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Direct Lighting

Direct Lights are point or near point (disk) sources of light that cause objects to cast hard shadows. In nature, this is usually the sun. As with indirect skylight, the atmosphere modifies the light. The most obvious result of this is influenced by how high the sun is in the sky. At high noon in the tropics, the sun will be overhead and have a minimum of atmosphere to travel through before it gets to where you are standing. Direct light of this type is the standard for what we call "white". The lower the sun is in the sky, the more atmoshere its light has to pass through before it gets to the surface of the Earth and the redder it is in appearance. Everyone should be familiar with a red sun at dusk or dawn.

In a studio, we simulate direct sunlight with spotlights and high intensity lights with a low angular size. Because the sun is so far away, the shadows cast by the sun appear to run parallel to one another. If the source of direct light simulating sun light is too close to its subjects, then shadows cast by actors on a stage will not appear to be parallel. The DP and director must keep this in mind when simulating an outdoor shot using a virtual set in a studio.

We are now planning the development of a product that will integrate with our systems to simulate natural direct sun light.

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