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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

What's Matte Painting ? Photoshop changes the industry forever

What's Matte Painting ? How does it work and digital matte paiting?

Well, matte painting is not what I do, but I thought you should know about it a little bit.
It's widely use in film, movie, music video, even in the cinematic shots of big budget video games.

Matte painting has its roots in still photography. In the mid-19th century, photographers began using double-exposure techniques to composite two distinct images into one photograph. In the Victorian era, so-called spirit photography captured the imagination of the masses. In these photos, ghostly apparitions seemed to mingle with the living. They were, in reality, simple darkroom tricks, or what we now call special effects.

Sample of photograph paint over to create matte painting
(before/ After)

Computer Photoshop and digital painting change the way we do matte painting forever.
Digital matte painting, also known as matte painting, is done mostly on the computer and / or with reference pictures instead because of the ease and efficiency of doing it digitally.

It’s another technique that’s used to sell the illusion of a new reality, a place where you can’t possibly build and control in the real world, so you mix together some photos, or hand paint them entirely to fake a background.
The goal of digital matte painting is to achieve photorealistic quality backdrops using 2-D digital images and 3-D computer animation. Instead of blocking off parts of the camera lens, modern filmmakers use blue screens and green screens to replace portions of a shot with digital effects.

Sample of matte painting by Dylan Cole (one of my favorites)

Here for interview with Dylan Cole

Digital matte painters begin with a scene description from the film's art director. It could be "the surface of planet Ooze, where yellow volcanoes gush with purple lava," or "the Roman Forum, circa 300 B.C.E." The matte painter uses this description to sketch concept art. Many matte painters go straight to Photoshop to create their concept art, while some still use paper, pencils, pastels and paint.
More on how digital matte painting works in film. Hope you guys enjoy the post.
Something I thought, you should know if you didn't already.


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2 comments:

Luca said...

Yeah I made some research before on Matte Paintings but then I discovered that some great artists (like Dylan Cole) use 3D softwares at first to build up buildings and stuff like that. Since I never studied 3D softwares *although I wish to* I had to give up from it! (for now)

Some great films use these techniques such as Lord of the Rings for instance!

By the ways, for those who wish to go a bit in depth with Matte Painting, you can visit the link below:

http://www.thegnomonworkshop.com/store/product/57/The-Techniques-of-Dylan-Cole-2

PS: I don't get any profit with this advertising! :) But I have one of his volumes and it's really cool!

Thanks Xia for sharing

Akyo said...

Thanks Xia for this research about matte painting, and thanks Luca for that post. Hm imo digital artists should learn 3dsmax or some other 3d software, as it eases the way of making art with much perspective buildings in it...
You can just go and render extra buildings to your mixed up painting and use some original reference too as it comes handy. :)

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