Lighting Solutions

For my final viking trailer I created, I had to make some serious decisions about what kind of mood I wanted to portray with it. And of course, lighting plays a big part in that.

How does it make you feel?
Ideally, I’d have asked a lot of people, but I only got to ask my family what they thought of it, to which they all replied ‘Oh that looks awesome! Cool’ – Thanks pals 😛

In my mind, I wanted to create a story with this short piece. I wanted to look at this scene and think, ‘something is about to happen today, I wonder what it is.’

My decision-making started with our team’s original idea that, above all else our game is about Glory. No more, no less. And that’s originally what I was going to do for my trailer with the viking character, but due to technical difficulties I had to change my mind. SO, I went with the next best thing:

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‘The day looks hopeful, yet uncertain.’

Initially, my scene was much brighter. I had a sunset bloom that gave the camera every lens-flare possible, along with multiple other point lights and such to make various things pop out. Due to my random decision making during this construction process, the pictures vary quite a lot. This also plays into how often I changed my mind about a composition idea after I looked at it through the camera view port.
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But once I narrowed down the idea of what I really wanted to portray, I realised that warm, comforting lighting wouldn’t quite do the trick. It seems to easy. Our game is about Viking heroes battling each other in the names of their respective Gods, to win their favour and crush the opponent. That doesn’t particularly scream ‘warm, fuzzy light’ to me 😛

So with that in mind, I went with something a little more apprehensive. The initial idea was to just have the scene as it was, with no real highlight on the shield/sword/altar, but in the end, that didn’t create enough of an impact on the viewer. Without that point light highlighting that focal point, the picture was just dark and uninteresting.

Therefore, the addition of the random point light! Now, you’re probably thinking what I was at the time of adding this ‘This looks weird, it has no source, it’s just a random spotlight in the scene.’ This is correct, however as I said, it truly just didn’t look right without it. Having the light there made the red on the shield stand out, bringing the viewer’s eye more towards the point of focus that I intended. Not only that, but it shows that these pieces are going to play a big role in the game (warfare, yep defs), it’s a tiny bit of a teaser of what’s to come.

Personally, I think I did an okay job with this composition. The background isn’t too intense and the midground is easily the focal area of the shot. The only thing that I can now look back on and say is that I should have perhaps added something to the foreground in the bottom-left hand side, to further push the viewer’s eye to the shield.

Example here:
retouched menuscreenI feel like just this addition alone would have really helped to frame the entire shot. Phooey.
Other than that! I’m happy with it, and proud of my efforts for sure 🙂 I’ve still got a lot to learn about composition, lighting and colour, so perhaps I’ll focus all of my future projects on planning those out in meticulous detail 😛 Or maybe not …. huehuehue

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