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Tell me about light!


Miar
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I've been reading lots of stuff and looking at lots of minis and thinking about light a lot. You can light source from any direction and it would be interesting to do something like lighting from the bottom around a bard to simulate stage lighting. Things like that are special cases, so where do you usually place your source lighting? Is it usually in the same place? What places are better or worse?

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I cheap out and assume it's always High Noon in Buglipstown. So my highlights are done assuming direct overhead lighting. Sort of. I'm kind of a bit lazy about it, to be honest.

 

I'd pay more attention to lighting if I was making a diorama, or playing with Object Source Lighting

 

http://blog.brushthr...m/?page_id=1916

 

Now what you're talking about with the Bard is probably going to be very subtle (by which I mean not like he's holding a flashlight under his face telling ghost stories). So what you'd probably want to do there is assume an overall light level (so you wouldn't be as dramatic as if you were doing OSL) and then adjust your bright highlights to reflect the difference in light source.

 

Some people use a can of white spray primer and spray the mini from the direction of intended light over a dark basecoat so they can rough out where the highlights will be. I've never tried this, so I can't attest to how well it works.

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I'm probably going to be going the lazy route and working with unprimed bones so the spray thing won't work. I was figuring I would play with a flashlight on a bunch of minis and see what things looked like. Mostly I was wondered where most people put there source. Doing it from one direction for a while would probably give me much needed practice.

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Starting out, I'm using top-down lighting. I agree with smokingwreckage about the task of balancing the two competing factors, that's my main concern with my current project. I'm really trying to emphasize a generalized overhead light, no shadow tones on upper horizontals at all, no highlight tones on lower horizontals.

 

In the future, I'm really looking forward to experimenting with lighting based on some ideas I've cribbed from an amazing book by James Gurney (the Dinotopia guy).

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As I said, that's my goal down the road a way. I'm nowhere near at the level of applying advanced techniques, I'm just learning some basic techniques yet. But I like to have goals and inspirations. I also work in a library so I read a lot of books!

 

So much lighting on minis (aside from "OSL") is generalized because of the nature of gaming, you can't source the sun under a blue sky, for instance.

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If you're going to try the stage-lighting effect, be sure to account for areas of the mini that will be shaded by ambient room light in the real world. In other words if the bard is wearing a hat, the brim will shade the painting underneath the hat, darkening the lighting effect from below. You can compensate for that by making the highlights brighter in those areas than ones not shaded from above.

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The maladorn I just painted and put up in the show off section was lighted in a couple of different ways. First I chose that he would be lit from slightly above but behind, thus darkening his features in the front, except for his horns and outermost facial features which protrude out quite a bit. His backside and upper/rear shoulders are must more brightly lit than the frontside adding to this effect.

 

Once that was completed, I set to work lighting him slightly from below using the lava. In researching pictures of lava flows at night, I realized that lava doesn't create a ton of light, mostly just some glow and thus, the orange-glow lighting I set on him doesn't really get much above his knees.

 

This isn't the most artistic of advice in terms of art-terminology, color theory or any actual artistic lighting lingo...but it at least gives you an idea of my thought process. I hope it helps.

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Any feedback is great, gives me things to think about. I keep finding more things to read but nothing that seems to address the exact questions I have. Soon as I get paints and a few spare minutes can get a few minis painted I'll be happy. Hopefully sometime this week I'll get some priming done. Hopefully work will calm down (wait that means less money on bones :wacko: ) and I can play around with minis more.

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The maladorn I just painted and put up in the show off section was lighted in a couple of different ways. First I chose that he would be lit from slightly above but behind, thus darkening his features in the front, except for his horns and outermost facial features which protrude out quite a bit. His backside and upper/rear shoulders are must more brightly lit than the frontside adding to this effect.

 

Once that was completed, I set to work lighting him slightly from below using the lava. In researching pictures of lava flows at night, I realized that lava doesn't create a ton of light, mostly just some glow and thus, the orange-glow lighting I set on him doesn't really get much above his knees.

 

This isn't the most artistic of advice in terms of art-terminology, color theory or any actual artistic lighting lingo...but it at least gives you an idea of my thought process. I hope it helps.

 

Actually this really does help! I have just begun working with lighting techniques and this is a great example of train of thought.

 

 

Any feedback is great, gives me things to think about. I keep finding more things to read but nothing that seems to address the exact questions I have. Soon as I get paints and a few spare minutes can get a few minis painted I'll be happy. Hopefully sometime this week I'll get some priming done. Hopefully work will calm down (wait that means less money on bones :wacko: ) and I can play around with minis more.

 

Maybe ask what you are wanting to know in a different way? Sometimes you will get better advice asking the question in a different form.

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I agree with you about the different form thing and that's mostly what I was trying to say. I think the form it will take is me getting some things painted and then trying to figure out how I can do better from there. Unluckly I'm in a waiting mode on a few things before that will happen. There is a point where reading helps only so much and you must do before reading more will help again. I think I've about reached that point.

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