Here's what you should know about Lighting Artists

In the world of digital art, a Lighting Artist is like a gaffer on a movie set. He or she directs the light in such a way to make visual content come to life and is directly responsible for creating the overall charm of the final product.

Although digital lighting is primarily associated with film and game development, there is a whole range of areas where this calling is of the utmost importance. For instance, lighting design plays a major role in advertising because designing striking scenes in ads is key to selling a product. Quality lighting is also vital in architecture, especially for studios producing photorealistic visualizations, whether digital or VR.

Dusan Kovic - Eye Cam - Lighting
Dusan Kovic - Eye Cam

A digital artist specializing in lighting design is usually a member of a larger team of 3D artists working on the final stages of the project, i.e., stage lighting and rendering. When one project grows to a much larger scale, it is necessary to hire more experts in various areas of 3D graphics. Studios often do this to meet strict deadlines and the expected level of quality. These artists work in modeling, rigging, animation, texturing, and lighting, although overlaps often occur.

So, what can a future Lightning Artist expect from his or her job? As noted, the position requires skills from a wide range of fields, as well as a high level of expertise in advanced software. Can it stand independently? Or is digital lightning just an instance in a wide area of work, including modeling, rendering, and animation?

Miloš Mrđenović - 2019

Dusan Kovic, an award-winning CG artist and Beta Tester for Autodesk Maya and Arnold, recently addressed this issue. During his public lecture on the Digital Lighting, Shading, and Rendering course he holds in our school, Dušan spoke about his experience in working within the lighting department.

Everything depends on the level of production and what the studio is looking for. A lot depends on the deadlines and size of the project. I have worked both as a generalist and as a lighting designer, and I think it is great to kick off a career as a generalist. In my opinion, this is the best way to pinpoint what you actually like doing. Otherwise, you may spend years working on projects you do not really find inspiring.

Dušan also points out that large projects with various departments working on different aspects of a project are mostly related to the film industry.

In the film, there is little chance that you will get to do everything. Of course, there are generalists, but they are exceptional cases, and these people are very good at what they do. On the other hand, regular artists are focused on specific tasks. I think that is good because it is almost impossible for someone to master so many skills.

Dusan Kovic - VW Beetle Up

Kompletan javni čas možete pogledati na našem YouTube kanalu. Preporučujemo vam da izdvojite vreme da ga pogledate, posebno ako želite da čujete još konkretnih saveta od Dušana i saznate da li ovaj digitalni zanat možete da kujete kod kuće kao freelancer ili je bolje da odaberete studio.

Dušan’s public lecture is now available on our YouTube channel, so make sure to dive in if you understand Serbian.

Prijave za naredni ciklus kursa Digital Lighting, Shading and Rendering su sada otvorene.

Branka Malenica