- Key light creates the
subject's main illumination and defines the dominant angle of the lighting.
- Fill light softens and
extends the illumination provided by the key light and makes more of
the subject visible. The fill light can simulate the effect of
reflected light or of secondary light sources in the scene.
- Back light (rim light,
kicker) creates a defining edge to visually separate the subject from
Three-point lighting technique is used in
traditional photography and cinematography. We use it in computer animation
Link to three-point lighting tutorial
Low key-to-fill ratios (2:1 or less) may be used for
High key-to-fill ratios (8:1 or more) for
- Interior scenes with white or highly
- Cloudy, overcast or snowy outdoor scenes
- Kids' programs with a bright, cheerful
- Night scenes
- Dramatic, suspenseful, or horror scenes.
High/low key lighting
High key lighting is a bright scene in which the frame
is predominantly lighter than medium gray. The environment has a lot of
fill light and a low key-to-fill ratio. See the example below.
Low key lighting is a dark looking environment
without much fill light, and a high key-to-fill ratio (film noir
look). See the example below.
The images are from "Digital
Lighting and Rendering" by Jeremy Birn.