Cinematic Lighting for Portraits and Characters

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Okay, when considering drawing portraits, you need a few key ingredients you need good structural, sculptural drawing with planes, good values, good descriptions, you need good painting technique. And then you need lighting. Really lighting is essential because it helps you tell the story, or the emotion that you're trying to put forward. Whether it's Moody, sad, happy, mysterious, lighting is essential. And it puts another level of interest into your painting and helps it really sink. So what I'm doing here in Photoshop is just putting the character into shadow, as if we turned off the lights and then we turn on the lights and so I'm turning on the lights through painting on the lights basically.

And the first lighting scenario we're going to do is butterfly lighting and where the light is dreaded overhead and just a little bit in front, and you get this nice butterfly shape under the nose, you get shadows in the eyes under the chin directly down, butterfly lighting. Now, the second one we're going to do get, we put it in shadow, and then we paint on the lights. And that's loop lighting and you get kind of a loop shadow under the nose. And that's why it's called loop lighting and we're moving the light to slightly to the right each time. So a lot of times artists, you won't know how to light a character. And it really limits your ability to create and problem solve.

Because artists don't know what the photographer's know and that's how to light a person because they have lights in the studio and they move them around. And so photographers are really good to learn from and so that's loop lighting. Okay, and I put a little bit of light on the background to pop the character off the background. So this next one is called Rembrandt lighting. It's really made famous because of the painter Rembrandt. And he did those spiritual paintings as glowy light type of paintings, which characterizes this lighting scenario is that the shadow up the nose comes and kind of touches the shadow on the cheek and creates a triangle shape on the infrared orbital triangle area under the eye.

And that's probably my favorite one. I'm using the realistic charcoal brush in Photoshop from I think Jamie Jones his brushes. And I'm also doing another thing in here that's called a rim light. You can see the camera left, there is a light up camera and it's lighting up and cutting out along the perimeter of the character along the edge along the rim. So it's called the rim light And that helps, again, make the thing a little more 3d. Okay, it's a technique you can use and you see it all the time, actually, in concept art, it's a good thing to know why it's there.

So this next one is called split lighting. Again, we have rim light camera left, we've moved the light just a little bit more to the right and you get half half half light and half in dark called split lighting. Okay, and then the next one, I think is top lighting. And that's heavy shadows on the eyes heavy under the nose, and chin. Almost backlighting, but you've got now something called a hair light that photographers use, and it's creating a rim light around the hair just to light up the hair, shoulders and pop the character off the background. Great look to that.

Then we've got bottom or horror lighting. So now the light is moved underneath the character It's lighting up all the planes that are usually dark. Now we see them as having light on them. It's pretty spooky. And that's the name horror lighting. So I think I'm going to introduce a rim light as well in this one and that rim light usually lights the character either from left or right or both sides along the rim.

If it's really strong and intrudes on to the side planes of the face, it's called a kicker in photography, kicker light. Okay, so the last one is called backlighting that's like if you meet someone on the street, and they're just a total silhouette with the street light behind them or car headlights behind them. Great fact I love this one. So I'm using a green light here and just hitting the the silhouette of the character and then creating a little bit of kind of opportunity for some diffuse lights. So we have hard and soft edges, which creates interest. And at first I put the light on top which is, which is wrong, it's backlighting.

So I'm going to change that put the light behind the character, and then put some little special effects there that you'll see with a soft airbrush. And that's just really flat, dark value without much modulation in the tones of the values of the features. And so it's a flat, dark on a dark background, or the background can be medium dark or just gray. So it could be gray or black and the character is just just almost flat. No detail whatsoever, just a little bit. And that gives you that effect of meeting someone in an alleyway at nighttime, or just a mysterious being you're not really sure who it is.

And so it's it's great if you if you're telling a story Have intrigue or you want to set up a question to be answered later. So that's backlighting. So that's dark figure on black or medium gray background. Really good stuff. Gotta love it. And that is it.

Okay, I really hope you enjoyed this video where we covered lighting for portraiture and character design. As painters. We covered seven different light scenarios, including butterfly loop, Rembrandt, split, top bottom and backlighting. I really think these are going to improve your painting, make them a lot more interesting to look at and sort of advance your storyline in your painting. Okay, and that's what you want. You want people to hang around your painting, because it's just so good.

All right, so happy painting. I hope you enjoy this. We will see you in the next video. Okay, bye

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