". In fact, I now recommend this book over the former for my 3d students as it has more technical information. Good lighting techniques are paramount to good CG work - you can never know enough. This is a great book - don't think twice - buy it." reader

"This is an outstanding book, possibly the best on a specialised 3D discipline yet written... After you have mastered the basic operation of your 3d program this should be the first book you buy on the art of 3D work." reader

About the Author

Darren Brooker is a CG artist, with experience at Cosgrove Hall Digital and Pepper's Ghost, both top UK production studios. He is an award-winning, independent rendering and lighting specialist and an experienced journalist with published work in the Guardian, 3D World, CGI, Computer Arts, Creation and Broadcast Engineering News.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Light is incredibly fundamental to human existence, yet we are so accustomed to it that not many of us often really stop to consider it. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
This book is fantastic! The author has obviously thought long and hard about how to include information which will not only encourage complete beginners, but also has enough substance to keep even professionals informed. As with anything learning the basics is always the best way to start, and this book from the outset is simple to understand without being patronising, and provides the basics necessary for a good start in CG Lighting. I found that this book enabled me to make informed and personalised decisions about lighting my scene in a professional manner.
Lighting needs to be understood as a real world phenomenon in order for it to be translated in to Computer environments.
I have many other books on every aspect of CG, and this is one of the few that left me with a feeling that the subject has been masterfully covered.
Buy this book! It does exactly what it says on the tin!!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you're into CG, then you need this 15 Aug 2003
As someone with more than a passing interest in the advancement of animation and rendering, I thought mr. brooker's book was outstanding.
I tend to look at things from the perspective of design visualisation, rather than the more mainstream DCC market, but still, the creation of photorealistic images is core to many projects, whatever the specific market.
I've looked at a lot of the current range of publications focussing on 3D modelling, rendering and animation, but very few provide as much theory combined with practical advice on one of the key aspects influencing the success on any scene - lighting.
If you're into any form of 3D computer generated imagery, then this is a must for your bookshelf...
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 2.6 out of 5 stars  8 reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Another Magician 25 April 2003
By Christopher - Published on
I have been searching for a book on real-world lighting solutions/techniques that can be applied to the CG world for quite some time. Other books have 'grazed' the subject but have never fully explored it. I fear that this book is no different.
Like many other books of the genre, it begins with the all too common basic introduction to the behaviour of light, including its characteristics and how the human eye percieves it. This is by no means a bad thing but I must stress that only a beginner will find value in this, as any seasoned 3D artist already knows this, and then some.
This book illustrates your basic 3 point lighting setup, a few mid-range techniques and only generalises and hints at the more advanced techniques such as setting up realistic dome lighting rigs, soft shadow/light rigs and simulating bounced light. Coupled with software specific tutorials on non-realistic glows and lastly, 60 pages on composition and camera techniques that has no business, given the subject, being in this kind of book.
Lastly, the front cover of the book is misleading in that similar pictures in the book do exist, but no explanation is given as to how they were created. Much more advanced information on lighting can be found on the internet for free.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not as useful or accurate as you'd hope 25 Jun 2006
By a reviewer - Published on
I was hoping for more from "Essential CG Lighting Techniques", especially after hearing one reviewer compare it to "Digital Lighting & Rendering". Instead, I found coverage of theory which seemed to be paraphrased almost line by line from the aformentioned source, spruced up with generalizations that sometimes ranged from unhelpful to downright wrong. I don't know where the author got the idea that no light should ever have an intensity higher than 1, and that it's better to add multiple lights than turn up the brightness of any single source, but that kind of misleading generalization appears in the book without any qualification or justification. I cannot recommend this book as a first choice to anyone.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential CG Lighting Techniques 21 Mar 2003
By Neil Murray - Published on
This is an outstanding book, possibly the best on a specialised 3D discipline yet written. ...It is far more useful than the previous classic in this field... If you like me expected lighting in 3D to be a minor event and are annoyed by the effort and skill required to obtain realistic lighting in your scenes, this is the book for you. It will equip you to speed through the process and get on to more interesting phases. It covers everything from basic 3 point lighting to lighting arrays for large subjects, dome arrays for realistic skylight and radiosity simulation, internal lighting for large and small spaces and a host of specialised problems like fire, moonlight, underwater scenes and the usual fog and light beams all with clear and succinct theoretical explanations backed up with step by step tutorials to help you make the knowledge your own. And, thankfully the book is illustrated with decent quality examples rather than the simplistic and crude models that stare from the pages of so many 3D books. After you have mastered the basic operation of your 3d program this should be the first book you buy on the art of 3D work. Well done Mr.Demers - what about a similar treatment for "Essential CG Materials" ?
2.0 out of 5 stars nice book 7 April 2013
By Israel Diaz Torralba - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Nice, I think that you must to think in buy this book, I prefer Lighting and rendering of birn.

Sorry my bad english
5.0 out of 5 stars A good one 9 Oct 2005
By Alfonso Larrondo Castellanos - Published on
This book is really good. I was looking for the kind of tips included in it. It is a bit old but good to learn from that we think already know about lighting.
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