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[digital] Lighting & Rendering Paperback – 17 Jul 2000
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New Riders' [digital] series is performing a tremendous service to the computer animation and graphics community. The newest addition to this family is [digital] Lighting & Rendering. Author Jeremy Birn has long been regarded as a talented computer graphics artist and generous writer, and he has been sharing his techniques and discoveries for years.
Using computer graphic and 3-D tools to create accurate images is easy; using them to produce beautiful, inviting, memorable images requires more than technical skill. Lighting & Rendering introduces reasons and techniques for using light, shadow, texture and composition. The book is not software-specific, but demonstrates techniques that are applicable to almost any 3-D graphics application. It is assumed, however, that your 3-D software of choice supports such basic rendering features as soft shadows, light maps, coloured gels, depth-of-field blur, motion blur and so on.
The first half of the book discusses lighting and shadow--not just how to use various lighting techniques, but why. An outstanding chapter on colour and its use through composition and lighting offers insight into how colours are perceived and how colour affects a scene. Additional chapters cover exposure, composition and staging, materials and textures, and compositing. There is no accompanying CD-ROM, but the platform-generic nature of the book (and of the subject matter itself) makes it unnecessary. The book is designed to educate and inform; it is up to readers to apply what they learn to their own projects.
Although fewer than 300 pages long, Lighting & Rendering is an informative and important book, useful to any computer graphics artist. Each page is filled with fascinating, immediately helpful information about the craft. Mr Birn's experience and insight are not to be underestimated, and this book is not to be missed. --Mike Caputo
From the Back Cover
Digital Lighting contains strategies for lighting design that are relevant to any digital artist. It presents an awareness of computer lighting models, how they differ from real-world lighting effects, and how to approach 3D lighting projects differently from practical light. Topics covered include- What good lighting can do for you; Light sources; Shading; Shadows; Exposure and content; Color- temperature, correction, mood; Qualities of light; 3-point lighting; Indirect illumination; Multipass rendering and compositing; Lighting in production; and Case studies- natural lighting, interior lighting, character lighting, and effects lighting.See all Product description
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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!!
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.
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. .
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.
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