22 October, 2008



Light on any character or
object brings depth and dimension to it. The concept of light is very simple.
The area that is exposed to the light source will look brighter than the area
that is not. Light source can originate from any direction; sometimes the number
of light sources can be more than one.






Shade & Shadow:



Shading can be a bit tricky at
first but it’s not as difficult as it seems. The pictures above show a light
bulb and several geometrical shapes such as circle, triangle, cylinder, and a


You’ll notice that one side of
the shape is light and the other is darkened. All you need to know or keep in
mind is just that. What the light doesn’t hit, it is darkened. In this example,
all you have to do is picture the light source and the object that is being hit
by the light. Which part will the light hit? How far will the light go?


You also have to ask yourself
where the light source is coming from. If the light is far above, the shorter
the shadow is (try checking out your shadow at noon – 12:00PM) whereas the lower
the light, the longer the shadow will become. According to the light source,
make your shadow fit accordingly.


Good thing to remember also is
what the shape of the object is, we are giving a shadow? Each of the shapes in
the picture each has their own unique cast. The triangle has a pointy shadow,
the circle has a circular shadow, the cylinder has a rectangular shadow, and the
cube has an “L”-like shadow. At a different angle, though, the cube will cast a
different shadow shape. For instance, if the light was head-on to one of the
flat sides, it will cast a square to rectangular shadow depending on the light
source’s height.


With that in mind, you also
need to remember, what is the shape of the object the shadow is falling on top
of? The current example only has a flat surface on which the shadows fall but in
most cases, shadows of – say a character – will fall on rocks or on water, which
will look different compared to each other.


Tips to keep in mind:


  • The darker the shadow, the
    brighter the light source.
  • As the shadow is drawn
    further from the object, the lighter it becomes.


Drawing the Shadow:


The shadow takes on the shape
of the item it comes from. If you look to the example pictures above, you will
see various shapes and their shadows being cast. Notice that to make the shadow,
all you have to do is create a triangular shape from the top of the object to
the ground and back to the base of the object. The cube is a bit more
complicated as there are two and in some cases, three triangles you have to draw
when at an angle.




Shading on an object usually
starts midway into the object as shown on the cylinder, cone, triangle, and
cube. The circle is also shaded midway but considering that it is round; the
shape of the shading also becomes rounded! The result is something quite like an


Shadows depicted in example image are intentionally drawn
entirely dark for tutorial purposes.


Light Source and Shadow:




The shape of the shadow is also
affected by the light source. When the light source is from anything but the
sun, like a light bulb, the shadow widens the further it is from the object. The
sun, meanwhile, casts a “straight” shadow in that it remains true to the objects


More Than One Light Source:




A shadow is made for each light
source present in a scene. If you are inside a room, for example, and there are
two lights on, you will cast a shadow from each light source. This is shown on
the above picture.


Notice both of the bulbs are at
the same distance and height from the object. This fact causes the shadows from
both light bulbs to be the same. When the light sources are from different
distances and heights, the light source that is closer to the object gives off
the darker shadow.


Looking at the example again,
note that the area where the two shadows meet is darker than the one shadow
itself. Dark + Dark = Darker. Keep this in mind when drawing groups of people
whose shadows happen to overlap and intersect each other.

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