Computer graphics lighting

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Computer graphics lighting refers to the simulation of light in computer graphics. This simulation can either be extremely accurate, as is the case in an application like Radiance which attempts to track the energy flow of light interacting with materials using radiosity computational techniques. Alternatively, the simulation can simply be inspired by light physics, as is the case with non-photorealistic rendering. In both cases, a shading model is used to describe how surfaces respond to light. Between these two extremes, there are many different rendering approaches which can be employed to achieve almost any desired visual result.

Computer graphics lighting can also refer to the job of lighting in computer animation. A computer graphics lighter will employ many of the same methods a live-action lighting designer or gaffer might employ. However, the computer graphics lighter will work within a computer graphics application.