3D Production Pipeline – Part Three


For the 3D scenes to really take effect, digital lights must be placed into the said scenes. It illuminates the models, exactly as lighting rigs would work on a movie set, bringing out the actors and actresses. This is probably one of the most technical phase of the pipeline production (after rendering). There is a strong amount of artistry involved in this step.

– Proper lighting – it is important that the lighting is realistic enough that it’s believable to the audience, but dramatic enough to bring out the director’s vision.

– mood matters – the lighting to each scene will help the desired mood that the director intended, it gives control over the textures painters when it comes to the important details of colour scheme, mood and the atmosphere.

-Back and Forth – the texture and lighting artists work very closely together as communication between them is important. If something doesn’t work right then it will send off the wrong mood or feel to the 3D animation.

Lighting allows to you to control everything in the scene, from where the sun will be placed to the light glow of a night light in a child’s bedroom. In the lighting step of the 3D pipeline production you control most if not all light elements in the scenes and shots of the production. The skill of lighting in a 3D modelling would become easier the more the skill is practiced as it can portray the exact feel you want to give your audience.


Rendering and lighting are very similar as rendering can actually texture some parts of the 3D model. In rendering your scene is taken (or what your camera sees) and crop files for a variety of uses (e.g. final shot, the animation, etc.). Rendering varies in time limits, it all depends on: the quality of the render, the complexity of your scenes and how strong the computer that is being used.

The steps in rendering are:

– set up an environment
– tweak the render settings to add shadows
– adjust the quality until you get your desired end result.

Rendering refers to the process of building output files from computer animations. When rendering an animation, the program used to make it, takes the components, variables and actions in the said animated scene. It then builds a viewable result for an audience. Rendering can start from a single image to multiple images/frames saved singularly and how strong the computer that is being used is.


Compositing uses multiple sources to integrate images into a single and flawless whole. Most of these techniques are used on still images, we will mostly be focusing on the tools and methods used which are helpful and reasonable for large amounts of images.

Some of composting layers involve, both live-action footage or photographs and virtual computer-generated images which are then put together and composited into a single image/scene. This type of compositing creates still images that have different components into a single image. This can sometimes be used in post-productions of film and or television programs to composite different layers into the video sequence. 3D compositing is can be different to 2D compositing in a way where the layers can interact to give a more realistic effect on each other.

There are 3D compositing software which has input from warious sources. Usually involves multiple input files (Still images, video files, etc) that are assembled and layered during the process. An example of this is the assembly of an image characterizing a boat floating on water, in front of a cliff. It can be as detailed as having other cliffs, clouds and other background images as desired. The final image would have everything together in a single, flawless image (though each part would have it’s own source).


Boudon, G. (2013). How Does a 3D Production Pipeline Work. Digital-Tutors Blog. Retrieved 12 March 2015, from http://blog.digitaltutors.com/understanding-a-3d-production-pipeline-learning-the-basics/

Brinkmann, R. (1996). Digital Compositing. Retrieved 13 March 2015, from http://www.mlab.uiah.fi/touch/DCN/DC.html

Sanders, A. (2015). In Computer Animation, What is Rendering?. Retrieved 13 March 2015, from http://animation.about.com/od/faqs/f/In-Computer-Animation-What-Is-Rendering.htm

Slick, J. (2015). An Introduction to the 6 Phases of 3D Production.About.com Tech. Retrieved 12 March 2015, from http://3d.about.com/od/3d-101-The-Basics/tp/Introducing-The-Computer-Graphics-Pipeline.htm

Weisen, G. (2015). What is 3D Compositing. Retrieved 13 March, 2015, from http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-3d-compositing.htm


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