Plan light sources


Consider the following when planning the lights in your scene.

The purpose of light sources

Character or object illumination typically includes the following lights:

The characteristics of light sources

Consider the following characteristics of a light source when planning your scenes.

Softness or hardness

Hard light produces sharp shadow lines. Hard light sources typically include light bulbs, bright sun, and flash lights.

Soft light is diffused and produces soft edges. Soft light sources typically include light shining through fabric (like drapes), reflected light, or sunlight diffused through clouds.


Color and temperature are closely related. A red spot light shining on a blue object may make it look black. Some common objects, like street lamps may be tinted yellow.


Soft orange light feels warmer than blue-green light.


The intensity of a light source is how bright it is. For example, bright high-noon sunlight usually is more intense than a small electronic LED. The intensity with which a light illuminates a subject appears to lessen (or decay) as the subject moves farther away from the light.


Lighthouse lights rotate. Flashlights might swing from a rope.

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