on 12 January 2004
For any one new to 3D modelling, when you come to light and render your own scenes, you soon realise that it's a lot harder than you first thought. Just sticking a couple spot lights around your model or in a scene to light it, does not produce nice looking or realistic results.
For someone like me who never took art & design / photography or a related course at university this book is simply excellent!!!!
This book is written in a very clear and easy to understand style. The layout of the book is very simple with of lots pictures and examples to clearly illustrate all of the key concepts covered. This is one of the big +'s of the book as the author uses series of pictures to clearly show how certain lighting techniques and concepts can completely change the look, mood, feeling, focus or level of realism of a rendering.
This book is not specific to any one modelling package, or in fact to just computer rendering as many of the basic lighting concepts that are covered originate from photography and film.
By explaining the basics of lighting setup, the properties / qualities of light and the use of shadows and shading, the author gives you an understanding that enables you to make design decisions and improve the look, feeling and realism of your scenes.
I can not recommend this book more highly, after reading you will finally have an idea of how to approach the lighting of your scenes, and a firm grounding to build on. There are many 'golden nuggets' of info in this book and is a must read for any beginner or maybe even intermediate. One thing is for sure; by the end of this book you will have an even greater appreciation for the talent and skills of the pros :)
Maya Fundamentals 4.5 - Excellent book for beginners to Maya, the video tutorials make learning Maya and 3D modelling 10 times easier, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
[Digital] - Lighting and Rendering, Jeremy Birn, New Riders, (this book).
[Digital] - Texturing and Painting, Owen Demers, New Riders.
[Digital] - Cinematography & Directing, Dan Ablan, New Riders. .
The book does exactly what it says on the cover: provide a comprehensive look at digital lighting and rendering.
In my own digital art, I'd got to the stage where it was taking me longer to set the lighting than to create the picture. The chapters on the principles of 3 point lighting and on shadows, were almost worth the cover price on their own.
With the help of this book (I have no art or film background at all), all has become clear. Or should I say, what I should be doing is clearer, doing it is a different matter.
A book that is worth reading all of the way through, and then dipping back into when necessary.
on 4 January 2003
This is a Great book. Packeed full with information, well written, and rich with illustrations.
When I first bought this book- I did it because it came at a deal with another book, and I though why not?
This turned out to be a great choice. Lighting is often not given the right attention in 3D modling. Ok- so we all knew that already, but this book deals with so many effects you can achive with lighting, and rendering. It makes you use correct lighting by showing you what an art it truely is- thus making it interesting and appealing.
The only shortcoming of this book is that it is mostly theory, and it will be up to you to try out the things you learn. This book is not software specific, but it does have the different names of each function, or alternatives to software that dosen't have a function. It also contains a few tips to leading software packages here and there, but not many.
Excercises in the end of each chapter are mostly theory (though not only), and include general observations or movie watching.
Read this book, even if you don't think you need to.
on 26 October 2002
Brilliant. Coming from a lighting background in film, I thought lighting in computer animation would be same - but I was wrong.
This book is a brilliant source of knowledge and a good base for experimentation for those who would like to add more to their 3D scenes. So many excellent 3D artworks are ruined by bad lighting and insufficient attention to detail.
The guy who wrote this is a master of his art without doubt - check out his website [...], and manages to write purely about lighting and rendering without concentrating on any particular software package - a bonus for those of us who can't afford a seat of SoftImage XSI!!
on 28 July 2000
Digital Lighting & Rendering exceeds my expectations for a 'computer book.' - Mr. Birn has written the first true 'art book' in the field of 3D production. The writing is crisp & insightful, and in addition to the how-to, there is enough coverage of when-to and why-to do everything to make the techniques useful in almost any project. The pics in this book are inspirational - I'm glad they did the whole thing in colour - although I had already seen a few of the scenes on Mr. Birn's wonderful web site. Really beautiful work - people who see the copy on my desk can't seem to put it down without checking all the pages. If everyone working in 3D could read this book, it would change the industry.
on 16 January 2001
I've been in 3D computer animation for over ten years and this book is fantstic. Dealing specifically with lighting, texturing and rendering, though some information is given on compositing. The pictures show screen shots from Maya, Softimage and 3D Studio MAX.
on 12 August 2000
Brilliant work, this book puts together all the peice; the latest rendering algorithms, photo and cinematography techniques, classical lighting-schemes, art theory, and how to apply it all in 3D, These cross-plateform books are sometimes not specific enough to be useful, but this one breaks that trend and ended up helping my 3D work immensely. Within 2 weeks of getting this book, I'm doing better lighting, and have a better understanding of the technology and techniques - thank you for a wonderful book, Mr. Birn.