View Full Version : Factory

10-19-2010, 03:56 PM

This is matte painting I have started working on recently. I am looking for some feedback now that I have somewhat moved along in the process. What works what doesn't.....anything that can help better pull off the matte painting's believability. All of that would be very much appreciated.

Shot on Canon Eos 10D, Modeled in Maya and painted in Photoshop with tablet.






10-20-2010, 01:17 AM
Nice work and great mood.
Maybe you could try to render the 3d with some global ilumination to fill the black shadows.

Anyway good job!

10-21-2010, 02:13 PM
Hello Andrew,

Here's a full crit, as you requested per PM. I am posting it here so that it may help other people too, in the future.

I see that you aim for a Sin City look. If so, then it's good that you started this way - since you get to learn about values, but you should try color mattes after, which are the real thing :)

Now, what time of day are you trying to capture? You have some very strong highlights & hard shadows, which suggest a day scene, but also the image is dark and lights are on, which suggest night; You need to choose one of them, because the two can't exist together. If it's night then you need softer shadows and less contrast;

Either way, your shadows are too dark right now and the black points are all over the place. You should check out this free tutorial I did about values&color, here:

Even if you try to pull a night scene, you shouldn't have a complete dark shadow. If you want to learn more about night mattes, there is also a day to night tutorial on that site. Sadly it's not for free, but if you can't afford, you can still look at the final image and study it.

Keep it up and keep us updated

10-21-2010, 03:46 PM
Thank you guys for the comments. As someone trying to learn I appreciate it.

Suirebit - I watched the tutorial you listed. I see what you are saying about the black points all of over the place. Thanks for the link. I also looked at the day to night image on your site and saw a lot of what you are talking about with shadows etc....I definitely see what you are saying about the confusion between midday or night scene. My attempts were to create a night scene with a SinCity type feel (hence the black and white) with only the lights having any color. I think I may need to revisit that idea. But as for now I have plenty to work on.

Thank you both so much for the feedback...I am eager to get better and will show some updates when I have them.

10-21-2010, 04:11 PM
it's ok if you aim for a sin city feel and it's good that you started this way - since you get to learn about values, but you should try color mattes after, which are the real thing :)

In this case, let me summarize the to-do list, since I tend to talk too much :)

1) Make softer shadow edges

2) Add details on the shadow parts (GI pass)

3) Make a bit less contrast between highlights and shadow areas

4) Create a black point evolution; Close building should have the darkest shadows and the brightest highlights. Further away buildings should have less dark shadows and less bright highlights.

5) Sky should be waaaay darker and less contrasty

(Optional): 6) Turn those yellow lights into red, if you aim for a sin city look :)

10-21-2010, 04:34 PM
Funny you said you think you talk too much. I feel like I'm the one who is always annoying people when I speak or type.

Thanks for the to do list. I've already begun reworking and will hopefully have something (in the right direction) in a few days to share.

By the way, those tutorials on VFX Dojo are great. I look forward to getting the Day for Night one shortly.

Thank you again for your help.

10-25-2010, 04:41 PM

Here is a revision of the Factory using the feedback.

Suirebit's tutorials (the free one and the day for night tutorial listed in the thread) are fantastic and I'm afraid these revisions don't do them justice. The tutorials are very clear and make a lot of sense. Highly recomended and I enjoyed them very much.

Still looking for more direction and feedback.

Does the lamplight in the fg bother everybody or is it me? It seems too far to the side to be bright so I thought about breaking the lamp and having it dark.

10-25-2010, 04:41 PM
I also considered dropping the color from the yellow light or making them red like the others....but haven't commited yet.

10-25-2010, 05:19 PM
Hello Andrew,

I'm glad you liked those tutorials :)

Looking better :) If it were me, I would remove the lamp post altogether, as well as that black line on the top. I would also reduce the number of yellow lights (and actually make them white) and I would use the red ones to emphasize shapes and depth. Last but not least, I would still reduce the brightness of the highlights

I took the liberty of quickly (and very roughly) painting/adjusting my ideas on the top of your image. I hope you don't mind; Do a before/after roll over and see if you like the changes or if there's anything helpful in there.


I imagine that in a moving shot, this could look quite nice; Maybe you can try a projection, out of curiosity?

Other than that, I don't think there's much else you could do (unless you can change the angle/lens). You could leave it as it is and move on to the next one :)

10-25-2010, 05:37 PM
Sick. I like the ideas - the (fewer) white lights, the red lights and especially the extension on the left. I will make the updates and post.

I noticed you put quite a bit more grain in the image too. It looks great...but is there a guideline to determine how much you add? For example, the original shot didn't have a whole lot of grain, but when you added more of it it took it to a new level.

In any case, you have been a tremendous help. Thank you so much. it is very much appreciated.

10-25-2010, 05:44 PM
Glad I could help.

Yes, grain is an important aspect in any night shot, since that's how cameras behave when they need to increase their sensitivity. There isn't a certain rule, I usually add grain by 'feeling' - but on average, I'd say that a 1% Gaussian is a safe choice for medium sized images.

10-27-2010, 01:10 PM
Well I think this is going to be the final image. I may move the shot later with projection, but for now I think I am ready to move on to another piece.

Thanks again for the feedback and help!



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