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Lighting DreamWorks projects with Greg Jennings

By 3dtotal staff

Web: www.greg-jennings.com (will open in new window)

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Date Added: 17th April 2014

3dt: You've also mentioned that you use a lot of real world photo references, is there anything in particular that inspires your lighting choices?

GJ: I look for stock pictures or 'analytical' pictures that just give me a reference of what things look like, but most importantly I try and find paintings, fine art photography, or sketches that give me a wider spectrum of ways to interpret the feeling conveyed in the shot. I then make a selection, balance things out in my mind or on paper and come up with my own interpretation of how I feel the shot could be lit, or how far I can take an idea without compromising the art director's vision. It's a constant balancing act.

Fire lighting in Scared Shrekless
Images courtesy of Dreamworks, and used with permission

Generating the impression of TV lighting in Scared Shrekless
Images courtesy of Dreamworks, and used with permission

Contrasting lighting in Scared Shrekless
Images courtesy of Dreamworks, and used with permission

3dt: Aside from lighting, is there any area of digital art that you'd like to branch into?

GJ: Yes! I'm increasingly interested in modeling and some aspects of visual development but it's just a hobby for now.

I feel blessed to be working with some very talented friends but when I see them work on visual concepts I feel these people are in a class of their own.
I'd like to move towards darker content at some point, maybe game cinematics if there is an opportunity.

I love the bright colors and furry characters but sometimes I want to push the contrast and create more dramatic scenes with a more photographic approach.

That's the next step for me hopefully!

3dt: Do you have any advice for aspiring lighting specialists, on making it in the industry?

GJ: Be bold and adventurous! Go abroad, discover new cultures, meet new people, be curious about everything, and let coincidence guide you. This industry is full of people that come from very diverse backgrounds and that is part of what makes it so interesting.

I believe aspiring artists should also have some kind of background in traditional arts and experience other mediums as much as possible. Photography is great to learn more about lenses and how film reacts to light, about framing, black and white vs. color for contrast and composition, exposure, which are all key aspects for lighters.

3dt: Thanks for agreeing to do an interview with 3dtotal!

Images courtesy of Dreamworks, and used with permission

Related links

Check out Greg Jenning's personal site

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