Wotcha think you're doin' here then? You think you can just waddle in like that, do ya?

This here, laddie, is a top-secret Brickspace testin' ground. Yup, thassright. So you'd better geddout before someone sees ya pokin' around...

Tuesday, 11 November 2008


Lighting is key to any picture, whether Lego or not. In this quick tutorial, our admin John will explain to you the basics of lighting and an introduction to one, two, three and also four-point lighting systems.
Whenever I see a Brickfilm on YouTube, my perspective of it is not based on whether there are some good fight scenes in it, or cool minifigs and sounds and modded guns from BrickArms. I see the Brickfilm as it was made: with lights, cameras, and a script. Lighting is essential in ALL Brickfilms and pictures taken of your lego creations, for if it wasn't very good, you wouldn't be able to see the creation at all! My colleague Luke, as some of you may know, is forever criticizing otherwise-good creations because of their lighting and picture quality.
So, let's get our equipment together. To start, let's get ourselves two angle-poised desk lamps, preferably with daylight bulbs, but halogen is OK. You'll also need a stable table (ha ha that rhymes), a DECENT camera, and some willing lego subjects. Please note not to use any bulbs over 50W (50 Watts), because you might melt your lego. No, really!
Ok, let's get started. Turn on your first lamp, on the left. Ta-dah! You've created light! Now take a picture of your lego subject (in this case, Mr Johnson, a famous lego figure).
Hmm. This picture is OK. The lighting really isn't good enough, there are huge drop shadows on Mr Johnson and half of Mr Johnson's body is obscured in a dark cast shadow. Let's improve this... by turning on the next light! Mwa ha ha!
Ok, this is looking great now! Mr Johnson is nice and bright, the colours are vibrant and he's not in the shade anymore! By adding in another - opposite - light, we've cancelled out the shadows made by the first one, and our picture is starting to take shape! Wa-hoo!
Now, you could leave it there, but take a look at the table behind Mr Johnson. Doesn't it look a bit orange? Well, that's caused by the two halogen bulbs. Halogen bulbs give off yellow-orange light that can cause colour problems. The chances are, the bulbs in your lights are halogen. To fix this, you can use daylight bulbs - bulbs with a 'white' light. 
So let's add a third light into our setup: a small one, this time, but still as powerful. It doesn't matter whether it's halogen or daylight.
And....BANG! Our image comes alive! Mr Johnson is glittering in the glow of the third light, which adds more light to the setup and also gets rid of any unwanted shadows. The third light can also be used to illuminate the background.
Add in a fourth light and you have the ultimate in lighting layouts. Though a fourth light can be placed anywhere, the main idea in a fourth light is to properly illuminate the background which, in this picture, is not really the best idea. The fourth light should be placed on the other side of the subject to the third light, the same distance away. However this light is pointed at the background, whereas the third light is pointed at the subject.

Well I hope that helps you in your quest for the ultimate lego pic! Good luck!
-John, Admin

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