Document Type

Technical Report

Publication Date


Technical Report Number



Lighting design is a complex and fundamental task in computer cinematography, involving adjustment of light parameters to define final scene appearance. Many lighting interfaces have been proposed to improve lighting design work flow. These paradigms exist in three paradigm categories: direct light parameter manipulation, indirect light feature manipulation (e.g., shadow dragging), and goal-based optimization of light through painting. To this date, no formal evaluation of the relative effectiveness of these methods has been performed. In this paper, we present a first step toward evaluating the three paradigms in the form of a user study with novice users. We focus our evaluation on simple tasks that directly affect lighting features, such as highlights, shadows and intensity gradients, in scenes with up to 2 point lights and 5 objects under direct illumination. We perform quantitative experiments to measure relative efficiency between interfaces together with qualitative input to explore the intuitiveness of the paradigms. Our results indicate that paint-based goal specification is more cumbersome than either direct or indirect manipulation. Furthermore, our investigation suggests improvements to not only the implementation of the paradigms, but also overall paradigm structure for further exploration.


Revised version to appear in SIGGRAPH 2009.