Digital Lighting, Shadingand RenderingArnold


Become a lighting artist!

Lighting defines the focus, atmosphere and time of day in a scene. Moreover, it induces drama and highlights moods. Its roots lie in the art of stage lighting for theater, photography and film. For a lighting artist, aesthetic judgement is just as important as technical knowledge. Therefore, this course offers the basic theory of colors, light, film and photography needed to embark on further creative and technical processes involving lighting, shading and rendering.

We will use the latest technology available on today’s market:
• Arnold renderer: currently the fastest and the most simple raytrace renderer.
• Alembic: currently the best file format for data transfer in 3D. Exercises are designed in a way that reflects real VFX production, so the models used for lighting and shading are the work of students or current models from Crater Studio production. Students will learn how to use everyday situations and transfer real-life experiences into 3D.

Furthermore, students will learn how to use cameras, lights and shaders, as well as how to produce, with equal success, photo-realistic and cartoony results. Ultimately, the training students will receive in applying the right approach and thought process of lighting will enable them to master any renderer they may need in the future.

Introduction and overview of the course program
• Getting to know each other, assessing individual levels of experience and a general overview of the course contents

Theoretical introduction to light, color and materials and a short look at Arnold renderer
• Basic theoretical introduction
• A short look at Arnold renderer

Arnold settings
• Render settings

Shaders (materials)
• Types of material, description of the parameters and their application
• aiStandardSurface and all its settings: diffused, reflective, refractive, semipermeable and sss materials
• Other materials, Ray switch, Hair, Mix shader,displacement, Utility shader, Ambient occlusion, Shadow matte
• Procedural shading
(Afterwards students are assigned exercises to create all types of material including rock, glass, fabric and milk on models from production.)

Lighting in Arnold
• Types of light: distant, spot, area, point, skydome, mesh, photometric
• Parameters of light
• Filters for light: gobo, light blocker, barndoor, decay
(After this lecture students are assigned their first “real” exercise where they are given an object with textures that they must shade)

Stand-ins (Proxy objects)
• About stand-ins
(Students will create massive scenes: forest, armies, rows of lamp posts, grass fields or something else interesting to practice stand-ins)

• Methods of rendering hair
(After this lecture students will illuminate and materialize the hair or fur on a model)

• Methods of rendering skin
(After this lecture students will illuminate and materialize the skin on a model)

• Open VBD
• Volume shading – aiStandardVolume

• Camera, camera settings, DOF, Motion blur
(We will observe how Arnold works with Motion blur and DOF on animated models from production)

• Build in AOVs
• Light path expressions

• Why pipeline is important for light
(About the Alembic file format and its practical application)

Upon completion of the course students will receive the internationally recognized Autodesk Certificate of Completion, as well as the Crater VFX Training Center Certificate.

Dušan Ković
Texture Painter/Lookdev Artist @ Autodesk
One of 3D Artist Magazine 100 most influential and talented artists in the world

Award-winning CG artist hailing from Novi Sad, Serbia, Dušan is a jack of many trades and a master of photo-realism. Starting his career in gaming, his passion for photo-realistic computer graphics quickly led him into VFX and film where he found his focus in texture painting, shading, lighting and rendering. A graduate of Graphic Engineering and Design, he is currently working for Autodesk as a Texture Painter/Lookdev Artist and Arnold/Maya beta tester. At Crater VFX Training Center, he teaches Digital Lighting, Shading and Rendering course.


480 EUR for classes in Serbian
720 EUR for classes in English cat. 1*
960 EUR for classes in English cat. 2*
VAT included. Class is 45 minutes
* Country category list

40 classes 

basic computer skills
3D/VFX Essentials*
* or equivalent computer skills

Intership available