Lighting Technical Director or Lighter – Film

Job Category Film / TV Icon

Animation

Lighting Technical Director – also known as Lighters – are responsible for ensuring the consistency of the lighting, mood and colour balance between the elements of a scene or shot.

Work activities

Lighting Technical Directors are responsible for adding the lighting to a scene in order to create an atmosphere, and to add tone, depth and realism to each scene.

Working conditions

Working hours are normally 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, though you may need to start earlier or work past 5pm or on weekends in order to meet deadlines.

Entry requirements

Lighting Technical Directors will usually have a degree in computer graphics, computer science, photography, computer animation, maths, physics or other art-related subjects. Provided your portfolio is suitably good, an employer may forego these qualifications, provided you have enough relevant experience. Lighting is rarely an entry level department, and most staff are promoted. However, some related job roles, such as a lighting designer in a theatre, photographers or fine art painters may move into the role - provided, of course, they have the technical understanding of computer processes.

Job income

  • The average salary falls between £34,000 to £60,000 annually
  • Figures are intended as a guideline only

Benefits and prospects

Lighting Technical Directors have promotion opportunities and may advance to roles such as Lighting Supervisor, CG Supervisor or VFX Supervisor.

tasks

  • Ensure consistency in lighting, mood and colour balance
  • Ensure CGI looks photorealistic
  • Add the lighting to create atmosphere, realism, tone and depth
  • Balance individual elements to enable the compositors to produce a convincing image

Skills and qualities

  • A strong sense of light and shadow
  • Knowledge of colour theory
  • Ability to follow design reference
  • Ability to light characters and environments
  • An understanding of composition and the ability to enhance mood by lighting
  • Working knowledge of computer animation packages
  • Working knowledge of 2D paint software and various industry-standard rendering programmes
  • Working knowledge of palettes and CLUTs (Colour Look Up Tables)
  • Ability to UV map
  • Understanding of physics and maths
  • Understanding of the principles of cinematography, such as density, filters and depth of field
  • Good problem-solving skills
  • Ability to work independently
  • Team-working skills
  • Ability to take direction
  • Ability to deliver on budget and timescale