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  • Madeleine Boyce

Opera Mystery: Lighting

Between my second and third year of university, I wanted to practice my lighting so I did not lose the skill, I wanted to focus on my ability to add suspense and emotion to a scene, despite having no backstory. I landed on the scene of an opera, a waiter is delivering wine to an audience member. The majority dark lighting suggests suspenseful and malicious undertones to this scene, The man, the target, is only partly visible, just fingers and a leg to suggest a person, but enough hidden to further the mystery. The brightest point is on thirds of this image, with the reflections of the wine being also on thirds to give balance to the composition and suggest a link between the two elements. The decanter filling the space suggests an importance of the item, but as an inanimate objects combined with darkness, it implies there is something unique about the wine, perhaps it is poisoned? Or could the person be of great importance?


I created this scene using existing assets, within Maya and used Vray for lighting and to alter textures, such as the wine material and creating the floor.

I originally experimented with the composition and lighting to see what would hold the most suspense and emotion.


Although I did like the bright light with the fog, it didn't create the emotional effect I was looking for, and instead looked too positive, however the aspect of mystery was certainly heightened, but the story was lost as there was not enough context.




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