informa
2 min read
article

Last Of Us lighting artist offers devs a tip: set the mood with a single light

While it sounds oversimplified, if you can get a strong base for that end result as much as possible, it goes a long way," Naughty Dog lighting artist Gabe Betancourt tells 80 Level. "Less is more."
"If at all possible, find a really good reference from a photograph or a film that captures the overall color or mood you’re going for and try to match it with just one light. While it sounds oversimplified, if you can get a strong base for that end result as much as possible, it goes a long way."

- Gabe Betancourt, a lighting artist at Naughty Dog, sharing game lighting advice with game dev hub 80 Level.

If you're at all curious about what it's like to light the cinematic games they make at Naughty Dog, we've got good news: game dev hub 80 Level today published a thorough interview with studio lighting artist Gabe Betancourt.

It's a neat read if you're interested in learning more about how a lighting artist works within a big studio; fellow devs may also appreciate that Betancourt offers potentially useful tips on how to light your game effectively. More often than not, his advice could be summed up as "do more with less."  

"Less is more. The key light is master. Every other light, element, and detail should support the key and allow it to stand out as much as possible," he says at one point.

"The ideal light rig accomplishes with a handful of lights what would feel like dozens.  Often too many lights being used in a scene results in muddy, confusing direction. When this happens, I recommend deleting all lights and starting again with the key."

For more insight into how the folks at Naughty Dog think about game design through the lenses of photography and film, check out this recent talk from studio art director Robh Ruppel on cinematography for game artists.

You can find lots more input from Betancourt, including some nitty-gritty details on how Naughty Dog's production process works and what tools Betancourt uses, in the full interview.

Latest Jobs

Treyarch

Playa Vista, California
6.20.22
Audio Engineer

Digital Extremes

London, Ontario, Canada
6.20.22
Communications Director

High Moon Studios

Carlsbad, California
6.20.22
Senior Producer

Build a Rocket Boy Games

Edinburgh, Scotland
6.20.22
Lead UI Programmer
More Jobs   

CONNECT WITH US

Register for a
Subscribe to
Follow us

Game Developer Account

Game Developer Newsletter

@gamedevdotcom

Register for a

Game Developer Account

Gain full access to resources (events, white paper, webinars, reports, etc)
Single sign-on to all Informa products

Register
Subscribe to

Game Developer Newsletter

Get daily Game Developer top stories every morning straight into your inbox

Subscribe
Follow us

@gamedevdotcom

Follow us @gamedevdotcom to stay up-to-date with the latest news & insider information about events & more