Face lighting reference. Good idea or bad idea?

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Face lighting reference. Good idea or bad idea?

Postby Vanessa » Fri Feb 18, 2011 12:50 pm

I'm terrible at rendering faces. I find it very difficult, and I'm never confident about the shapes of my highlights and shadows on faces.

I'm wondering if having some face lighting reference pages (if I can find one or get someone to make me some) would be a good thing. I'd just like a bunch of heads a different angles with a variety of different lighting to use as reference for when I'm stumped on how to render a face with the lighting I want.

I should probably just stick to looking at people under different lighting conditions and learn that way, but it's hard for me to translate subtle gradient shadows on a real human face into hard cut highlights and shadows on a flat, drawn face.:/
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Re: Face lighting reference. Good idea or bad idea?

Postby Eagle » Fri Feb 18, 2011 1:16 pm

"Poser Figure Artist" lets you just look at heads and set simple lighting parameters.
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Re: Face lighting reference. Good idea or bad idea?

Postby pleurgh » Fri Feb 18, 2011 2:02 pm

Not sure if you've seen this .
http://www.photoworkshop.com/pages/light_cage.html

it's been extremely helpful to me everytime I've used it so far .
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Re: Face lighting reference. Good idea or bad idea?

Postby Jamesabels » Fri Feb 18, 2011 3:37 pm

pleurgh wrote:Not sure if you've seen this .
http://www.photoworkshop.com/pages/light_cage.html

it's been extremely helpful to me everytime I've used it so far .


Wow man, that is nice!

Also I like the idea of poser or blender for super custom and colored setups, but that cage is waaay more simple and has most, if not all of the popular lighting setups.
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Re: Face lighting reference. Good idea or bad idea?

Postby Vanessa » Fri Feb 18, 2011 10:51 pm

pleurgh wrote:Not sure if you've seen this .
http://www.photoworkshop.com/pages/light_cage.html

it's been extremely helpful to me everytime I've used it so far .


Okay, that's getting bookmarked. :)
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Re: Face lighting reference. Good idea or bad idea?

Postby Sensory Overlord » Sat Feb 19, 2011 1:12 pm

One poser alternative is Daz3D's Studio. It may not pack all the bells and whistles, but the base version is priced right and is probably a bit easier to get into than blender.

The light cage site is interesting. The rendering quality is very basic, so it's not exactly realistic— Lights shine right through the head onto ears, for example. I suppose if you keep that in mind, you could even construct more complex light set-ups by taking screen captures from the site and layering them in photoshop with, say, the lighting mode. Any of these ideas is a better guideline than none, but lighting is a complex thing, with the interplay of light strength, distance, shape and softness all contributing to the way we perceive shapes in the real world. Anybody can take a picture, but good cinematographers and photographers know how to massage the light just so. I guess what I'm saying is that while these are a good foundation, don't rely on them too much for expression at the expense of form.
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