5 tips for creating dramatic key art

Finally, a couple of simple diffuse reflector planes strategically positioned around the object help seal the deal. These gradients are then reshaped using ramps in order to vary their intensity and radius and overall aspect. 05. I recently had to create a series of renders for small items. Thai Statue Model courtesy of XYZ RGB IncThis setup comprises a set of 14 planes organised symmetrically around the object to be rendered. I decided to create a simple object-centric light stage that I could reuse for every single render, with the ability to quickly manipulate and modify the lighting setup that would then be shared across all scenes. Thinking of the whole set of planes as a simple sphere centred on my subject, I can easily rotate the entire rig to adjust it to the view angle, and scale it up and down in order to fit the size of the subject. Words: Hugues Giboire
Hugues Giboire is a 3D artist with more than 20 years’ experience in the CG industry. Each light is driven by a simple circular or square gradient texture that I reshape through a scalar ramp. Unbiased rendering engines offer the possibility to work in ways that weren’t possible before. Procedural textures
To add depth to the lights, we can use further layering. The shader attributes are shared across the board and each shader instance is named after the plane it is assigned to (for example, top, bottom, and left). Pro tip: light scattering
You can also use geometry other than simple planes as emitters to scatter your light in different manners. 03. All we need to do then is to adjust the width and height ratio of the texture. Set up the UVs
Remember that each of the planes arranged around your focal object must have UVs in order to be able to support texture input. Set up your object
This technique is used for object-centric shots. Once this is in place, organise the planes around your main subject in a geometric pattern. Then, thinking of it as simple mattes and shades for your lights using procedural textures, we can create objects like blinds or barn doors. Keep the setup clean and name your objects appropriately so that you can easily tell which one you will affect, depending on their respective shaders. First I multiply the output with a colour. I always use a 16-bit gradient texture to drive the intensity of my spotlights and keep the manipulations as precise as possible. Placing reflectors
Once we’re satisfied with the overall orientation, colour and intensity of our lights, we still have the option to polish the final results by placing reflectors around the scene in order to diffuse the light on the darkest contours of our subject. When I’m asked to create images for product visualisation, one of the challenges is the lighting setup. 01. 04. You can create simple gels or even highly diffractive shaders to obtain 
 exotic effects!

Updated: 25.11.2014 — 19:45