Minecraft Live 2022: Trailer & Intro

Client: Element Animation, Mojang
Role: Lighting artist
Link to the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jMe3tdyjouM

Element Animation produced a trailer and intro for the Minecraft Live 2022 event. I was hired by Element Animation to work on the lighting. The trailer and intro are set in the world of Minecraft, a popular video game made by Mojang. Lighting Minecraft characters is tricky, since they are made up entirely out of cubes. Normally, a character would be lit using something like a three-point lighting setup (a key light, fill light, and back light), which shows the shape of the character’s face. But with Minecraft characters, their faces are entirely flat and therefore lack the shape that you have with non-Minecraft characters. The lack of shape also makes it difficult to see where light is coming from.

To solve this, we looked more towards creating slight gradients over the flat surfaces of characters, emulating the gradient that you naturally get from the shape of a non-Minecraft character. Additionally, the characters have bevels on them, allowing us to add specular highlights to their edges. Next to that, we also try to create separation between the characters and the background by lighting characters more vibrantly than the set, and to give characters a slight sub-surface scattering effect around the edges.


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