1) One idea for a layout project would be to take animated scenes created by animation students at FIEA and frame and light it in different ways to convey different tones (while still being the same animation). The purpose of this project is to be able to demonstrate how changing visual cues through camera framing and lighting can create different connotative tones even though the actual acting is the same through each piece. I'm still in the process of deciding to go based on film genre or style.
Potentially using the kind of soft lighting from 40s classics
or adapting a particular director's style like Hitchcock or Wes Anderson
For sure would like to experiment mixing warm and cool colored lighting techniques too.
2) Another idea is to take environments built by FIEA 2D3D artists, lighting them in Maya and render them out using Renderman. The purpose of this project is to become familiar with Renderman (all the while experiment with lighting to convey tone, similar to the project idea above).
3) Revisiting Unreal Engine 4 is another idea for a project. In particular--a collection of light systems. Upon viewing the Unreal marketplace and looking up what was available for 'light,' there were packs for volumetrics, IES packages, lightning vfx, and etc. However, I saw no packs for gobo lights. So an idea would be to create a gobo light systems pack with a variety of light projections at the ready for engine.
Not a single gobo light pack in sight.
An example of a gobo light projection
4) Continuing on with gobo lighting, I can take it a step further and work to create an HDRI (high dynamic range image) that is a gobo light itself. So there could be light projections cast all around a 360 degree environment. This would take some creativity as I would need to acquire an HDR image--one where there'd be light projection in particular i.e. a forest for instance. And then create the gobo projection and find if there's a possible way to combine them or fake combine them so the projection would be cast around 360 degrees.
An example of an HDRI
Someone created big gobo projection onto their environment. I would like to attempt it seeming like the gobo's being cast by the HDRI.