What does it take to be a Technical Lighting Artist on our team?
Nate: Scientific knowledge of how lighting works. Our programming team creates based on real world principles, so we need someone who has an understanding of the physical laws of Mother Nature, how lighting works scientifically. That is among our top requirements.
Mario: The different relations between light and shadows, how light behaves during a sunset, a sunrise, at different times of day and in different regions…and an understanding of the relationship between cinematic movie lighting versus the real world, versus a video game would be tremendously helpful.
Nate: Knowledge of photography is a must. A lot of things we do in the game mimic a camera. A lot of the terminology is the same as it is with a camera. We have this “real-world-plus-movie-world” type approach that we are going for. Movies simulate a lot of fake lighting rigs and camera tricks, but we need to blend that understanding with how lighting works with the laws of mother nature, to really nail the creative vision of what we're trying to achieve here.
At the core of what we are looking for, what is the key aspect of this role?
Mario: We're constantly inspired by practical lighting techniques in Game of Thrones, The Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and even more niche ground-breaking practical films (like The Dark Crystal and The NeverEnding Story) keep coming up in our conversations. Having a practical knowledge of lighting is key. That's why photography skills can be very important to this role. If you know how to shoot pictures, you'll fit right in.
Nate: At the heart of this position, this person is going to sit between our Programmers and the Art group. In our lighting work flow, programming develops sweet code that does something we need, however, by the time it gets to the Art group there needs to be a nice menu and documentation, and it needs to have been tested in a scientific way. The Art group doesn't have the time or focused expertise to do that. The Tech Lighting Artist does. That person sits between both groups, and not only makes certain the code works, but that it's delivered to us in a useable form.