Lighting and Shading for Film Production | CG Master Academy

2021 | Spring Registration NOW OPEN!

Just a reminder that registration for our Spring Term is NOW OPEN!

Lighting and Shading for Film Production

A 6-week course focused on lighting, shading, and rendering in Arnold for Maya, and explores how the software has helped shape today's modern entertainment industry.

Course overview Course overview

Course Overview

Lights! Maya! ACTION!

This course focuses on lighting, shading, and rendering in Arnold for Maya for feature films. Students will set up a simple lighting scene and learn the differences between Direct vs Indirect Illumination, light typologies, and designations. They will learn high-level transmissive materials: refraction, caustics, sub-surface scattering and mixing materials. Students will take the skills they’ve learned and composite various elements together, reconstruct lighting and shading using Nuke, and cover good rendering strategies.


Course Format:   Standard
Lecture Type:   Pre-recorded
Feedback:   Individual recordings
Duration:   6 weeks
Assignment:   Deadlines each week
Q&A:   Once a week
Materials:   Maya 2018, Arnold 5.3, Nuke 11 or up, Photoshop
Skills level:   Intermediate
Prerequisites:   Familiarity with computer graphic concepts and Maya, or an introduction to Maya class is necessary.

Lighting and Shading for Film Production WHAT YOU’LL LEARN

What you'll learn

The more you know, the better.

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Arnold for Maya history, Arnold for Maya and its competitors | Integration with Maya | Using the Arnold render view: stocking pictures, IPR, render elements | Simple scene lighting and shading example | Skydive and rect lights | Direct versus Indirect illumination (Global Illumination) | Materials overview | Linear workflow | 32-bits rendering, EXR single and multichannels | Rendering settings, quality versus speed
The quality of lights: big lights vs small lights | Light typologies | Light designations
Arnold for Maya material overview | Opaque materials: diffuse and reflections | Transmissive materials pt1: refractions and caustics | Transmissive materials pt2: sub-surface scattering | Mixing materials, shellac, varnishes and rust | Self illumination | Alterations: anisotropy, bump, normals and displacement
Modeling quality with OpenSubdivs | Depth of field, 3D and 2D solutions | Motion blur, 3D and 2D solutions | Volumetric lighting, fog and light shafts | Ambient occlusion | Render elements, lighting and shading deconstruction | Render layers / setup split | Rendering per light methods | Introduction lighting and shading reconstruction with Nuke
Assemblage | Natural Lighting | Ambient lighting, skydome setup | Monster materials | Building materials | Helicopter materials | FX lighting | Rendering, second try
Analyzing second try rendering issues and finding solutions | Rendering in layers, monster, building, helicopters and effects | Rendering passes, creating the necessary render elements for compositing | Art render elements: GI, lighting, per-light, reflections, speculars | Tech render elements: motion vectors, depth, UVpass, Occlusion, etc | Rendering per light, increasing flexibility during compositing | Stencil masks, mattes and crypto matte solutions, for detailing during compositing | Deep compositing method | Rendering strategies for final rendering: batch rendering or command lines | Final rendering quality settings | Slap compositing with Nuke, create an handover script for the compositing artist | Look up tables, OCIO, color management color workflow in production

Bringing out the best in talent

Frederic is a lead lighting artist and look developer of photo-real effects for movies and commercials. Working in films and commercials for the past 20 years in Los Angeles, London, and Paris, he has had the opportunity to work at Sony ImageWorks, Disney Features Studios, DreamWorks, Jim Henson’s Workshop, the Mill, and Moving Picture Company (MPC), among others. His approach is not only technical but also artistic, as he heavily emphasizes and integrates cinematography aspects into his work. In addition, he has strong a drawing, painting, and photography background, and continues to hone these crafts on a regular basis. He earned his Master of Arts from the Ecole Nationale des Arts Decoratifs (ENSAD) and studied at the Cooper Union in NYC. He is very experienced with RenderMan, Arnold, V-Ray, and Nuke, and has over two decades of teaching experience, most notably at the University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts.


April 21st!

Spring TERM Registration

Feb 8, 2021 - Apr 26, 2021




April 21st!

Pricing & Schedule

Even though our courses are the most affordable for the quality of education.

These Finance Options allow you to focus on your goals instead of the barriers that keep you from reaching them.

Employer Reimbursement

Animation Guild CSATTF

Payment Plan

Companies that hire our students

  • Naughty Dog
  • Luma Pictures
  • Google
  • EA Games
  • DreamWorks Animation
  • Blizzard Entertainment

environment design Benefits


What makes this learning experience unique?

Personal Feedback

Receive personal individual feedback on all submitted assignments from the industries best artist.

1+ Year Access

Enjoy over 365 days of full course access. This includes all lectures, feedback, and Live Q&A recordings.

Certificate of Completion

Earn a Certificate of Completion when you complete and turn in 80% of course assignments.

Flexible Learning

Learn anywhere, anytime, and at your own pace with our online courses.

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