Itchy Animation – Light, A Detailed Tutorial

This is a useful source of information on lighting. Even though we’re going for a fantasy feel it’s still good to know about realistic lighting set ups.

These are my notes from Yot’s tutorial:

  • Natural Light: mostly affected by scattering and cloud cover. Sunlight is scattered by air molecules. The thicker the atmosphere it has to travel through the more the light is scattered. Translucency of clouds diffuses light. Blue is scattered more as it has shorter wavelengths. Red has longer wavelengths and is scattered less, therefore the light is warmer at the beginning and end of the day when the sun is low and the light has a thicker atmosphere to travel through.


  • Midday sunshine: light is at it’s whitest and strongest. Contrast is high.


  • Late afternoon/early evening: the light is starting to get warmer. Sky becomes a deeper blue. Colours appear more saturated. Yellow highlights are close to complimentary colour of blue shadows.


  • Sunset: light is a deep orange or red colour. Light has softer contrast. The light is weaker therefore sky colour affects shadows more. Long shadows and apparent textures. Clouds are lit from below and can affect colour of sky. Sunsets vary in colour.


  • Dusk: The sun is not above the horizon so the source of light is coming from the sky. Soft contrast and delicate colours. Sometimes an alpenglow occurs which can cast a pink light on reflective objects. Non reflective surfaces become dark.


  • Open shade: The sky is main source of illumination, therefore the light is blue. Diffuse light with soft shadows. Shadows are illuminated by the scattered light from the atmosphere.


  • Overcast: soft contrast, high saturation of colour. Light is white and bluer toward sunset but colour can vary. Reflections can be broad and soft.


  • Bright overcast: some directional sunlight creates stronger shadows.


  • Broken cloud, stormy light, dappled light: broken cloud covers blue fill light but allows bright sunshine through gaps in clouds.


Images from

Yot, R. 2008. Light – a detailed tutorial. [Online]. [Accessed on 15 April 2015]. Available from:

His book also looks to be worth reading:

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