lighters - no respect?

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Old 09 September 2012   #16
In my expierence, if you show a layperson an unlit playblast, they'll be pretty meh about it, regardless of the quality of the modeling, texturing, and animation. It's only after seeing the lit version do they start to get excited.
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Old 09 September 2012   #17
It's not under appreciated in my area of CG. In TV commercials, lighting is often an umbrella term that incorporates texturing/surfacing/lighting/rendering/compositing. So lighters are usually the most versatile and important members of a project.

However, I don't exactly envy lighters either. They are at the end of the pipeline and are very susceptible to getting crunched during crunch time. It can get chaotic when renders start to fail or render layers start to break. That might be where the "low-men on the totem pole" idea comes from.
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Old 09 September 2012   #18
Funny I always thought lighters had a lot of respect because it contributes so much to the final image.
 
Old 09 September 2012   #19
I'm working on a feature film for the first time, as a lighter, and it actually feels the other way around. I think the departments that get the most praise are animation and lighting/comp. And somehow it makes sense. Just as an example, unless you're animating, you'll never get your hands on the rigs, therefore it's pretty hard anyone else will appreciate an awesome rig as you didn't even have the chance to play with it (even though if you have enough experience, you might have a glimpse of the rigging capabilities by watching certain actions).

But in the case of lighting and animation, you don't need to be in any particular department to watch and appreciate. Specially lighting, as it is at the very end of the whole thing, we usually have a bit more credit than we deserve. I think departments like shading are under appreciated, materials are a thing people take for granted way more than other things. The average guy believes that you just tell maya, "this is wood, this is crystal, done". Lighting on the other hand has a way easier parallel activity in live action and it's easier to get a grasp on.
 
Old 09 September 2012   #20
Originally Posted by ThE_JacO: Your colleague is sorely mistaken. Not only lighting is one of the most obviously appreciated disciplines it's also one of the three more common routes to cg or vfx supe roles. It's very far from under appreciated.


Second that for the cg supe part.

Originally Posted by JWRodegher: Specially lighting, as it is at the very end of the whole thing, we usually have a bit more credit than we deserve. I think departments like shading are under appreciated, materials are a thing people take for granted way more than other things. The average guy believes that you just tell maya, "this is wood, this is crystal, done". Lighting on the other hand has a way easier parallel activity in live action and it's easier to get a grasp on.


Second that too, especially for the look dev artists who actually set up the whole thing so that lighting does not even have to dial shader knobs at their end in production.

Also, sometimes poor pipelines/workflows/tool-sets can become a hindrance to the actual lighting process. I started out as a Lighting artist myself and initially enjoyed the process until I soon found out that in actual production most of the Lighting was more or less achieved in comp. No colored lights, breaking down a scene into multiple passes and AOVs, thousands of matte controls and animation cache to worry about. That doesn't seem like much fun unless of course you use something like Katana or a robust in-house pipeline that allows you to actually do more of lighting than file/pass management, especially in the prman context.
 
Old 09 September 2012   #21
lighters should never whine about recognition until after they've worked in the rigging department...or as a TD. Everyone from modeling down to comp can have a nice shiny demo except those 2.

The difference between great lighting and not so great lighting is the difference between compositors leaving after only a few hours of overtime or asking for cab chits at 5 am in the morning and cursing at every light source they see on their way home.

If it seems you dont get "recognition" it has to do either with your work environment or with your insecurities, and should be dealt with accordingly as you see fit. The job itself is as important as every other position in the pipeline.
 
Old 09 September 2012   #22
Originally Posted by evolucian: lighters should never whine about recognition until after they've worked in the rigging department...or as a TD. Everyone from modeling down to comp can have a nice shiny demo except those 2.

Hi, my name is Raffaele, and I'm a creature TD and a pipeline engineer. I haven't had a demo reel in twelve years, and my employers have always been cool with it because they understand scrolling coloured text would make for a poor one
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Old 09 September 2012   #23
Originally Posted by ThE_JacO: Hi, my name is Raffaele, and I'm a creature TD and a pipeline engineer. I haven't had a demo reel in twelve years, and my employers have always been cool with it because they understand scrolling coloured text would make for a poor one


You just need to make the text 3D.
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Old 09 September 2012   #24
I did, but a one-eyed recruiter once resented he couldn't properly gauge my skills without the methods being separate by depth, and I missed out on a four million dollars a year job.
Since then I simply decided to forego the reel and rely on references, social networking, arse kissing, and bribing people.
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Old 09 September 2012   #25
I disagree.

I love the lighting work and i wish to work like a lighting/shading/compositing artist but other profesionals and studios in my country cant say the same. Most of them need 3D Generalist, except for videogames and high quality animation's studios (maybe 2 or 3 studios).

If you make a lighting reel here, you are really really dead if you are not the best of the country.

In the global industry works diferent, i know. Only want to say that not all countrys work in the same way, and not all the profesionals can work in high quality studios in the beginning.

Sad but true.
 
Old 09 September 2012   #26

So what you disagree with? That your country doesn't have enough lighting positions? It's not aboutt respect, but about immobility of big companies. We have a similar situation here, though occasionally you can find lighting positions, but it's rare. You can always move, if you're good enough, though it's pretty difficult, but have you tried.
 
Old 09 September 2012   #27
I found most film compositors I've met tend to (jokingly) "hate lighters" :/
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Old 09 September 2012   #28
Starting as an intern lighting artist at AAA game studio the week after next.
There is no compositor that cleans up after us so we are responsible for the final look, and oh yeah: we do it all in real time.

Whatever the reason haters are still going hate, but all I can say is:
F*** yeah

Might be kinda OT, I just felt like sharing.
 
Old 09 September 2012   #29
Originally Posted by patrickrowan: I found most film compositors I've met tend to (jokingly) "hate lighters" :/


I think everyone jokingly hates the person immediately behind them in the pipeline.
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Old 09 September 2012   #30
Originally Posted by Meloncov: I think everyone jokingly hates the person immediately behind them in the pipeline.


This is indeed very true.
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