Lighting, Rendering, and Compositing in a 3D Production Pipeline

For this Blog post, I will be talking about Lighting, Rendering, and Compositing that are phases involved in a 3D Production Pipeline, I will also be providing visuals for examples.

Lighting (7th phase of a 3D production pipeline)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Destiny the Game:

– Lighting is a major key in making your 3D models/scenes come to life, digital lights must be placed in the mode/scene for illumination to take place. You will have to consider how to bring together all the elements that you have created from the start. You will have a broad range of responsibilities, including placing lights, defining light properties, defining how light interacts with different types of materials, the qualities and complexities of the realistic textures involved, and how the position and intensity of lights affect mood and believability.


Pratik Gulati ( June 9, 2010) Step-by-Step: How to Make an Animated Movie–cg-3257

Justin Slick (October 20, 2016) Introducing the Computer Graphics Pipeline ( The 6 Phases of 3D Production)

Rendering (8th phase of a 3D production pipeline)


– 3D rendering is the process of creating a 2D image or video from a 3D model using 3D computer graphic rendering software. It essentially refers to the translation of a 3D scene to a finalized two-dimensional image. It is quite technical because it is the final process of creating the actual 2D image or animation from the finished scene. There are two methods in Rendering:

Real-time Rendering

– In real-time rendering, the goal is to show as much information as possible as the eye can process in a fraction of a second in one frame. Usually runs a  minimum rendering speed of 24 frames per second, as that is the minimum the human eye needs to see to successfully create the illusion movement.It is calculated at the instant you ask for your whatever solution to generate the images.

 Offline Rendering

–  Offline Rendering, also known as “Pre-rendering) is not submitted to the time constraint. Basically, a scene is prepared and then a series of pictures is generated and ultimately assembled into a sort of video clip that then is view (“offline”).


Josh Petrie (February 11, 2014) What is the difference between “offline” and “real time” rendering?                    Wikipedia

Composting (9th phase of a 3D production pipeline)

cduvumdueaaz2raDaenerys Targaryen from Game of Thrones with her dragon, before and after CGI

–  3D compositing is a process by which various elements, often including both live action film footage or photographs and virtual computer-generated images, are layered and composited together into a single image or scene. It is the final phase in the 3D Production Pipeline. 3D compositing often differs from two-dimensional or 2D compositing in a way which the different layers can be made to interact and more realistically affect each other. The use of 3D compositing allows the separate layers from different sources to be pieced together in a way that allows the elements to overlay and interplay more realistically.

Deep Compositing

Stampede shot from the movie Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter: 

–  At its core, deep compositing is a different way of rendering and working with visual elements. Rather than layering a series of flat 2D renderings of 3D imagery one on top of another, It aims to provide a channel of data in the rendered image that defines not a single Z depth for a point in the image, but rather an array of values that defines how say the fog density changes in front and behind a point in space represented at a pixel value.


G. Wiesen (February 14, 2017)  What is 3D Compositing?

Mike Seymoure (February 27, 2014) The art of deep compositing


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: