Real-Time Lighting Design for Interactive Narrative

  • Magy Seif El-Nasr
  • Ian Horswill
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 2897)


Lighting design is an important element of scene composition. Designers use light to influence viewers’ perception by evoking moods, directing their gaze to important areas, and conveying dramatic tension. Lighting is a very time consuming task; designers typically spend hours manipulating lights’ colors, positions, and angles to create a lighting design that accommodates dramatic action and tension. Such manual design is inappropriate for interactive narrative, because the scene’s spatial and dramatic characteristics, including dramatic tension and character actions, change unpredictably, necessitating continual redesign as the scene progresses. In this paper, we present a lighting design system, called ELE (Expressive Lighting Engine), that automatically, in real-time, adjusts angles, positions, and colors of lights to accommodate variations in the scene’s dramatic and spatial characteristics accommodating cinematic and theatrical lighting design theory. ELE uses constraint-based non-linear optimization algorithms to configure lights.


Elevation Angle Greek Tragedy Visual Continuity Dramatic Action Visual Focus 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Magy Seif El-Nasr
    • 1
  • Ian Horswill
    • 1
  1. 1.Computer Science DepartmentNorthwestern University

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