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Old 09-20-2012, 04:02 AM   #1
ceruleanvii
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lighters - no respect?

Was talking with a colleague the other day and he expressed the opinion that if you only did the lighting work on a scene, it wasn't worth taking credit for on your reel. I was kind of floored by this, as a lighter myself, and one who LOVES light, color, shading, texturing, rendering, and everything associated with pulling together the final image at the end. Not at all fond of animating or modeling. But it got me thinking - are lighters considered the "low men on the totem pole" in the world of VFX? If so, why? Do people think it takes no particular skill?
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Old 09-20-2012, 04:07 AM   #2
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Your friend clearly had no idea what he was talking about lol.
 
Old 09-20-2012, 04:20 AM   #3
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Do not listen to your "colleague". I can attest myself as witness to the importance of proper lighting and color to scenes.

I place Color in the same group as Blocking, Framing, and Motion. Even Black and White for me is a lighting and color choice.
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Old 09-20-2012, 04:49 AM   #4
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I would have thought lighting was one of, if not the key element of movies and photography.

That reminds me of a related question I wanted to ask. On non-CG movies I'm sure I've seen "riggers" in the credits. Does anyone know what work riggers do?
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Old 09-20-2012, 04:52 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Panupat
Your friend clearly had no idea what he was talking about lol.

Ditto.

If you are a lighting artist and you light on a specific shot, you take credit for the lighting. Just as the animator would take credit for the animation and the compositor would take credit for the compositing.

Further, the actual "lighting" aspect of a particular shot or scene is often the quickest thing to do. Its often the trouble shooting, technical problems, and final 5% iterations that can eat up a lighters time. So lighters actually do more than just light.
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Old 09-20-2012, 05:59 AM   #6
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I think Lighting, as far as CG goes, is probably the least understood and appreciated by the layperson of the different elements that goes into a shot. Anyone who's opened a 3d package can hit 'Create Spotlight' and aim it at something and, technically, yes, they've just lit a scene. But a good lighter, seconded closely by a good comper, really does make or break a shot. They control how well a cg element integrates into its live background. They control where the focus is from a compositional standpoint. They control, on a subconscious level, how we feel about what we're seeing based on color and shadow. I think most of this is completely taken for granted by your average movie-goer who doesn't really understand how much goes into lighting, or any other CG element for that matter.

So from a layperson's perspective, I think, yes, lighters probably are the least respected, simply because they're the least understood. Within the CG community and anyone who's actually tried lighting a scene, I think they are much more appreciated.

Of course, at the end of the day, if its what you want to do and comes with a paycheck, who really gives a shit whether its respected, appreciated, or even understood.

As for rigging, just look up the definition. On a film set, pretty much anything built for production thats not set or props and remains off-camera or hidden could be considered Rigging. Usually its used when constructing a tool to facilitate a shot or multiple shots. A lighting rig holds lights in place. A camera rig allows you to manipulate/move the camera the way the director wants. A harness rig allows you drop your actor 50 feet off a cliff without killing them. Riggers are the people with the expertise to build and operate those things, just like riggers in CG are people with the expertise to build the rigs which facilitate the movement of models by animators in the manner in which the directors and sup's desire.
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Last edited by zzacmann : 09-20-2012 at 06:02 AM.
 
Old 09-20-2012, 07:38 AM   #7
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Reply to your friend: "derp!"

Take a look at TDKR - can you tell me when it's real and when it's CG? That's the awesome power of the lighters.
 
Old 09-20-2012, 09:19 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ceruleanvii
Was talking with a colleague the other day and he expressed the opinion that if you only did the lighting work on a scene, it wasn't worth taking credit for on your reel.


Then what on earth is on his reel?

What a stupid thing to say.
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Old 09-20-2012, 11:16 AM   #9
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There's indeed a problem. We need more respect from society for lighters!
Let's analyze, how respect can be built. Not to sound dumb, but it's all about clothing. I know two types of men who get respect. Those are famous rappers and priests. We could combine both traits, adding our symbols on top and get a distinct look. I think wearing a torch is also nice.
I don't know about you, but I already feel respect for this man!
 
Old 09-20-2012, 11:41 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mister3d
I don't know about you, but I already feel respect for this man!

I would totally wear that to work!
 
Old 09-20-2012, 01:44 PM   #11
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Lighting is huge! Your friend is mistaken. Now get to work and be the best damn lighter you can. I think we should make this some sort of Cg artist uniform. I find it quite fetching.

Last edited by azamux : 09-20-2012 at 02:19 PM.
 
Old 09-20-2012, 01:57 PM   #12
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I'd wear it too, mister3d. Respect!

Thanks for the responses. I seriously love what I do, I spend all my time thinking about light... and was of the opinion lighters were crucial to the final sell of any 3D. So I'm glad a lot of others agree.
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Old 09-20-2012, 02:21 PM   #13
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A lighter/shader person in CG is, to my mind, almost like a Cinematographer/Director of Photography in Film Production. Because both build the overall look, feel, ambience of a scene.

Its like the same job being done in both, just with different tools (real camera & lights versus virtual camera & lights in CG software)

Maybe you could call yourself a "CGmatographer" or "3Dmatographer" or something?

That was a joke... But hey, maybe "CGmatographer" will stick as a CG slang-term if enough people use it.

Good luck with your lighting tasks...
 
Old 09-20-2012, 02:47 PM   #14
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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.
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Old 09-20-2012, 02:50 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dillster
That reminds me of a related question I wanted to ask. On non-CG movies I'm sure I've seen "riggers" in the credits. Does anyone know what work riggers do?


They set up lights on a set, including the "rig" which is all the attacments and things that go into holding the lights in place or doing what it needs to do. My boss used to be one of these.
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