I'm looking for sites, books, of video's on how to build scenes, composition and lighting for either 3d animations or filming.

Sites like pinterest and google are not enough to quickly find reference of valueable information on the topics I mentioned above.

For example I'm making a 3d scene with a female character holding a gun in the nighttime. I'm struggling to find a good composition and how to properly light the scene where the character pops out from the background while not overlighting the whole scene.

Who can push me in the right direction? Also where can I ask for feedback on these topics for my "art"

2 Answers 2


Sites like google are not enough to quickly find reference of valuable information on the topics I mentioned above

Oh, my...

You live in a privileged era, never, ever in the history of humankind was the information, examples, tutorials, were so easily available.

Where? the internet.

The problem I see without knowing you, but reading your question is that you are not focusing.

3d scene with a female character holding a gun in the nighttime

A torrent of questions:

Is the female a girl, a young woman, an old one; Is it a western, a cyberpunk or an android female; do you want to accentuate the female's curves, probably the hips next to the gun, is she defending herself in fear or she is a badass; is it a thriller or a cop story, a drama, a comedy. Is she facing the antagonist or chasing or running away, is it an interior scene, or is in the middle of a forest... etc, etc...

how to build scenes, composition, and lighting for either 3d animations or filming.

This is even more general... let us forget for now about set design, character design, and storytelling, drama, and rhythm of the scene (all that can be on how to build a scene) and just focus on composition and lighting...

So, look for tutorials on composition, planes, framing, depth of field. What a plane means, what does it say about a character and about the environment.

Now look for tutorials about lighting. Quality of light, the direction of light, the position of light, the color of light.

The keyword is FOCUS on what do you need. Separate the elements.

Focus on real-life tutorials. In a 3D environment is super easy to cheat and not really understanding what is happening.

There are free youtube tutorials of GREAT quality and there are event masterclasses websites with the people you see in the credits of your favorite movies.

  1. Make a new account of youtube, and do not contaminate the search and view history watching memes.

  2. Type a focused and specific search, and let the automatic feed give you recommendations.

One good place to start, for your specific scene is this video:

You also have a ton of websites where you can search for movies. Look for a scene that caught your attention, and again, focus on one topic. Framing? light? expression? color?


An additional tip, with a bit more experience, you can simply find a reference image and analyze it a bit.

Again separate the elements and find out yourself what do you need, for example:


  • Lens
  • Camera position
  • Camera distance
  • Light position in relation to the subject
  • Light position in relation to the camera


  • Many lights are there
  • Is the quality of the light

etc. Element by element.

  • 1
    Wow, thanks for this answer and sorry it took 3 months for me to see it. 3D can just be so overwhelming to learn because there is so much to learn. I'm really hoping from fence to fence learning different things to help improve my overall scenes. I totally agree with you. Information has never been easier to access. I find it quite hard still trying to find the information I need when doing my research. But you're right I need to focus. Thanks again!
    – Ferwous
    Commented Mar 2, 2020 at 20:32
  • Also, use this forum with specific questions. Some people answer pretty fast.
    – Rafael
    Commented Mar 2, 2020 at 20:38

I know only method to look similar scenes from films, vimeo, youtube and searching needed reference. Then try to repeat. If something unclear, searching how to do it. Also, if you found scene and you like it, you can find how to do lighting, effect from this scene or from this film, etc. Or search backstage of video, how it was created.

And this for inspiration: https://vimeo.com/channels/staffpicks

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