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Sunday, May 26, 2024

Bringing Illumination

Illumination can be as simple as making non-visible things visible. But if you want to get fully into it, there is much more that comes into play. You could, first and foremost, consider how hard or soft the light hitting will be.

• Hardness/Softness
When the light hits an object hard, the shadows will show up equally harsh. This means that if there are variations and textures on the surface, even subtle ones, they will be pronounced (given which directions they are being hit from). If, on the contrary, the light is soft and hitting softly, minor variations and textures will blend or get lost to only reveal what is most prominent. Hard lights and soft lights can be used accordingly for such effects. 

Beyond how hard or soft lights will be, you can consider more aspects of illumination that exist in reality but may be overlooked.

• Reach
Some lights spread widely but don't reach very far. While some lights concentrate intensely and reach much further. And all the degrees in between these ends. Along with whether or not anything blocks the way. How much reach do the lights you're working with have?

• Projection
Lights cast shadows. Or darkness simply exists where brightness isn't. The combination of the two doesn't cease to be interesting. Besides outlining shape and form, they can show silhouettes plastered on different surfaces and the distortions of proportions that come with it. 

• Reflection
Light reflects, with or without mirrors. It can be barely noticeable, but one visible object can reflect its light onto objects in proximity. It heavily depends on the materials and other properties, but you might be able to notice that the vibrance of an object can be reflected on another next to it.

• Glow
And speaking of vibrance, illuminating and illuminated objects may possess a sort of glow around them. What would be the range and density can wildly vary.

As for how light splits, joins, and transforms as it goes through certain materials, that's a whole other matter to look into and pay attention to if you wish to take it to that level.  

CREDIT: AI-Generated Examples done on Leonardo.AI