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Lighting plays a fundamental role into videogames. A videogame without a good ilumination is flat and without life. I'm looking for a book that explains how must be iluminated a scene and what factors are involved in the creation of convincing worlds.

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I understand, that you are asking for artistic way. Every game engine has few types of lights, at least "point light", "spot light" and "directional light" (and propably ambient light). Those (without area light) can be simulated in realtime in dynamic scene and are typical lights in 3D modelers/renderers (such as Maya, Max or Blender).

Lighting for a game is no different for lighting for a CGI movie (maybe with fewer lights). It is typical that lighting in a scene is done by people who studied movie lightening (mean real movies with human beings).

There is one book which is something like a bible for 3D artist lighters:

  • Digital Lighting & Rendering - It is worth reading if you are interested in this topic. Doesn't matter if your scene is dynamic or lighting is baked into textures.
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Note that i'm not artist, but i discussed this for you with our lighting artist. – Notabene Mar 11 '11 at 11:30
Yes, I'm asking about lightning from an artistic viewpoint. The book that you make reference seems interesting. I'm very interested in the opinion of your lighting artist. Thanks. – momboco Mar 11 '11 at 14:15

Thought I'd throw Real-time Rendering out there as it covers a lot of topics, including quite a lot on different lighting techniques.

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This is a good book, but covers the technical aspects. I'm searching something to how achieve a certain style. For example, I was impressed with the image of GOW 3, because seems that was a beautiful moving picture. p.e: – momboco Mar 11 '11 at 14:33

There really isn't much in the area sadly. I'm currently writing a thesis on the topic of lighting in video games and why it is so important. If your really looking for it now the best books on the subject are in the areas of film and architecture... that or you could wait around for about 6 months for me to finish.

this is an alright link on a basic jist of games lighting.

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awesome article – Fire Crow Apr 4 '11 at 16:05

I don't know of any books that cover that topic on it's own. However there is a chapter in Introduction to 3D Game Programming with DirectX 10 that covers lighting. The code examples are HLSL as it's a DX book, but the discussion about lighting algorithms is language agnostic. It covers diffuse, specular, ambient, parallel, point and spot lighting.

Essential Mathematics for Games and Interactive Applications, Second Edition also has a nice chapter on lighting.

You could also read these slides published by DICE, they cover various techniques used in battle field 3, including lighting and shadows. It doesn't go in depth, but give a nice overview of some of the things getting done in the industry.

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+1 essential mathematics looks awesome – Fire Crow Apr 4 '11 at 16:11

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