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Advanced Graphics Summit: 'Cyberpunk 2077': Bringing Light to Night City

Jakub Knapik  (Art Director, CD Projekt RED)

Dave Yablonsky  (Lead Lighting Artist, CD Projekt RED)

Poo Voon Kent  (Senior Lighting Artist, CD Projekt RED)

Location: Room 3016, West Hall

Date: Monday, March 21

Time: 2:10 pm - 3:10 pm

Pass Type: All Access Pass, Summits Pass - Get your pass now!

Topic: Programming

Format: Session

Viewing Experience: In-Person

Vault Recording: Video

Audience Level: No

Creating a sprawling, believable, open-world city is a monumental task in many ways, not least of all with regards to lighting. Throw in a cinematic cyberpunk aesthetic dripping with neons and an unprecedented density of light sources and you have a recipe for some truly daunting challenges, both technical and artistic. Enter Cyberpunk 2077.

This talk covers some of the unique challenges faced by the team at CD Projekt RED in order to light Night City, starting with the artistic vision and how the desire to create a living, digital film set, complete with cinematic, physically accurate lights and a fully dynamic 24-hour cycle with living weather systems, drove the technical decisions. The talk then dives into detail with two production cases, one in an interior and the other in the open world, to highlight the problems inherent to each scenario and how the team ultimately chose to tackle them.


The talk covers, among other things, the approach to lighting an open-world city as a digital movie set, techniques for creating depth and layering with light, and managing huge numbers of lights both in terms of art and optimization, all working with a dynamic 24-hour cycle.

Intended Audience

The presentation will be targeting audience with basic technical knowledge of Lighting processes in Real-Time, meaning all 3d Artists, Art Directors, Technical Artists, Rendering Programmers, but also Developers.