As part of our animatic assessment, we are required to write a report on the lighting we used. I wanted to try something a little more dramatic, seeing as lights aren’t my strong point.
Rembrandt lighting is a style of lighting that creates contrast between light and dark using spotlights to highlight specific points of action.
Some examples of Rembrandt lighting.
Originally I was having some issues with using spotlights in my scene. However after creating some point lights to set up the overall area lighting, putting in the spotlights afterwards it finally worked.
I used several different types of lights in my animatic.
Spot lights with fog
The point lights were used to create the overall area lighting. Since I have a lot of corners in my environment, this caused issues with creating large dark areas in the first set which were undesirable.
To overcome this problem I used an area light with a low intensity of 0.2000 and a linear decay to try and break up the harshness of the shadow.
Thinking of how I can make my first set a little more dramatic I added some green area lights to help contrast the reds of the environment. This idea was used several times and managed to create other unplanned effects that worked well.
These lights were placed in the wall nook above the jars, which are the Evil Queen’s alchemy samples. Here it originally shines bright and eerie as the queen walks in and later serves as a bounce light on the queens face for the close up of her reactions helping to convey she is somewhat evil. A quadratic decay was used with these lights so the other objects close to the area didn’t become saturated with green.
Very subtle, there is another of these point lights used underneath the table in the sunken floor area to help set the mood of eeriness.
For the second set, where the reflections are filmed. This was another challenge again, duplicated lights were used in this set, however positioning of the lights caused unwanted results in some areas.
A negative light was used within the mirrors reflection to stop the main point light casting a harsh shadow behind the “vision” revealing where the hole in the wall was. Also due to shadows cast by the queen onto the face of snow white, a subtle spot light with fog enabled to try and decrease the harshness was used.
The lighting rig was used to cast subtle colour of the surrounding environment onto the characters and objects, the down lights have a pale gold light to reflect the paleness of the gold walls and the upward lights have a maroon to reflect the bounce light of the carpet. Directional lights were used to achieve this, which means the rig could be placed anywhere and still affect the objects and characters between both sets. This kept the lighting in this situation continuous.
Lastly, another technique I tried to convey was the use of Rembrandt lighting in the film noir style. A spotlight duplicated from the ones used for the reflections was used to light one side of the queens face during the close up’s of her emotions.
An example of film Noir.
This is already a fairly dark lit scene due to the point lights for the room being behind her. However with the spotlight fog and the bounce light of the green point lights I feel this gives a darker more unfriendly look to the queen.
To conclude, lighting can completely change the look of a scene from something that might seem friendly with continuous and even lighting, to something more uninviting with light fog, colours that are commonly known as “evil” or “poisonous” colours and high contrasts between light and dark.
The high contrasts between light and dark also make the viewer focus on the intended parts of the story, without becoming distracted with unnecessary detail.