Undergraduate Degree



DT2005 Lighting and Rendering Pipeline

[Studio Contact Hours: 39 hours; Pre-requisites: NIL; Academic Unit: 3.0]




Academic Unit


3 ​AU

Course Description

Learning Objective

To deliver to the students a practice-based introduction to basic CG lighting and rendering techniques and enable them to become familiar with the effect that lighting and rendering have upon the emotional ambiance of a scene.


This course covers the fundamentals of lighting and rendering a CG scene modelled in 3D. The basic types of lights and lighting techniques are covered from both the technical and creative point of view. A variety of shading, texturing and rendering approaches are reviewed and the different effects that they can achieve is examined. The course will cover basic CG lighting, rendering terminology, various types of rendering materials, render formats and shader format, such as Phong, Blinn, Anisotropic and others. Traditional photo and film lighting techniques will also be studied.

Course Outline




• Introduction to the course

2 - 6

• Fundamentals of lights and photography

• Studio lighting (three point lights)

• Colour

• Digital materials and textures 

• Rendering 

• Intro to final assignment


• Mid Sem review of assignments

8 - 12

• Light and shadow

• Photorealistic lighting

• Creating an ambience, drama, etc


• Final review of assignments


Learning Outcome

Having learned basic lighting and rendering techniques and applied them in a variety of ways, the student will be able to use them to add character and drama to a scene and animation.

Student Asses​sment

  1. Final Assessment: 30%

  2. Continuous Assessment: 70% (of which at least 15% is participation)

Continuous assessment components may include:

  • Studio-based exercises and projects

  • Individual, group and team-based assignments


  1. Lee Lanier, Advanced Maya Texturing and Lighting, Sybex

  2. Jeremy Birn, Lighting and Rendering in Maya: Lights and Shadows, (DVD) 3D Render.com