Legend of the Guardians was my first animated feature film. The lighting style is very dramatic & features heavy use of rim & shape lights to accentuate detail in the feathers. Dappled light (consisting of leaf-like gobo image sequences), often played over characters whilst giving their dialogue. This required copious testing to ensure the movement was complimentary & not distracting to viewers.


Since owl’s eyes are large & expressive; they were deemed important to driving the connection between other characters & the audience. Artists used Nuke to project HDRI images of environments & characters onto eyeball geometry, giving real-time feedback of the resulting reflection. Subsurface was crucial to breathing life into characters & enhancing believability, as such beaks were often boosted.


I had the responsibility of shot lighting several scenes in the ‘family life’ sequence. Tasks consisted of creating & positioning rims, fills & gobos, ensuring characters were easily read & aesthetically pleasing. Technically, shadow map adjustments & bias tweaks were required to ensure correct illumination & shadowing. Being my first stereo production, Nuke tasks proved to be a substantial learning curve.

junior digital artist: lighting • compositing
  • Animal Logic (201-500 employees; Motion Pictures & Film Industry)
  • July 2010 – August 2010 (1 month, Sydney, Australia)
shot lighting: four shots100%

I have worked with Domenick Simpson since 2009 in my capacity as a production designer and art director at Animal Logic.

Domenick has worked as a lighting artist on numerous animated film projects including The LEGO Movie, Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’hoole and The LEGO Batman Movie.

On the latter Domenick performed the duties of a scene lead where he delivered high quality lighting and compositing for several complex scenes. This meant he oversaw key lighting for his assigned scenes, as well as optimising his light rigs and where necessary handing over to other team members – although on certain scenes he lit the entire sequence single handedly.

Domenick is methodical and is able to pitch his own take on lighting while being responsive to feedback and ensuring that said feedback is hit on the next iteration. He is passionate about the shots he is working on and will go the extra mile to ensure they are up to the highest standards.

I can recommend Domenick for any future work as a lighting artist.

Grant Freckelton

Production Designer

Happy Feet Two
Sucker Punch