FINE 2830: Lighting



A lecture/lab course focused on mastery of lighting the digital 3D environment. Students will develop skills/knowledge about the processes and techniques for creating realistic 3D lighting/lighting effects with an emphasis on artistic excellence through application of current 3D technologies.


Let there be light! This course focuses on mastering the effects of lighting within the digital 3D environment. From lectures and labs, students will study the fundamentals of lighting special-effects. See how to bring a story to life using techniques that create realistic lighting effects and compositions.


  • Learn to use light as a visual metaphor for storytelling
  • Understand how to organize and execute a production plan
  • Develop original lighting and effects for 3D objects within the context of animated film scenes
  • Identify and use the lighting tools in Maya
  • Acquire a working vocabulary of lighting terms and relate them to principles of art and design
  • Identify key filmmakers and animators; film lighting techniques and styles; and film genres
  • Create professional CG cameras


  • Use light and shadow as tools to compose the frame and create memorable and compelling images for animation
  • Adjust a film’s composition through light, shadow and camera placement
  • Reproduce the qualities and color temperature of both natural and man-made light sources
  • Prepare for practical production lighting problems typical of animation work


  • This course will give students a comprehensive overview of the light-placing process as it relates to original narrative, story, and environments. In addition, you will recognize the importance of light and shadow in the development of compelling characters and gripping conflict.