How to transition from Animation Lighting Artist to Gaming Lighting Artist?


First post in this forum. I’m a LA based Lighting Artist working in Animated Feature films. I’m interested in transitioning to gaming as the stability seems better. In film the contracts are very short, just a few months, Im hoping the gaming industry keeps artists for at least a year or more for a project?

I will start to learn some Unreal Engine lighting, if anyone has courses specific to lighting they found helpful let me know. Otherwise just looking for general tips/cautions/anecdotes about transition from film to gaming. I would love to do cinematics as well but I worry that just gives me the same instability and short contracts that animation does.

game lighting artists are quite in demand and most studios offer full time positions, so people often stay with the same studio for many years if they like it there.

cinematics are often either done in house by the same team as the game, or outsourced to a specalist company, but they’re usually a mix of full time positions and freelance positions there too.

It’s not been updated in a while but i’ve got some links to Unreal Lighting stuff on my website:

I’ve not done the film to games transition myself but basically i would just grab some free levels from the marketplace and do some relighting experiements and times of day etc. to build up a portfolio. The tools are pretty good in Unreal, although things can get quite technical and performance can be a big issue with lighting (things like dynamic shadows are very expensive so you have to pick and choose what is important enough to use expensive features, or learn to fake it)

do you have a portfolio of film work you could share? i’m sure if you have experience you won’t find the transition too difficult.

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Thanks a lot for the info and resources, this is helpful! Cinematics would be very nice to work on, but I’m open to learning game real time lighting as well.

I have my feature film work and reel here:

Waiting on Spider-Verse digital release so I can add my shots from there to my reel :slight_smile: