Light Theory: Crash Course on How to Paint Light | Stephanie Böhm | Skillshare

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Light Theory: Crash Course on How to Paint Light

teacher avatar Stephanie Böhm, i'm a Illustrator in the Games industry

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.



    • 3.

      Base Color and Ambient Shadow


    • 4.

      Cast- and Occlusion Shadow


    • 5.

      Reflection Lights


    • 6.



    • 7.

      Highlights and other Finishes


    • 8.

      Bonus Lights


    • 9.

      Homework and Outro


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About This Class

Hello my friend and welcome back to another episode, this time: HOW TO LIGHT!!!!

I love Light! It's like music in a movie. You change the Light/Song and you create a totally different mood. But before we can become playful with light and how to use it for our storytelling (yes yes, i will do this in further episodes), it's necessary to understand the fundamentals of how light is working. So, therefore, I created this course.

I will try to make all this as sweet and as easy as possible for you, ok? A simple (but adorable) Object, step by step progress and examples all over the place. 

May this Video be "delightful" for you.



Meet Your Teacher

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Stephanie Böhm

i'm a Illustrator in the Games industry


Hi there, nice to have you here.

My Name is Stephanie, I am a professional Artist. An Illustrator and Character Designer and i like to work for games: Video games, Card games, Roleplaying games, Boardgames....and Comics (I'm working on my first one right now...... uhhhhhh exciting)

I am born and raised in Germany, thats why I have an accent and make many mistakes (sorry guys). Right now I live in France with my three-legged dog (actually he has 4 legs, but he use only 3) and my beloved one (who is also making games but as a publisher and writer....and he is a musician....and a feminist...and he makes delicious Quenelle....he is great, really ). I'm learning right now french with his 99 years old grandma (just to say it again...99(!!!!) years......she is amazing).... See full profile

Level: Beginner

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1. Intro: - thing way. So this time I want to speak about lie it. We already spoke in my last episode a bit about light, but fall a few readies will still be too cloudy and imitating. I created this course It is fully committed to light because we can't make any painting without having a solid knowledge about light. So therefore, I created this course today to show you on a simple, charming object How a basic light set up is looking OK, I would say it and we're ready to go. 2. Wopwopwop: What is it? 3. Base Color and Ambient Shadow: and here we go again. This time, Eliphas Happiness we have a shape on. Do they have a color? And if you watched my video, how to Ryner, then you already know how we call this color. It is the base color. It all has many different names, like object color, flett color, probably there even more. The base color is the simple color. Without influence off, any light or shadow suggest the color of the object itself. In the next step, we will give our object a background. So we have a room, an environment where our object can relate to. And now where we have this environment, our object needs to fit in this in Roman and therefore I create ambient shadow, and cases are still a little bit cloudy for you to understand. Let's imagine our lemon gets thrown in jail to make our lemon fitting, noted its environment. We have to give it a more greenish dark tone. It's oh, this'll time before dilemma in the fireplace and therefore, yes, you get it dark, reddish, ambient, techno so that it's clear so far. Then let's continue. Probably you ask us. So that's a fairly I didn't know. Sorry, he don't speak like this. Why is this Ambien shadow so warm? When this other examples it was more closer to the background, You know, the dark red and that are creating. So and shouldn't it be more gray? Um U s um, Yeah, yeah, yes. So you can probably uses a better answer. You can. So let's have a look. So this was our his color. Okay. It's okay. Our background is more crayfish, so we would need to be more de saturated for sure. And because it's a shadow for sure. Awesome. More dark. So probably something like this. OK, and then we have okay, difference is not very strong. A levy go bit more. Yeah, well, you more in this direction. And you already noticed. Probably. This is not, in fact, wrong, but it looks not so nice. It looks like a bit moly. Another thing s world. I see very off them when people paint their shadows to just take their tone that they had, but just making it darker and more great. And, you know, they become very crazy. Muddy, buried. Very not so not a nice looking. That's why I took this good. That's nice. Uh um Yeah. So here we would have based home. So we're still a bit de saturated it in for sure. It's darker, but really everything more in the warm direction. So just for a bit more relation to not make everything so tone in tone on bringing a little bit more rye brands in our colors. Okay, Since I don't wrong that you see only example said I paid I also want to show you some examples from movie screen caps. Yeah, I will do it is not over with all those things. We speak here. So what now? We have immune light. So here we have examples from the cure. Six Great movie. I liked it a lot. Okay, let's start with this very cozy scene. We asked my pash. Yes, OK, we have to super cozy, happy and thinking Room was filled with warm sunlight. So if we go now, if the color picker through it If you hear this, this is made share. Sorry. Um okay. We have everywhere, um, colors in this very wrong range of yellows of reds. Also him, for sure so And also even in the docks. So we are here to give it a contrast example. We have here this on tragical after a fight scene with the reactor on. And so here our ambience shadow. It is very de saturated blue. Okay, Syria, He and we're always in scale, very de saturated, even his arm or his rent. But even this red are more. Uh, it's not a warm read. It is a cold move, bluish red and also very de saturated. So the General Ambien off this way, Roman. It's also de saturating and gluing, if it can say so on the red of his amour. This was Marty, my dog. Sorry. Okay. 4. Cast- and Occlusion Shadow: So are they really our base with the shadow? Now we can bring into the light so we have to slide coming from the top. And I want that this light is the strongest lie that is hitting my object and therefore it will be my main light source and ren re air flight for sure that it also creates shadow. So let's go on with their shadow our object will create on the environment. Constructing a shadow can be super frustrating and annoying that in fact, praying at the honor is very simple actually. So light is always going linear, so you can imagine it. You light is building a clock a shape and you just continue this outside lines off your light along the object and the area in between will be you shadow. Okay, now something exercise. I'm made to this photo so we can exercise a bit. How to paint shadow I would put to sea in the corner. So this is the sketch fizz if all for sure we will pretty into some night. So the light is going like this And now I will construct the first shadow and therefore I'm using right now the pentacle. Just so it is more usual for you guys. So I connect this thought here from the lamp with this corner off this picture frame. And then I have already my first starting point for the shadow and then going on to complete this shape. Now, year correct. On and in between there will be shadow and the same thing also, foot on the line. Okay, so you see, it is this kind of construction and now the next wrong same concert. Also here they have to make this a little bit talker. Also hear from the lamb along this point. Okay? This year is not so well visible that this lamp is on the same height level than this box. It's not looking like this on the photo, but believe me, in reality, it's on the same level. So it's right. It's cheddar is like this. And this is also the reason why I would highly recommend you when you make studies and you have to opportunity then make studies from real life and not from photos. Because what has changed a lot they change the way how we look on it. Prospective eyes, they change color they changed aluminum's itself. Go a free life. If you have to a parent, it's their better choice. Okay, so I think he is a good example to just constructed point for point. So we have to first starting point in the upper left corner re continue with the lower right point came making shadow till there and then until the other, lower right point and then to the lower left back point. Ok? Sound any false that this button and staying on the top. So this side off the bookshelf is not directly in life. It gets a bit off light from the top and then the shadowy in the corner I and then we have this box here. Okay, they're considers books is overlapping the bookshelf. So we have to try anger under the books and noted bookshelf itself. So I just in generally make it dark. No. Okay, we can see you already on. The books are illuminated. Tell a certain point, but because it's light from the top three of a small Cordy ation you and also the same but on the other side. So now it gets a little bit tricky how to construct this shadow here. These are the books, and this is the angle from the light going inside and therefore it's creating this try angle here on the site. Okay, so this just is a small exercise, and I can hide Recommend to do this by year. So choose a corner in your room, sit down and observe the shadows that you have there and reconstruct them. We have two qualities of shadow. We have two strong, very big here on. We have to smudge stock around directly under the lemon. Okay, let's start with the big one. This is called a cast shadow, because it is the shadow that get cast from object on the ground. And then we have to swear e dark shadow. We had a less light possible is coming in between where to surf hazels are touching each other. And this is called the occlusion shadow. So the darkest shadow that we normally have just to be sure he an example for cast shadow and occlusion shadow on my wonderful Marty. Okay, so, Okonjo, I will make him Plec. We have this now here on the him for sure, we would also on his leg under his nose. All the things word. That's not the point. You re just be quiet now about shadow on the ground, okay? And then we have to cost shuttle. You remember the shadow? Get cast from the object on the crowd. Okay, let's say we have here the sun and then Marty route cast a shadow on the ground like this. So far, so good. And now I'm happy staying. Marty. So we have this occlusion shadow directly under hiss part parts and then render son is directly over him. He would cast a shadow under the ground. And then we have the cert example off superhero Marty. OK, It was under coaching. I should find something else that the Babar Babar Burns super debate the okay. We don't have, in fact, an occlusion shell here because he is no touching the ground. We have only a cost Cetto. Of course, this is looking like a debt wrecked that gets hit from the car on the street, Boof. Yeah, anyway, OK, so these early to kind of shadows our object is creating. Let's go on a grifter. Shadows insight Our example. It's a round object. The light is hitting the top so it illuminates the upper health and the lower health in the world. Is this right? It illuminates our object till here and then creation wise, it becomes more and more, doctor. 5. Reflection Lights: But now something is happily. Why is he here? I think you need to be higher. Why is here also light? So this is because the light is also illuminating the ground. And it's now reflecting back on the object. And this light gets called bounds or reflected light and other kind of reflection. Lied is from the environment around us. It is a bit life, but can you see the kree here? So let's sing a little bit crazy. Great. Read we have Great. Uh oh, our ramen, for sure. Yes, in the same ray, how we have MBN shadow. We have also ambient light. Ah, So this is a reflection off the ambient light from the in Roman on our object. And it's again, something with a lot of names. MBN surround environmental light. But since we have already and B and shadow probably it's easier to remember when we speak and also from ambient light. Bob leaders were still a little bit too irritating for you. So let me just give you, um and I will tell you something. Okay, So the sunlight, it is hitting the ground and then reflecting back. So you have to know this reflection. Light is less strong at a reflection so less intense. Okay, now let's bring a little bit and Rome, and in two days no thing is happening. We have to sunlight from the top and the color off the sunlight get mixed with the color off the grout, and also because he said this before the reflected light. This less intense. So it's a mixture of colors, is also less intense, and this mixture off colors and light, is what you call the immune light, and it's now reflecting in the environment. So on tree on the on the tree trunk, you know, just everywhere, and then for sure, we do the same thing again, and the color from this will be our bounce light, that receipt and on object and the same thing again in the trunk. And and for sure, we have also as guy. So let's say we have a nice sunny day, so you have a nice blue sky, and this guy is now reflecting everywhere. So because it is a secondary light, um, you will only see it and shadow and probably you already realised on a sunny day and you outside and you see the areas that are hitting from the sunlight ASAP of Wallman and the shadows A quite bluish compared to this. This is because this guy is reflecting in shadow. That's why they have it more. So we have to this plume in the tree in CREss. You know all this, so don't get too overwhelmed from this. I mean, this is a huge, chaotic mess because everything is reflective of everything. And you have billions off colors and reflections going on without your eyes even noticing them. Um, so this should just help you to understand the concept off Indian light and how it's looking after his explanation. I hope you will be no more irritated and before, So let's break it again now and bring it on the lemon. She we have now a red underground. Let's pretend it's paper or something like this. OK, so we have the light is coming from here hitting to serve phase, and now the light will mix. Lift the color off the surface. And not only this. After the reflection, the light issues ing on intensity. So we have less intensive version with the both colors mixed that are now going on the lemon and creating this red light. We can also change the color. So if we look now here on this watch, she does blue. It's very high saturated, very intense. Here we're now in the green range and it is also much more de saturated. So the flu and the yellow yellow from the lemon get mixed and also de saturated. Because unless intense all these kind off lights, we can croup them together as secondary lights. Re remember again at the beginning, our main a light source. Okay, May lighters, secondary light source main light sources a super strong and powerful. And then they illuminate our object. It's already so bright we can't see our second. That relies because it's already so strong illuminated. They're so that means secondary lights are only visible in shadows. That's an important quote. Remember it tendered on your foot? No, don't do this, But yeah, this is important. Okay. And again, our movie examples this time riff reflection lights. Okay, so starting here we have here the late afternoon, so we have to sunlight coming from here, illuminating this health side and then reflecting back on this health site so Oh, so all is illumination year. It's not coming from a direct sunlight, but from it on direct reflection off the sunlight from this house side to this house site. Okay. Still the same movie. Okay, we have, um we have tired sunlight on him through this window here, and this life is also eliminating the wall. He on the side, and this one is reflecting back on him. Another street example. We have to swarm areas here from the direct sunlight. And in contrast, we have two shadows that are more bluish because they're a reflection from this guy. So Okay, poor wife, stroke on bet. Still, it's here in the warm scale And this street, it's here in a bluish scale because it's a reflection from this guy. So we changed a movie this time. It's more on that. We have room light on her that's coming later. Um, we have this stronger red areas. A lot of face for sure, too. So we don't have a direct sunlight on her is behind. These are reflections from him. So some it is hitting him and reflecting back on here. Okay, so these are the warm lights on her and for sure we have also, um you this colder nights and again we have to Slater Afternoon. The sun is very deep. Can think now this can be a reflection from this guy. Or a reflection from the water. So recovered already A lot to you, huh, Bob? Only you want tohave a small break. Have a coffee, a snack, something like this. Just free for a moment. And when you already the Enrico on with the next steps. 6. Material: and you can't make a study of an object of without taking in account the material of the object. It's changing every thing. Every material this acting different rendered comes to reflection when the surface often material is very smooth. Then we have a lot of reflections when the surface is rarely rough. And then we have unless, for example, my glass is dirty year but strongly reflective. Okay, because class very smooth surface. Um um, my sweater rare you off. I'm not so strong reflecting a lemon even has the small holds lettuce very smooth in their surface. Our crown. Right now it's not very defined. So it's something, Let's say medium reflective, like paper. Let's given example off something hyper strong, reflective. The rocket plates build out of porcelain aid. Okay, I don't think it's really postulate. Tahar. Mick. Okay, so there's very strong reflective, so things like parceling Keramik class for sure, polished metal. So all these kind of things very strong reflected on because it is so strongly because it is a strong reflective. The reflection on our object will be also different than normal. Right now it will b'more black meets OK, soup, upright and much more white in it because off the white off the plate. So this just has a few words about material. So when you try something, keep in mind that not everything is looking the same. Um, yes. It's very often when people painting. Ah, let's say a character. Okay, so you paint a character and you have you have skin. For sure you have hair. You have different kind of close bill out of different materials. Probably. You have a fighter with a great arm or or, you know, whatever. So on a lot of people, painting everything like it is made out off the same material. So the quality off light and shadow is everywhere the same. So don't do this. Just make a research. Make make some quite some references. You know, just google it. Just make a few studies, and then you will get a feeling for okay, it looks different. Okay, so take this in account. It will improve your art or a lot If you're not already, do it. Do it. Taken in a coat 7. Highlights and other Finishes: Let's go on with our object. What we have now is more dark spots. Probably you can remember we already had something about the darkest cheddar Were quite less light. Is coming in on the floor on the hour lemon and the name for this walls. It was not very inter tastic. I will do this again. Okay, The name Waas, Occlusion Shadow, right? So when we have an occlusion cheddar on the ground for sure, we also have an occlusion shadow on our watch. So far, we had reflection light from our environment on our object and for sure when our environment is on, um is infecting, influencing difference were not. Our environment is influencing our object that for sure the same thing is also working in the other way around. So our object is influencing our environment. We also have reflection lights from our object on the environment. Our cost shadow has no more pride nous and wolf in it. And this is a little bit tricky, but also not so much because we had the same thing already before or if the bounce like from the crown on the object. So it is a lie. I'm hitting the ground and poof hitting the object. So our bowels reflect tonight that we have here, and this is no also reflecting back on the crown else. Because reset this reflection. Lights are not as strong as our main light. We see this only in shadow. So this yellow here is not visible. This'd yellow here is not visible in the already illuminated area off the ground that will now illuminate our shadow. Huh? Ok, this wells. Yeah, it's also complicated. It's just it's a little bit when you play billiard, you No, no, Mr Lift the ball and its theme next point is something super satisfying to do it is to highlight it is the direct nearer reflection from the light source on the object. It makes our objects more popping out. It gets it already more alive feeling, you know, for example, when you draw a portrait, so and then you make this like reflection dots in the eyes and suddenly bad your face looks so much more alive. So that's what I mean. It is so satisfying. It's just a small points here and there. But suddenly it feels so much more. Uh oh, yeah. Great. Uh, Yeah, Yeah, You get what I mean. Right? And also the quiet thing with the highlight, it is explaining the texture off your material. So here, for example, I meet several small adults, and it helps directly to understand which kind off material our lemon is made off. So this is now our basic set off light and shadow. 8. Bonus Lights: as the last thing for today. I want to show you two special lights. Okay, so two more and then be a doctor. So the first room, the beautiful room light. So the light situation is that we have a light source behind our object that it's illuminating this etch and it really helps to make our figure popping out from the background. So it haps and make it look more more street the light and not so flat. It's something that you have a lot in movies and photography, especially when your background is very new wise, quite close to your object. Then it's really practical. To use is to really make a difference between object and background sewn for the last one. It will stay with the same light situation. So lights it was pointy object. But to exchange the material to a material dozens more transparent, more translucent. So the light can shine through this material and therefore we have to be a little bit radical. Oh, uh, can we please see this backcourt again? Yeah, and stop! Do you see this light reflection here? This is the highlight. And do you also see that it makes oldest bombs and risi because of this texture after lemon . Okay. No, no, we can move forward again. So now we have a lemon slights. Or if this more transform into material insight, this is the light situation. Like the light is coming from here. Like we had it before. And now we will put on the light behind the object. So we have this. The light is passing through here. Unless through here, because he the material is thicker. And for this is absorbing the light. And we have also much more luminant and color off the lemon in our shadow because the light is shining through. I was a good example for this. Ah, Okay. Uh, I guess the best way would be if you try this by yourself. So, techno, your smartphone Activate your flashlight on Ben. Hold it against your hand and then try a little bit around with the distance. So a little bit more far away, opening your fingers and then you see this room light, you know you're out, it just are eliminated, and then you go closer and then you see these, um, this very strong saturated, let very strong, saturated red light that is coming because the light is going inside out itself. Got its eye on through your skin and illuminating the part that is your hand. So and the elimination and reflection off the plant is what receive them here? Yes, they're very red, Chloe color. So this affect this light gets called sub surface scattering. And for sure also examples for our special lights Pictures from who Go? Uh, you have a room like tear explaining her silhouette very nicely in front of the dark background. So King Kong Movie year, We have good example off room light again explaining hiss, See, Do it against the background. That would be other rise super close to him. I mean, he would always not be readable at all. Here we have a picture from Ray from Star Wars. We have room light behind her and hear her ear where our skin is very thin, gets eliminated from behind. And we have this very nice subsurface scattering effect and Quentin Tarantino inglorious bastards and again the same thing rim light from here, explaining his CDO it against the dark background. And we have a nice subsurface scattering on his ear and we have some lies just to say it again. We have some nice reflections because the table gets eliminated and it's reflecting back on his skin and eliminating his hand and his face here. 9. Homework and Outro: and now it's you turn also called homework, so please make a study at least run bonus points if you know more. And for your knowledge, it would be pretty cool if you didn't warn and just want. So take an object from your environments like this coffee cup, for example, and make a study. And don't make just a copy off what you think. No, really think about it. Question yourself. Why, it's light here. Reds coming from Why is it looking like this? Why it's a shadow looking like this, and the more often you will do this, the more you will understand light and how it's working. And the more you actual paintings rule in proof of this and that, said this waas my demonstration, how to create a basic light sitting. I hope you can now understand more how light it's working and rights to eagles Great things on. Now we're coming from this to this I've only like in It's for more. Yeah, so this walls today's episode I hope you enjoyed it and if so, then please follow me here on skills here and also follow me on Instagram to be app today. But I'm doing right away. I will. So amazed by everyone. We're sending me a message to show me the pictures they're working on. Look, this is what I done with you. Cores. It's It's amazing. It's so great. It really made my day. So thank you. Rare you much. It was great. Please don't stop doing it. So if you have to show something, please do it here in the particulary or do it on social media and then use the hashtag skill share hipster funny or take my name so that I can see it. And I was for sure. If you have any questions, also get Shin's. Don't hesitate to send me a message. Yeah, Okay. That's it. Uh, drink more lemon water because it is surprisingly delicious. I guess it is not a secret. I guess everyone noticed already, but yeah, when I was more thinking this hot and now it's cold and it's it's great. Yeah. Okay. Drink lemon order and have a beautiful day And see you next time. All right,