Good lighting can make or break the image and the hard work gone into the assets onscreen. The idea of focusing on lighting as a separate field is still quite new within content creation for games, and if we look around it is still hard to find good ideas and tutorials for how to author good lighting for real-time experiences. Lighting often gets caught up in-between technical papers about shading models and high level art direction principles – but what we want to find out is how to author our light-sources to get the most out of our image and enrich your scene.
We can find some excellent material if we look towards the traditional film and CG industry such as Jeremy Vickery’s brilliant courses ‘Practical Light and Colour’ and ‘Efficient Cinematic Lighting’ on the Gnomon Workshop or John Alton’s ‘Painting with Light’
Here are three principles for achieving better lighting in real-time content. They are ideas for the artist to use where desired and they have been useful for me when lighting for a wide range of content.