3d animation · 3d Modelling Theory

Week 3: Lightning, Rendering and Compositing


Lighting involves taking the model and applying a source of light to create realistic feel to it. This step should be done carefully as to avoid giving too much light source at the wrong time ruining the feel of the whole scene when animating. The same goes for giving too little light source. With most programs these lighting types are often found, Omni Light, Directional light, Spot Light, Area Light, Volume Light, Ambient Light. Each of these features have a different quality to how the model will look when applied onto it.

I watched the video on 1.5 speed to process it much easier

The video elaborates on which particular techniques are used to apply lighting in the AUTOCAD 3D program. It is shown different colours of lights can effect what mood the scene can give out. The process of rendering is also involved in order to see what the finish product would look like.


Rendering goes along with lighting, as you render the image in order to see how lighting looks in the finished product. There is also in mind that all aspects of the scene, including the models and props, are compressed into one final image when the Rendering commences. According to the article written by Justin Slick on, “What is Rendering?” there are two main types of rendering. These are real time rendering and offline/pre-rendering. The significant qualities that differ the two is that one takes more time than the other.

Real time rendering is preferred in gaming and interactive graphics because the images need to be processed as the game/interactive plays out. Which means everytime someone comes into the world of a game, real time rendering is occuring at the same.

Offline/pre-rendering on the other hand is more used in animation and focuses on quality on how it looks rather than how fast it processes. Naturally since quality is more important this method takes much longer to render.

There are three techniques, two of which are more suited for higher quality visuals. These are; Scanline, Raytracing, Radiosity. Scanline is more fast, therefore more inclined to be used for real time rendering, unlike the other two which are used more to process large well done projects for animation instead.


Compositing is the final stage of 3d production pipeline. Though unlike the other stages in focuses on the 2d aspect of it. It is the process of layering, seperate images to create on final image. In a sense this stage is basically editing, placing layers on the final image to make it look great.

Apa Referencing

Slick, J. (2017). A Guide to 3D Lighting Techniques for Digital Animation. [online] Lifewire. Available at: https://www.lifewire.com/3d-lighting-techniques-2090 [Accessed 9 Mar. 2017].

Slick, J. (2017). What is Rendering?. [online] Lifewire. Available at: https://www.lifewire.com/what-is-rendering-1954 [Accessed 9 Mar. 2017].

Cantor, J. and Valencia, P. (2004). Inspired 3D short film production. 1st ed. Indianapolis, IN: Premier Press, a Division of Course Technology.

Campbell, N. (2017). The Importance of Compositing: A Layer By Layer Breakdown in After Effects | Greyscalegorilla. [online] Greyscalegorilla.com. Available at: https://greyscalegorilla.com/tutorials/the-importance-of-compositing-a-layer-by-layer-breakdown-in-after-effects/ [Accessed 9 Mar. 2017].


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