15 tips for better lighting keys

Lighting keys show exactly how a scene will be lit, and express the scene's emotional story, while storyboards tell the narrative story. A good lighting key comes straight from the heart and requires empathy and poetic thinking. You’ll also need a solid understanding of the foundations of light so that you can wield this tool powerfully. 

I've worked on animated blockbusters such as Pixar's Coco and Sony's Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, plus many more. Throughout more career, I've discovered these 15 ways help me get my heart on to the screen. I hope they help you, too.

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Drew is a film designer who’s worked on animated blockbusters such as Pixar’s Coco and Sony’s recent Academy Award winner, Spider- Man: Into the Spider- Verse. He’s currently creating artwork for Laika for its next untitled film project.