What does a Lighting Technician do ? Where does a Lighting Technician work? ACR takes a look:
About Lighting Technicians
In animation, lighting technicians work with the lighting department to create color keys, compositing renderings, and light rigs for shots. In addition to animation skills, lighting technicians use design skills and knowledge of shadows and lighting to create the environments and characters that the project calls for.
Lighting Technician Jobs
Depending on the animation project, lighting technicians use back, key, fill, and background light to illuminate subjects, backgrounds, and scenes. They use a variety of techniques to create appropriate lighting schemes for situations such as a rainy day, underwater, darkness, foggy, sunny, or whatever the project dictates. Lighting technicians work for animation studios, gaming companies, film and video production studios, advertising agencies, graphic design firms, and web design firms.
Lighting Technician Salaries
The Bureau of Labor Statistics does not offer salary information for lighting technicians, but it does list this occupation under “Motion Picture and Video Industries.” Salaries for workers in this field vary by education and experience, type of work, studio, and many other factors, so you may earn more or less than the average. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2008, average weekly earnings of nonsupervisory workers in the motion picture and video industries were $627, compared with $608 for workers in all industries combined.
Becoming a Lighting Technician
If you are interested in becoming a lighting technician for an animation company, a degree in animation is the best way to get your foot in the door. Animation students learn about lighting and texturing, modeling/rigging, drawing for animation, body mechanics in animation, and advanced lighting and texturing techniques. The animation program curriculum will give you the skills you need to compete in this extremely competitive field.
In addition to a degree in animation, employers also prefer experience. For entry-level positions, experience through an internship or part-time support position is acceptable. For advanced positions, you will need no less than 2 years’ professional experience in the industry.
Job Trends for Lighting Technicians
Lighting technicians working in the film and video industry and games industry can expect steady employment growth through 2018. Lighting technicians in the film and video industry can expect employment growth to average 14 percent through 2018. Lighting technicians in the games industry can expect average employment growth of seven to 13 percent through 2018. Lighting technicians with advanced software skills and knowledge of the very latest programs will have the most opportunities.