Creative Media Glossary

Volumetric Lighting

.. is a technique used in 3D computer graphics to add lighting to a rendered scene. The term seems to have been introduced from cinematography and is now widely applied to 3D modelling and rendering especially in the field of 3D gaming. It allows the viewer to see beams of light shining through the environment; seeing sunbeams streaming through an open window is an example of volumetric lighting.

In volumetric lighting, the light cone emitted by a light source is modeled as a transparent object and considered as a container of a “volume”: as a result, light has the capability to give the effect of passing through an actual three dimensional medium (such as fog, dust, smoke or steam) that is inside its volume, just like in the real world.

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