The Animatress Pipeline

Filmmaking Adventures

White Balancing

This is an excerpt from my old undergraduate film, Dear Jesse. I sure could’ve used the lesson on white balancing below before I started shooting.


There are two basic types of lighting, direct and indirect. Direct lighting is for reference photos only, because of the strength of the light. Indirect lighting is used for texture acquisition because it can highlight variations in texture without overwhelming the variations.

Perceived Color is a function of the variations in the lighting conditions. The human eye automatically corrects color as a function of perception intertwined with memory. However, cameras need to be adjusted to the lighting conditions in order to reflect color in the desired manner.

True color is the actual color of the surface under white light. You need to white balance your camera by using a white card to establish the true color of white within the setting. In doing so, you change the color balance of the receptors in the camera to emulate white light.

Each digital camera typically has a proprietary white balance system or procedure, so be sure to refer to your manual before attempting to white balance.

However, in general, when you set up your camera to white balance, you first place the white card in the same lighting as the object you are going to shoot.

Next, you look through the lens and make sure that the white card fills the viewfinder.

Then you turn on the White Balance feature of your digital camera and your color is corrected.

You can also set up a gray scale on your digital camera to include a full range of whites and blacks in an image by utilizing a gray scale card. The general procedure of utilizing the gray card is to turn your camera to the manual setting (M) and place the gray card in the same lighting as the object you are going to shoot. You then look through the lens and make sure the grayscale card fills the viewfinder. Then look through the meter and set your exposure. Finally, frame your object and take your picture.
Perspective correction may be desirable either at the time of image acquisition or in post-production in order to give the texture a very flat appearance because it is the model which later will give the texture its perspective.

Perspective correction can be manipulated at the time of shooting by cropping within your camera and shooting textures with as frontal an orientation as possible. Post-production perspective correction can be performed through image-manipulating software programs like Photoshop. The tools you will utilize within Photoshop are the Transform tools. One of these is the Distortion tool and the other is the Perspective tool.

Here are a few stock photo websites:



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