Monday, August 5, 2019

Volumetric Lighting

Volumetric lighting is a concept from 3D digital graphics that can be helpful for painters to consider.
Screenshot from the game Fallout 4
When smoky or dusty atmosphere is illuminated from behind, sunbeams appear.

We painters tend to think of these beams in two-dimensional terms, but it's good to remember that they occupy a specific volume of 3D space between the source and the subject.

Still from "The Man Who Wasn't There" directed by
the Coen Brothers, cinematography by Roger Deakins
If the light comes from a sharp, hard source (as opposed to a soft, diffuse one), it can take on a particular shape with fairly sharp edges. The slices of light are most visible against dark background areas.
Albert Bierstadt, Lander's Peak

The light takes on its form as it passes through the opening in the clouds, and you can see its effect as it travels to the selective areas it illuminates.
Light and Form, Part 1
Color and Light: A Guide for the Realist Painter


Unknown said...

Good Afternoon im from Miami Florida and i was impressed by the work on the united airplane in The San Francisco terminal my friend went to ireland in that plane the day i send the video there is a posiblity that i can buy tha piece is the first time she travel to europe and being.on the same plane is something amazing i would like your answer Please and thank for your time. Ronald Garay.

Penny Taylor said...

I have you book Color and Light. I live the book. It's really helped me see and understand color, light & shadows.

Rick Mercer Studio said...

If you ever get a chance to get to the MET, you must see Lander's Peak in person. It is breathtaking! I took some close-up photos of the painting (without flash of course) and the details are amazing. Every artist should have a visit to the MET and the Louvre on their bucket list. Hopefully the Louvre visit will be in 2020 or 2021 for me.