Part of Unit: Animation Process
Lesson Plan Overview / Details
Lighting and shading go hand-in-hand with 3D animation. It is important to keep in mind that students are creating an illusion of depth. This is still a 2 dimensional medium until we begin to move into stereoscopic 3D. When discussing and demonstrating lighting we are observing the intensity of light from highlights to shadows and how they appear on a given surface.
- 10 Minutes
- Group Work
- 45 Minutes
- Guided Practice
- 55 Minutes
California Career and Technical Education Standards
- AME.A.A2.1 Analyze the way in which technical design (e.g., color theory, lighting, graphic...
- AME.A.A2.8 Use models, simulations, and other tests to determine optimal design solutions f...
California Academic Content Standards (Reinforced)
- ELA.9-10.R.CAGT.2.6 Demonstrate use of sophisticated learning tools by following technical direction...2
Objectives and Goals
- Students will observe and record how a single light will create shading, shadow, and highlight on an object.
- Students will create a 3 point lighting system in an animation program.
Activities in this Lesson
- 3D Images - Hooks / Set
Tell the class that they are going to look at some 3D images. Pull up the images one at a time and get feedback from the class.
Image 1: Very flat, little to no illusion of depth. Ask the students why?
Image 2: Shading added; some depth created.Looks like it is floating. What else is missing?
Image 3: Shadow added; grounds it. Does it look real? Anything else missing?
Image 4: Highlights added. What are the elements that were added to create the illusion of depth?
Shading, Shadows, and Highligt.
- 3D Images [ Download ] A powerpoint presentation containing the four images listed above.
- Image 1 [ View Image ] [ Download Original ] Very flat, little to no illusion of depth.
- Image 2 [ View Image ] [ Download Original ] Shading added; some depth created.Looks like it is floating.
- Image 3 [ View Image ] [ Download Original ] Shadow added; grounds it.
- Image 4 [ View Image ] [ Download Original ] Highlights added.
- Shadow Play - Group Work
Objective: Students will observe and record how a single light will create shading, shadow, and highlight on an object.
Students should be placed in groups of 3-4 depending on availability of materials. Each group needs the following materials:
- Light / Flashlight
- Light Stand (optional)
- Soda Can
- One Paper per person
- One Pencil per person
Step 1: Have each student fold their papers into 4ths.
Step 2: WIth the paper in landscape orientation, have them place their name in the upper right hand corner and label each of the four boxes with one of the labels below.
- Long Shadow
- Short Shadow
- Hard Shadow
- Soft Shadow
Step 3: As a group students need to position the light to create the listed effect (i.e. long shadow). If stands are available, the light can be secured in position.
Step 4: Each student should draw the soda can, shading, shadow, and highlight in the correct box on the paper.
Step 5: Each student should draw a light symbol in the box on the paper to indicate the height, angle, and placement of the light. Students should label the light source as Key Light.
Step 6: Groups should repeat the process to complete all four boxes.
Although not as effective, as an alternative to the group work, the teacher may conduct the lesson as a demonstration, soliciting input from students as they complete the drawings.
- Creating Lights and Shadows - Guided Practice
The standard 3 point lighting setup originated with portrait photography but can be a good place to start with animation as you would with live action video. (See diagram below.) With animation we can control shadows with each light by turning them on or off, so we don’t have to be as concerned about softening unwanted shadows. Our focus can be to illuminate the parts of the scene to various levels in order to achieve the desired mood and maximize the illusion of depth. Animated cameras can also move with a character or model, giving us even more freedom and flexibility.
Given the model of the soda can (or a cylinder), students will recreate one of the views that they drew with the flashlight and soda can, using only a single spot light. This will be the Key Light. They will then place a fill light and a back light to complete a basic three point lighting system.
Step 1: Open the model of the soda can.
Step 2: Insert a spot light and name it Key Light. (You may or may not want to create a light target and place on the soda can.)
Step 3: Set the shadow to hard or soft depending on the chosen view.
Step 4: Move the light into position (up and to one side) so that it matches the chosen view.
Step 5: Insert an omni light and name it Fill Light.
Step 6: Move the Fill Light opposite of and below the Key light and adjust the intensity.
Step 7: Insert another omni light and name it Back Light.
Step 8: Move the Back Light behind the soda can and between the other two lights, adjust the intensity.
Step 9: Render the shot and identify the shadow, highlights and shading.
- Assessment Types:
- Projects, Observations,