A long journey
It has taken me more than two years to write this book. I started it in February 2017 when I was working at Weta Digital as a simple reminder for myself. It has slowly grown over the years writing on and off when I had time.
Best part for me has been to meet all these amazing people, friends, colleagues all over the world. Each of them helping directly or indirectly on the content of my book. A big THANK YOU to everyone involved. Your support, feedback and critics have been much appreciated.
This book is a way to share my personal tricks for lighting. All these tips have been tested in production and have always given me good results. But it is not the only truth. You have to experiment by yourself to know what works and what doesn’t. In the end, the artistic is all very subjective.
An open mind
Remember that lighting, like any human activity, is a result of the right brain (creativity) and left brain (logic). It is not only about “what’s physically correct” nor only about “what’s looking good”. It is about both !
There is always a gap between what we should do in lighting (correct physical lighting) and what we are able to do (production constraints, time is money, optimization). We have to keep an open mind on what is achievable and efficient.
We should be aiming at some ideal setup but there is something called “reality”. In my experience art directors and DPs do NOT want PBR. They don’t care about these technical limitations and maybe they are right to do so. They always ask to cheat, enhance a light and ask for something physically impossible.
This is where we have to be clever. How much should we match the color key ? You define your own rules. As long as you are able to listen to others and have an open conversation about these topics, you are in a good position. The biggest risk is to become dogmatic.
After thirteen years in the industry I realize that the most important thing for me is not to be dogmatic. A supervisor once told me : if it looks good, if it is sampling friendly and if it easy to share, I take it.Biggest truth I have ever heard.
The never-ending project
I guess books are like movies : we never finish them, we just release them. Version 1 of my website has been released at the end of September 2019. I can honestly say that I have shared everything I know. Version 2.0 will be released around September 2020 as I have already so many notes to tackle !
I am always looking forward to any feedback, talking and sharing about lighting and cinematography. Do not hesitate to drop me a line ! I would be glad to answer any question you may have.
Now that you have read my website, forget about it, listen to your guts and have fun !
- 2019/10/06 : version 1.0 of the CG Cinematography book. Each chapter has at least a beginning, a middle and an end. V1.0 covers around 70% of everything I would like to put in my book.
- 2019/10/18 : Daniel Rath’s website
- 2019/10/21 : Matt Guetta’s forum
- 2019/10/21 : Nicolas Morlet’s blog
- 2019/10/23 : Chad Ashley’s twitter
- 2019/10/30 : a 3dvf article mentions my “lighting bible“.
- 2019/11/06 : Ben’s Comp Newsletter: Issue 046
- 2019/11/05 : Rowan Karrer’s website
- 2019/11/07 : CG Press
- 2019/11/11 : 3DCoat Forum
- 2019/11/13 : William Teh’s website
- 2019/11/21 : my interview on the Lighting Club
- 2019/11/27 : Gareth Bell’s website
- 2019/11/29 : Newtek Forum
- 2019/12/16 : Ben’s Comp Newsletter: Issue 050
- 2019/12/16 : The Foundry’s Artist Spotlight
- 2020/01/13 : CG Why 010 – Le Lighting
- 2020/01/20 : Making of Jedda / Robert Pashayan
- 2020/01/23 : Updates on Color Picking (ACES) and Weta’s cleaning.
- 2020/09/01 : I have big plans to add more content (objectives of lighting described in detail and lighting vocabulary) in version 2.0. More examples will be provided (dramatic lighting, light roles, gestalt…) and summaries will be available for every chapter.