Lightsourcing
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Thread: Lightsourcing

  1. #1
    U4-Welcome
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    Default Lightsourcing

    I\'m about to try to paint directional lighting, but my test mini is going on so well that it\'d pain me to do a mess with this now :D
    So here\'s the deal : I read Victoria\'s excellent article, but she says we have to paint highlights normally and then wash the places in line of sight of the source. Ok. However, my source is directly BELOW the mini. So if I paint normal highlights, they will not be consistent with the primary light source ; if I paint them as if the mini was underlit (which it is), the I have no highlights on the top-facing surfaces, which happen to be rather large. Consequence, the top of the mini would be a uniform color, while the highlights and shading would be on the underside. I think no highlights on visible areas = ugly.

    Does anyone have a suggestion as to how could go about it ? For the time being I\'m considering painting rather strong highlights on the underside, and fairly weak ones on the upwards-facing areas, just to avoid getting a totally \"flat\" look. :idea:

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    RLobinske
    Guest

    Default

    Originally posted by U4-Welcome
    I\'m about to try to paint directional lighting, but my test mini is going on so well that it\'d pain me to do a mess with this now :D
    So here\'s the deal : I read Victoria\'s excellent article, but she says we have to paint highlights normally and then wash the places in line of sight of the source. Ok. However, my source is directly BELOW the mini. So if I paint normal highlights, they will not be consistent with the primary light source ; if I paint them as if the mini was underlit (which it is), the I have no highlights on the top-facing surfaces, which happen to be rather large. Consequence, the top of the mini would be a uniform color, while the highlights and shading would be on the underside. I think no highlights on visible areas = ugly.

    Does anyone have a suggestion as to how could go about it ? For the time being I\'m considering painting rather strong highlights on the underside, and fairly weak ones on the upwards-facing areas, just to avoid getting a totally \"flat\" look. :idea:

    Thanks.
    Basically, that is it. When you are modeling a directed light source, your \"direct\" illumination will be lighter, your \"indirect\" highlights will be darker.

  3. #3

    Default

    It all depends on how many lights are hitting the mini.

    I assume that when you say \'normal\' highlights, you are highlighting as if the lighting was coming from above, the so-called \'halo\' effect. :innocent:

    If the lighting coming from below is stronger than the halo source, then the highlights will be brighter on the lower faces that catch that light. If the \'below light\' is weaker then it might just pick out some muted colours on the lower faces.

    If the lower light is the only light-source for the figure, then the top surfaces should logically be black, or a very dark variation of the colour if you assume some spots of reflected light from a ceiling or something else that hangs invisible above the character.

    Hope this helps. :D

  4. #4
    U4-Welcome
    Guest

    Default

    Actually, do I even need to highlight first the places where the source colors the mini, or can I just leave them as they are and let the inks and successive washes do their magic ?

    Thanks Panza, I\'m considering the option of shading the top side instead of trying to give it a halo effect. Could work too.

    Aaah, what to do, what to do ?? If I screw up I\'m never going to forgive myself. Incidentally, I\'ll post the mini when I\'ve painted everything but the lighting (so I can have a souvenir of it if I do it horribly wrong and have to strip it *knocks on wood*).

  5. #5

    Default

    Lighting decisions should ideally be made just after you\'ve undercoated the mini.

    Hold the mini under a single light source in the direction you require and you should get an idea of which parts of the mini need to be painted and what tonal values you should be applying to the individual areas.

    The Halo effect is the term given to minis shaded as if outside on a sunny day, so the upper surfaces get the lightest hues and the lower surfaces get the darkest shadows. If you are shading the figure from below then these values will be reversed.

    Also bear in mind the colour of the light coming from below. The Halo effect assumes a blue/white light, i.e. daylight, but if the light coming from below is red, then this will also affect the tonal values you need to apply.

    If in doubt, try roughing out your lighting on a test model. :)

  6. #6
    Coffin Dodger / Keymaster airhead's Avatar
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    Default lighting from below

    step into your bathroom tonight with a flashlight. Hold it at your chest & shine it up. Look carefully into the mirror. This form of lighting can be used to set very evil atmosphers. It is very disconserting to the human brain as it is not what the brain expects to see.

  7. #7

    Default

    I\'m assuming that there is ambient light, like the model is standing over fire, but there is also light coming from about from some source.

    In this case you\'d highlight for 2 light sources.

  8. #8

    Default Warning - techie alert!

    There\'s a lot that can be done with lighting and it\'s certainly an area that I\'m playing about with at the moment.

    Essentially the directional lighting thing can be done at many levels. If you want the effect to be that there is only a single lightsource and pitchblack otherwise - e.g. a torchbearer in a dark cavern - then yes the areas hidden from the lightsource would be practically black. The more ambient lighting there is - other torches in a dungeon corridor, daylight, etc. - the more evenly spread the coloured/highlighted areas will be.

    Another area which I believe links in to this is the specularity, or \"shininess\", of the surface. So for example a bit of shiny black PVC might have very sharp near-white highlights, whereas a cloth cloak will have much more subtle spreadout blends. Personally, I believe this is what a lot of NMM is about. Shiny metals will have much more specular highlights than say wood or stone. Obviously the sky-earth stuff is where it takes the next step into reflectivity - i.e. it is painted to reflect the surroundings (usually the sky-earth horizon). Anyone who\'s messed about with CGI will probably be familiar with these concepts as it\'s how computers define surface properties for modelling real-world optics.

    Phew! Got a bit technical there, though I believe these are the sort of areas people are exploring in mini-painting nowadays.

  9. #9

    Default ambient lighting...

    ...is very difficult. It\'s an art not easily mastered and if done in half-baked standard, well, it really looks funny.

    Lighting for the normal light to dark transition is easier though emulating true lighting from a singular direction can also be difficult. Just imagine the same exercise of going to the toilet at night with a torchlight...it\'s difficult to capture such extreme lighting on a mini and it\'ll be realistic if only the mini is placed on a diorama.

    The easiest way for lighting effects is to emulate the sun. There\'s light everywhere but only shades of light transitions.

    PS: Anyways, that\'s my 2 cents worth...maybe it\'s easy for others.

  10. #10
    U4-Welcome
    Guest

    Default I\'ve decided !

    1-Light halo so it doesn\'t look like I didn\'t work on highlights at all (because even if I paint everything black pretexting that the scene is happening in the dark, I\'ll be looking at the mini during the day, so no highlights whatsoever is not something I want to do). So basically I\'ll paint the mini exactly as I would normally.
    2-Then I paint colors reflected from the second light source.

    Please God let my brush be true, let my hand be unwavering, let my paints be faithful, and above all, let me not screw up. :innocent:

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