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Mood

Along with color, many aspects of lighting help establish mood. Intensity, direction and angle, number of lights, and shadows all play a major role in defining the mood of the scene. Thinking ahead and collecting references will help you capture the feel that you want for your particular scene. Here are a few screenshots from Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic showing different styles used to create a sense of mood and atmosphere. Figure 7.3 shows a soothing outdoor scene that conveys a sense of calm. Figure 7.4 demonstrates how long shadows set the mood.

Figure 7.3Figure 7.3 A calming outdoor scene using simple, yet effective, lighting.

Figure 7.4Figure 7.4 Long shadows not only add to the atmosphere, but also help break up repetition.

Lighting effects like rays and beams help further define the atmosphere, suggesting humidity, dust, and air quality. Figure 7.5 shows a successful use of light beams in Gladius.

Figure 7.5Figure 7.5 Light beams and rays give clues as to the humidity, dust, and air quality in a scene.

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