New course: Advanced Lighting Practices for Maya & Arnold

This course is all about exploring production-level shot lighting techniques to create beautiful, realistic and faithful lighting. There are some some fundamentals techniques that can help and instructor Philip Maddock demonstrates how to apply these techniques creatively, elevating your lighting and the quality of your rendered images.

Maddock shows how capturing information from the real world and feeding that data into the 3D process can get you a long way towards creating very realistic CGI. Put in real data, get out real results. Lighting is no exception and, in fact, applying this logic to physically-based render engines can produce wonderful results quite quickly. The idea is to throw out the defaults in Maya and Arnold to take real artistic control.

The course is broken down into three projects over ten classes:

  1. CG creature portrait lighting with real burning wax candles. Live-action light maps, Barry Lyndon style.
  2. Beauty lighting for CG product shots. Using real-world light sources for realism.
  3. Environmental lighting for action shots. Paring and projecting HDR lat-longs to allow for realistic interaction.


Philip Maddock has worked in VFX for film, advertising and music videos for more than a decade. For the past seven years, he has been with The Mill London and currently operates as a lead CG artist and shoot supervisor. His focus is on TV advertising and has led work on projects for big brands, such as Playstation, Nike, Samsung, Audi, Mercedes, BBC and Direct Line. He is well known for grounding his CG work in the real world by utilising specialist photographic techniques and live-action shooting techniques for VFX.