Lighting Angles and PositionsPlasticity

The degree to which three dimensionality of the actor is brought out. A solid, three dimensional form sparkling in space. The opposite of flat, dull, two-dimensional.


1) How much do we see: the degree of visibility.

2) Equally important is how we see.  Do we see detail well, or do we see form well? A back light and a front light each give good visibility, but of different things.

1) Comment on the plasticity and visibility effects of each individual light –
front, angled front, side, down, back

2) A:  Comment on the plasticity and visibility effects of the following combinations.

  • Two angled front lights
  • Two side lights
  • Two angled front lights with front light
  • Two side lights with front light
  • Two angled side lights with two angled front lights

B:  Now look at the above combinations with a back light or down light added in.


C:  What are the advantages and disadvantages of each combination of lighting positions.

– Flexibility, contrast, eveness, detail, form.

3) Use the units to create the feeling of the following looks. Do not use color, use direction and intensity to create the feeling. Too often we rely on color to create the image – moon light is blue, sunlight is yellow. All too often we use color as a symbol or sign for lighting effects and forget the very important qualities of Intensity and Direction.

  • A bright sunny day
  • Indoors at bright room
  • Outdoors at night in moonlight
  • Sunrise or sunset