WIP: Space Lighting Tutorial

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Today I started writing my first draft of the space lighting tutorial as I walked through setting up my lighting.  I was kinda rambling.  Getting an idea for what I’m doing.  Putting a bit of it here.  I want to try and cover alot of stuff and give tips etc.  Lost of the tecniques will be old school. Which I hate to use that phrase.  Anyway.  It’s a start.  Here is some of it.

“Art like many other things is like jazz.  You need to know the rules before you can break them.  You have to master and undertstand how to play before you can improvise.  In CG you have to understand what you can do, that sometimes coolest way isn’t the best way.  You need to know when and what you can fake.

In space scenes we know the reality of lighting.  There is one light.  The sun. The sun is best represented, in my chosen CG package Light Wave 3D, by a distant light. The beams of light from the sun are parallel which is how the distant light works in LW3D.  That being said we will be using mostly spotlights.

I am not a fan of using a backdrop image. Nor do I like using textured  environment.  I prefer using the curved polygon mapped with a nebula. How to do that is explained in Kier Darby’s Space Tutorials.  Along with lighting techniques we will use here.  The curved nebula polygon is also explained as well as other Babylon 5 and Star Trek techniques in The Lightwave 3D Book published in 1997 with techniques from Mojo and others.  Oh while I’m thinking of it I want to thank Mojo, John Gross, Dave Jerrard, and others for there tutorials in Keyframing, NewTekniques, HDRI etc with out whom I would never been able to do what I do.


So right now I’m Staring at my local space view. If you dont already have one make one.  Local Space is a conveint LW scene to have.  You may make a collection of them.  A Local Space scene is a file containing your models and images for u basic space setup.  Models of stars and ur nebula.  It is your basic setup.  You can always open it and replace the nebula or us image editor to change its colors.  Nebulas should be subtle so you can lower the transparency.  Make sure to have additive transparency on the nebula and stars. This will eliminate errors caused by brighter color stars in front of bright white spots on the nebula.”

That’s it for now.

About 0x0y0z

I am a CGI artist and animator my program of choice is Lightwave by Newtek I have been using it since around 1996. I am a film and music fan. Some of my favorite films are Alien, Blade Runner, The Crow. Casablanca, Out of the Past, Outland, L.A. Confidential, Time Crimes. I was born and live in the Unitied States View all posts by 0x0y0z

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