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3D Lighting: History, Concepts and Techniques (Graphics Series) Hardcover – 1 Oct 2000

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 450 pages
  • Publisher: Charles River Media; Har/Cdr edition (1 Oct. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1584500387
  • ISBN-13: 978-1584500384
  • Product Dimensions: 19.7 x 3.8 x 24.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,821,430 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Amazon Review

The majority of computer graphics books are either too application-specific or too general. The field of 3-D computer graphics possesses tremendous depth, and any aspect of it is worthy of a focused career. In large studios, artists concentrate on just one phase of production, be it modelling, texturing, animation or rendering. If you are interested in learning about the field from this perspective, read 3D Lighting: History, Concepts, & Techniques. It's a pleasure to peruse, because it shares the large-studio focus.

The book does feature examples, project files, and some instructions for specific applications, but it is mostly about concept and theory in computer imaging. For the most part, it avoids application-specific discussion. This is a good thing--any experienced artist uses more than one application, and can easily port this information from one app to another.

There are eight chapters in all, starting with "The Nature of Light" (how light works) and "The Physiology of Seeing and Perception" (how we see light), and moving on to "Fundamentals of Photography and Cinematography" and "Colour and Materials". But it isn't until chapter 5, "Computer Graphics", that the book gets into the specifics of how 3-D applications treat light and colour.

The only real drawback of this book is its lack of colour images. While there is an eight-page colour plate section in the middle, it is hardly enough to sustain a book devoted to lighting and colour theory. And although the accompanying CD-ROM includes most, if not all, of the pictures used in the book, it is hardly the same as a colour picture in the text. The liberal use of black and white images throughout the book is almost an insult to a book about colour and light.

While application-specific reference books have their place, there are far too few that focus on specific concepts. Lighting is as important as texturing, animation and rendering, and 3D Lighting: History, Concepts, & Techniques is thoroughly important to the field. --Mike Caputo


Is there something missing from your 3D images? Do they lack vibrancy and realism? If so, the problem may not be with your images, but with the lighting behind them. Mastering the art of lighting in 3D graphics is a challenge facing even the most experienced professionals. The hands-on techniques and guidelines provided in these pages, show how to illuminate your work and add new depth and detail to your images. From the history of lighting, to the detailed fundamentals of 3D graphics, all of the concepts needed to improve or refresh your lighting skills are covered. The general lighting techniques and information provided should serve as a useful resource. A variety of detailed tutorials are used throughout the book to teach techniques and both cinematography and photography are covered. The text details colour theory and the fundamentals of how a computer draws, and covers all types of lighting situation from portrait, indoor/outdoor, water, textured materials (hair, fur, fabric, sand and snow), reflective and refractive (metals, glass, plastic, gels), to anisotropic materials including brushed objects, wood grain, and coated surfaces.

Commercial applications including Lightscape 3.2, Lightwave 5.6, and trueSpace 4.2 are used in the examples as well as 3D Studio Max and VIZ. A colour section illustrates techniques and the CD-ROM (Win/Mac) includes demos of some of the programs covered, and illustrations and tutorials from within the book.

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2 June 2015
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase

Most helpful customer reviews on 3.5 out of 5 stars 6 reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars3D Lighting: History, Concepts, and Techniques
18 August 2011 - Published on
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
5.0 out of 5 starsExcellent depth of information, and a gem of a reference.
27 December 2000 - Published on
Format: Hardcover
5 people found this helpful.
Jens Hass
2.0 out of 5 starsWish it had been more useful...
6 April 2001 - Published on
Format: Hardcover
6 people found this helpful.
3.0 out of 5 starsGreat insights but a caution to 3d Max 4 users
3 October 2001 - Published on
Format: Hardcover
dennis summers
5.0 out of 5 starsExcellent book on Lighting
17 June 2001 - Published on
Format: Hardcover