Lighting for Film or Video (Lighting & Rendering) Syllabus for 2021-2022
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FLMC-1304-001 Lighting for Film or Video (Lighting & Rendering)


Course Description

Fundamentals of lighting techniques for film or video production with respect to lighting tools, composition, and camera motion to support dynamic storytelling.

Student ResourcesStudent Resources Website

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(3 sem hrs; 2 lec, 3 lab)

Class Type

Online Course

Syllabus Information


Recommended (not required): 

Digital Lighting & Rendering, 3rd Edition

Book by Jeremy Birn



Installed Autodesk Maya with your free Autodesk Edcational account

Autodesk® Maya® 2022 software is supported on the following 64-bit operating systems and at a minimum, requires a system with the following 64-bit hardware:

Operating System
  • Microsoft® Windows® 7 (SP1), Windows® 10 Professional, Windows 10® version 1607 or higher operating system
  • Apple® macOS® 11.x, 10.15.x, 10.14.x, 10.13.x ¹ operating system
  • Linux® Red Hat® Enterprise 7.3, 7.4, 7.5, 7.6, 7.7 WS operating system
  • Linux® CentOS 7.3, 7.4, 7.5, 7.6, 7.7 operating system
  • Nvidia Guide for Virtualization with GRID & VMWare
¹ The Maya 2022 Release Notes describe several known limitations on macOS Catalina.
Browser Autodesk recommends the latest version of the following web browsers for access to online supplemental content:
  • Apple® Safari® web browser
  • Google Chrome™ web browser
  • Microsoft® Internet Explorer® web browser
  • Mozilla® Firefox® web browser

Student Performance

Students Rights and Responsibilities

Student Rights and Responsibilities

Log in using the AC Connect Portal

In order to receive your AC Connect Email, you must log in through AC Connect at .

If you are an active staff or faculty member according to Human Resources, use "Exchange". All other students, use "AC Connect (Google) Email".

Expected Student Behavior

You are expected to watch the weekly class videos during the week they are assigned and complete the assigned homework. Often this involves finishing the course demonstrations. However, if you are not able to keep up with the work, contact the instructor before the week. Missing class for unexpected emergencies will be taken into account. Please discuss it with the instructor.

Grading Criteria

There are 11 Explorations the student is required to submit. 
Each assignment should be uploaded to the individual student folder on Google Drive.

Each assignment is worth 10% of the final grade, with the lowest of all assignments dropped.
Individual assignment rubrics we be available in the Module.


Please watch the online videos in the week they are assigned.


Section Video Title
WEEK 01   
01 - Cinematic Lighting 05 Welcome to Lighting and Rendering
  07 Can Lighting Be Right or Wrong?
  10 How Lighting Affects The Message
  12 The Color Wheel of Emotions
  15 Lighting for Mood
  20 Interpreting Lighting Clues
  30 Lighting For Focus and Meaning
  35 Three Types of Cinematic Lights Part 01
  36 Three Types of Cinematic Lights Part 02
  37 Spielberg on Dramatic Lights
  40 The Key to the Key Light
  45 Fill, Rim and Other Lights
  50 Adding It All Together
  55 Exploring Maya Decay Rate
  60 The Physics of Light
  70 How Light Reacts With Materials
  80 Anatomy of a Shadow
  90 The Beauty of Color Temperature
  100 Direct and Indirect Light
  110 Reading Recommendation Chapter 01
WEEK 02   
02 - Lighting in Maya 10 Getting to Know The Renderers
  20 Ambient Light and Raytraced Shadows
  30 The Scene Scale Pitfall
  40 Maya Directional Light
  50 Maya Point Lights
  60 Realistic Light Decay
  70 Using the Software IPR
  80 Negative Lights and Spotlights
  90 Maya Area Lights
  100 Maya Volume Light
  110 Hardware vs Software Rendering
  120 Reading Recommendation Chapter 02
03 - Welcome to Arnold 10 Autodesk Arnold Sizzle Reel
  20 Arnold Features and Gallery
  30 Preparing Your Scene To Light
  40 The Maya IPR Window
  50 The Arnold IPR Window
  60 Intensity vs Exposure
  70 Arnold Color Temperature
  80 Area Light Shape and Visibility
  90 Area Light Spread and Realism
  100 Light Sampling
  110 Remaining Area Light Attributes
  120 Arnold SkyDome Light
  130 Arnold Mesh Lights
  140 Mesh Lights and Global Illumination
  150 Arnold Photometric Lights
  160 Using Light Portals
  170 Direct Lights with Arnold
  180 Arnold Physical Sky
WEEK 03   
04 - Shadowing 10 Shadows as Depth Cues
  20 Consider Size And Distance
  30 Shadow Scenarios
  40 The Need For aiLightBlockers
  50 Using Light Blockers
  60 What are Light Gobos
  70 Using 3D Geo For Gobos
  80 Spotlight Gobos
  90 Create Your Own Gobos
  100 The Myth of Colored Shadows
  110 Depth Maps and Transparency
  120 Arnold Shadows and Ambient Occlusion
  130 Participating Media
  140 Arnold Fog
  150 Arnold Atmosphere Volume
  160 Dialing In The Look
  170 Separate Atmo Without AOVs
  180 Reading Recommendation Chapter 03
WEEK 04  
05 - Lighting for Effect 10 Aim Constraining Area Lights
  20 Creative One-Point Lighting
  30 Two Point and Light Editor
  40 Bounce Lights vs Reflectors
  50 Three-Point Lighting Part 01
  60 Three-Point Lighting Part 02
  70 Analyzing Rembrandt
  80 Rembrandt Lighting Technique
  90 Analyzing Paramount Lighting
  100 Paramount Lighting Technique
  110 Analyzing Badger Lighting
  120 Badger Lighting Technique
  130 Eye Anatomy and Highlights
  140 Faking Specular Eye Highlights
  150 Using The Link Linker
  160 Double Sunlight Edging
  170 Lighting Transparent Objects
WEEK 05   
06 - Image-Based Lighting 10 What is Image-Based Lighting
  20 HDRI Explained
  30 Analyzing Dynamic Range Part 01
  40 Analyzing Dynamic Range Part 02
  50 Undistorting Fish-Eye Lens Photos
  60 Setting Up HDRI Lighting
  70 HDRI Intensity and Resolution
  80 Additional HDRI SkyDome Attributes
  90 Using the aiShadowMatte
  100 Adjusting the HDRI Scale
  110 Aligning Two Suns
  120 Area and HDRI Studio Lights
  130 Breakdown - Acting The First Six Lessons
  140 Authoring Your Own HDRIs
  150 Lighting With Custom FishEye HDRIs
  160 Reading Recommendation Chapter 04
WEEK 06  
07 - The Basics of Rendering What is Rendering? Biased vs Non-Biased
  CPU vs GPU Rendering
  Pixel Sampling
  Maya Software (MS) vs Hardware (MH) vs Arnold
  Common Rendering settings (all renderers)
  MS - AA and Sampling
  MS - Raytracing
  MH - Performance and Textures
  MH - AO, Fog, Misc
  Arnold - Sampling and Adaptive Sampling
  Arnold - Clamping Range
  Arnold - Ray Depth
  Arnold - Environment
  Arnold - Texture Conversion (TX) files
  Arnold - Subdivision
  Arnold - System Tab
  Reading Recommendation Chapter 09
WEEK 07  
08 - Advanced Rendering Tips Rendering to 8bit vs 16bit vs 32bit
  File formats to store high dynamic range
  Multi-Channel AOV files
  Rendering ColorSpaces
  What are Arbitrary Output Variables?
  Rendering AOVs
  Arnold Diagnostic Tools
  A Disney Guide to Path-Tracing
  2-Week Lighting Project
  Reading Recommendation Chapter 11
WEEK 08   
09 - Basic Light Compositing Working in Nuke and After Effects
  Combining AOVs
  Color Correction and Exposure
  Beauty Passes vs Info Passes
  Working with Object Mattes
  Render Layers
  Separate Light Passes
  2.5D Relighting
  2D Volumetric Lighting
  Reading Recommendation Chapter 12

Additional Information

Syllabus Created on:

01/14/22 1:18 PM

Last Edited on:

01/14/22 2:01 PM