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.