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BG Lighting Tip:

I notice a lot of you saying you “suck at BGs” or “don’t do backgrounds.” That used to be me, too, so I’m going to try to give you some tips.

If you can’t tell, I loooove color. However, if you’re trying to make a successful background image, color isn’t your only concern. In fact, it’s secondary to the more essential element of lighting.

How do you double check that your lighting is on point? Add a “hue saturation lightness” adjustment layer over everything and turn saturation all the way down. Even without color, the black and white version should accurately and dynamically describe the space through lighting alone.

Without this, your background is likely to look flat, confusing, or “off”, despite any cool color schemes you’ve got going on.

This concludes my advice that nobody asked for. Also, when you’re not sure how to light a particular BG, just start with the pool of light approach.

BG example here is from Randy Cunningham 9th Grade Ninja episode “McHuggers.”

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