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View Full Version : Mt. Doom, Dylan Cole -weta Digital (2D)

08-23-2004, 07:04 PM
http://www.cgnetworks.com/gallerycrits/103453/103453_1093287851_medium.jpg (http://www.cgnetworks.com/gallerycrits/103453/103453_1093287851.jpg)

Title: Mt. Doom
Name: Dylan Cole -weta Digital
Country: Usa
Software: Photoshop 7

Here is a matte painting I did for Return of the King. Check out my site for a bunch more as well as other work.



08-23-2004, 08:02 PM
What else to say? Excellent, LOTR of course! Hat off . . .
I've checked out your site, stunning material indeed! :thumbsup:

Cheers, Daniel :arteest:

08-23-2004, 08:03 PM
Holy crap!!!

Great work man!! The movies were spectacular as well. It must have been a wonderful project to be involved in.

08-23-2004, 08:16 PM
I've been to your website many times before, fantastic work you have done :)

08-23-2004, 08:56 PM
would it be totally arrogant if I said it sucked? :) Nah, it's LOTR... we all know it... we all love it :)

Thank you for being one of the guys that got me hooked on the story :thumbsup:

08-23-2004, 09:33 PM
Weta?! Sweet. LOTR is probly one of the biggest projects Ive ever see go down, I tip my hat to you on your work.

08-23-2004, 10:44 PM
Look to real.... beautifull http://www.cgtalk.com/images/icons/icon7.gif

I also chek your site Good stuf there!!! ...cool works !!!

08-24-2004, 02:51 AM

Ive just died and gone to Mt Doom. wait a sec.....Mt Doom isnt real
exsanguinatus you are amazing this is...man im speechless!
Thumbs up.http://cgtalk.com/images/smilies/thumbsup.gif

08-24-2004, 08:42 AM
wow, you are really an amazing artist, matte painting is definitely one of de most impressionant part of cg works

thanks for posting here!!

08-24-2004, 08:45 AM
This is an amazing Work!!!
You are at the same level than Dusso!
Great job!

08-24-2004, 12:03 PM
I always wanna now the guyes who worked on LOTR. Nice to meet you, and congratulation to stunning work.

08-24-2004, 01:25 PM
This is far better than my imagination would allow me to do! :thumbsup:
Also it's always something different what i can imagine and what i am able to get to your screen.

...you can :applause: 5Stars

08-24-2004, 01:36 PM
beautiful color and illumination :thumbsup: which is the painted part?

08-24-2004, 01:53 PM
Dylan, i have nothing else to say except THANK YOU for being part of the very talented team of artists that made LOTR a reality. It couldn't be done any better. :bowdown:

08-24-2004, 02:18 PM
Awesome image of course. I've seen some of your work before and I have to say your one of my favorite artists. I really like your work on LOTR as well as lots of your other stuff. In this image (and your others of Mt. Doom), the scene looks awesome but what really catches my eye is your amazing smoke and fire effects.

08-24-2004, 03:03 PM
Great image, some will be inspired by it, others will return to stamp collecting.

08-24-2004, 03:51 PM
One of the things I really loved about LOTR was the mattes! :) beautiful work man! (I can't believe i just made a comment on the real matte paintings of LOTR!! not worthy...)

08-24-2004, 04:41 PM
Thank you very much, everyone. I really appreciate the warm response. I will try to post here more often.

olijosman-the whole thing is a matte painting, there is no plate.



08-24-2004, 09:04 PM
Wow, what can I say? Simply amazing. Your work on the smoke/fire and lighting is beautiful, I can only hope to come close to that one day.

08-25-2004, 06:07 AM
thanks for your answer :thumbsup: .Great work

Evil Pumpkin
08-27-2004, 07:58 AM
Wow!! very nice works, the details here is amazing!! nothin else to say...keep up the good work! :P


08-27-2004, 08:10 AM
dylan cole? great to have you in our midst, I saw your website a while ago, you made me jawdrop more than once.

welcome aboard dude :)

08-27-2004, 08:13 AM
What can I say. IT IS GREAT. :thumbsup:

08-27-2004, 08:19 AM
Nice, this is really somthing - must have been fun
Its awsome keep it up

08-27-2004, 08:19 AM
Very nice there. I love the smoke and fire. Very vivid.

Not much else to say. :thumbsup:

08-27-2004, 08:22 AM
I'd would like to be another saying excellent work, truly amazing.

Would you be able to elaborate on some of the techniques? How did you do all those excellent clouds and light effects with Mount Doom? And the mountains in Rivendell?

edit: Ok i watched the demo reel, very nice touch when the camera comes out and shows the layers of the painting.

Mysterious X
08-27-2004, 08:30 AM
hey man that's some great piece of art here...any high resolution pic ??:thumbsup:

08-27-2004, 08:52 AM
Very beautiful work! For me, matte painting is the king of gfx. Amazing!

PS Sorry for my english language...



08-27-2004, 09:01 AM
simply great... heu no... oustanding...fabulous....

Could you post later some other work you did on some film like I, ROBOT or CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK or VAN HELSING

thanks a lot

08-27-2004, 09:30 AM
what a talent!

great work on matte!
and all of your works are rocks!! :thumbsup:

08-27-2004, 09:30 AM
What more can I say... Just keep on posting... :D
Excellent :thumbsup: ...

08-27-2004, 09:47 AM
Ive got some good news and some bad news for you exsanguinatus. The good news is that your painting rocks! The bad news is that all the bloodsucking CGtalk members have eaten up all your homepage bandwidth, so I can't see your other stuff. Yes we are bandwidth suckers, but can you really blame us.

08-27-2004, 09:54 AM
One more thing... You work at Weta, you have high quality work like that, and yet you only have 2 posts on CGtalk? Your profile lists you as a new member... I think this rates instant veteran status.

08-27-2004, 10:07 AM
Just amazing...what more can I say. How long does it take you to produce such an image? how do you work and with what software or materials? how much do you rely on reference material? Thanks...

08-27-2004, 10:18 AM
'This domain name has been temporarily suspended for exceeding the daily bandwidth quota. '

gotBummed*******that's what plugs do**************

nice ferocious looking burst....

08-27-2004, 10:45 AM
Dylan... Mr Cole, your site inspired me to start working on my own digital matte painting portfolio, the site is extreamly useful to anyone who is interested. I don't suppose you are going to explain just how you go about painting a towering pyroclastic explosion like that? I don't suppose there are many reference images that you can use for something quite like that!

08-27-2004, 10:45 AM
wow.it's as amazing as every other things in LOTR. :bowdown: :bowdown:
it was one of the greatest shots. :arteest:
thats a very very very .... good work on photoshop.how did you do that?
i hope i had the chance to work on that project too.

08-27-2004, 11:04 AM
I feel humble and speechless...


08-27-2004, 11:14 AM
very nice work ... impressive colour

08-27-2004, 11:22 AM
Yep/ Could you post some mor eimages via CGtalk...Your site is down.

08-27-2004, 11:35 AM
never thought about posting a reply to one who was involved in this amazing, surely century lasting trilogy named LOTR.... Im still speechless about the effects in these movies... so ---> WELL DONE ;)

greetings from Germany,

08-27-2004, 11:37 AM
wow, dylan cole on cgtalk!you're the boss man , i'm a big fan as i want to be a matte painter!
great great great work! but i've got a question : for this picture is it all painting? or did you use some photo reference?

08-27-2004, 11:51 AM
Great Job love it


08-27-2004, 11:56 AM
You, my friend, are an amazing man!
Hats off to you and all your creative work. Are there any 3D mattes of the same that you could share? :drool:

08-27-2004, 12:11 PM
I just want to say that you inspired me a lot for give my 110% in my futures matte projects. I know that practice and pratice is the only way to become an artist like you, and your work give me the inspiration for. Thanks you! :)

08-27-2004, 12:12 PM
Really inspiring. Suberb. I love the feeling of the matte. Colors, etc.
I've seen your webpage, and i am impressed. Of course, it is clear that you're an big artist in everyway. Congratulations.


08-27-2004, 01:33 PM
Sorry for the naive question... but can someone explain to me the use of the word matte painting here? Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought matte paintings were static images used to be backdrops for action... but the smoke and fire in this would clearly be mobile right?

08-27-2004, 01:51 PM
I had the same question, but I just assume that its used for a VERY far away shot of Doom, maybe even blurred a little bit, with a lot more eye-catching stuff going on in the foreground. You wouldnt even notice!

Maybe I should watch ROTK and pay attention...

Great work by the way :buttrock:

08-27-2004, 01:53 PM
Good stuff. No wonder you did matte's for the LOTR. When I first saw the thumbnail @ the front page, I thought it was someones Afterburn or Houdini volumetrics! When I took a closer look at the thumbnail (before clicking) I noticed it was a 2D painting.

-What color depth did you work with it?
-What paint proggie did you use?

I've heard that a lot of matte painters have started to use Cinepaint, because you can paint 32 bit/channel (96 bit image) with it. Most of all it's free!

08-27-2004, 02:13 PM
Beautiful painting. I would love to know your process for such realistic and non-repetitive clouds and smoke!

08-27-2004, 02:42 PM
superb .....:buttrock: ..............:buttrock: ..................:buttrock: ...............!!!"
amazing work :thumbsup: !!"

08-27-2004, 02:50 PM
what else to sayy.. its just incredible :buttrock:

08-27-2004, 03:01 PM
Awesome work man... too bad i cant hit up your site to get inspired more since the bandwith is done with...

08-27-2004, 03:36 PM
Awsome work Dylan (Gandalf)! This is the reason I'm here. What a dream, to have worked with Weta on LOTR, pure magic.

08-27-2004, 03:46 PM
its really awsome man.. just one question

that was made in photoshop alone??
u didnt use any 3d programs??

08-27-2004, 03:48 PM
Went to your site and..

This domain name has been temporarily suspended for exceeding the daily bandwidth quota. The site will be automatically turned on again at 12:00AM PST (unless the site's allocated monthly limit is reached).

Opps, sorry ;)

08-27-2004, 04:05 PM
Hey, that looks very good. Although, is the pyroclastic smoke and fire part of the matte painting too? Because in the film it moves and billows. Surely it is a particle system with a volumetric render, right?

08-27-2004, 04:26 PM
Wow! Thanks for all the nice responses. I apologize for the bandwidth message, it is fixed and will never happen again, so go forth and enjoy.
As to the animation of the pyroclastic cloud-it was all a matte painting and I took it into after effects and used a mesh warp on it. I also had separate glow elements that I would fade on and off to simulate internal eruptions. I would also paint separate lit layers of clouds for the lightning. I would do my own pre comp of the animated matte painting and then pass it off to the compositor for the final touches. The actual lava spurting that you see in the film was added by the compositor as were the lava bombs, but everything else was just a warped painting. I painted this at 4k so I could really get in there and then delivered my animation at 2k. It is a rare treat to be allowed to animate something like this.


08-27-2004, 04:42 PM
Sorry for the naive question... but can someone explain to me the use of the word matte painting here? Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought matte paintings were static images used to be backdrops for action... but the smoke and fire in this would clearly be mobile right?
i guess that it can be used as a primary layer and the smoke and the fx works could be on the secondary layer.....

08-27-2004, 04:51 PM
yess!! amazing :eek:, looks very real, the fire and the smoke looks so good!

08-27-2004, 05:07 PM
superbGreat work !

08-27-2004, 05:14 PM
Awesome work and an awesome talent you possess. By watching your demo reel I can understand how they fit motion into your still 2D matte paintings. Hopefully if Peter Jackson films the Hobbit you'll be doing some mattes for that too.

08-27-2004, 05:30 PM
that's beautiful -- i'm sweating just looking at it:applause:

08-27-2004, 05:58 PM
Luckily I was peeking around your site last week (before it got nuked by the cgtalk frontpage effect) - and there's not much else to say but: extreme talent, extreme skills!

08-27-2004, 06:44 PM
Amazing job:scream:

08-27-2004, 06:59 PM
wow~ amazing :bounce:

08-27-2004, 07:34 PM
it has a very large scale look to it. it really gives the feel, much more so than the film.

08-27-2004, 10:33 PM
Visited your site. Very nice reel! Don't know if anyone asked this yet or not; but will you be working on the King Kong movie that's in the works. I know that in the original, matte paintings were key in creating the effect of a lush, dense jungle on Kong's Skull island.
I recall reading years ago how they lined up several sheets of glass in front the camera with sections of jungle painted on them to create a sense of depth. Glad to hear that the new King Kong will also have the same period look of the original. Really looking forward to how it turns out.

08-28-2004, 12:24 AM
Really beautiful, thanks for sharing! :thumbsup:

08-28-2004, 01:03 AM
hey Dylan,

great work like always ...mtDoom was really cool in the movie.
I guess you miss Wellington`s winds and the weather quite
a bit over there, right ? =]

08-28-2004, 01:57 AM
Your Demo reel is very impressive, it really has some fantastic insight as to how your work was used.
Plus your website and the Mount Doom piece are brilliant, very realistic and amazing use of colours to show the fire and smoke. Plus the rocks and mountains themselves look amazing.
Well done on some great stuff, and thank you for helping make Lord Of the Rings such an awesome experience!

Jimzip :D

08-28-2004, 02:05 AM
I noticed some perspectively correct camera panning in a LotR shot in your demo reel. Was the matte painting just mapped to a sphere, or did you do something special to make that line up..? I hope I'm asking the question correctly.

08-28-2004, 05:31 AM
I noticed some perspectively correct camera panning in a LotR shot in your demo reel. Was the matte painting just mapped to a sphere, or did you do something special to make that line up..? I hope I'm asking the question correctly.

I had the same question. The 2d mattes integrate so seamlessly into what seemed to be an all 3d space. How was all that extreme perspective shifting achieved without revealing the 2d gag??


08-28-2004, 06:18 AM
Wonderful Work man. Stuning. :buttrock:

08-28-2004, 07:21 AM
I love the work on the smoke and the lava, and the great contrast between light and dark pieces of your scene...but the clouds on the left leave me a bit confused. Judging from the mountain, it seems like the horizon should be perfectly level, but the grey clouds about halfway down the scene look like they're at a different angle.

I tried top return the DVD when I noticed this enourmous flaw in the film, but they didn't seem to think it was very important.

Love your work, and Rongotai Rocks...yeeaahh.

08-28-2004, 09:40 AM
If there is only an emoticon for the painting that says :speechless: then I'll use that. But since there isn't one, I'll give you a :thumbsup: and multiply that with, oh, as many times I've seen ROTK (rest assured, it's more than I have fingers on both hands).

08-28-2004, 12:09 PM
This looks so awesome that I just have to ask...


any chance for a... errm... wallpaper-size version?

pleasepleasepleasepleasepleasepleasepleaseplease :bounce: :bounce:

PS : what everyone else already said too... :thumbsup:

08-28-2004, 01:56 PM
any chance you could show maybe a little tut on how you did the lava/fire/smoke stuff? I'm actually trying to paint the inside of Mt. Doom right now...

It looks really awesome! and of course I love lotr!

08-28-2004, 03:57 PM
Title: Mt. Doom
Name: Dylan Cole -weta Digital
Country: Usa
Software: Photoshop 7

Here is a matte painting I did for Return of the King.


Just... damn.


Welcome to my permanent wallpaper directory. Feel free to render at higher res.

08-28-2004, 06:18 PM
Very nice...
Must've taken forever!

08-28-2004, 07:45 PM
Just awesome!

You guys made something that was impossible..!

08-28-2004, 08:32 PM
Perfect!Real great painting!
I would not goto there :D

09-02-2004, 04:58 AM
What the hell is wrong with people like you? How can being that genius be legal?

Please tell me you at least sketch it out and you don't just open up Photoshop and do that from your mind....

09-04-2004, 07:24 AM
nice volcano dude......love the making of....the lava and the smoke you've made are amazing...keep it so

09-05-2004, 12:23 PM
The volcano and all your works in your site are FANTASTIC !!!http://cgtalk.com/images/smilies/thumbsup.gif http://cgtalk.com/images/smilies/thumbsup.gif http://cgtalk.com/images/smilies/thumbsup.gif http://cgtalk.com/images/smilies/thumbsup.gif http://cgtalk.com/images/smilies/thumbsup.gif http://cgtalk.com/images/smilies/thumbsup.gif http://cgtalk.com/images/smilies/thumbsup.gif
I envy the way you gave life with your work in all these scenes of LORD OF THE RINGS whitse
i am big FUN !

09-06-2004, 03:31 AM
Congartulations to the outstanding work. It is very inspiring. As I love landscapes I can tell you it is a blast! Keep doing nice works as this one.

09-12-2004, 11:07 PM
truly captivating imagery, very powerful. can really appreciate the skill level needed to paint this image in photoshop.

thanks for sharing with us

10-15-2004, 06:50 AM
Incredible work, what more can I say... :beer:

12-19-2004, 12:35 AM
very very nice use of color in the cracks of the volcano, no crits.

01-24-2005, 12:53 PM
This might be a bit late to say this, but your work in LOTR is highly inspiring. I am a big fan of yours and would like to walk in your footsteps someday.

And for those of you who have been asking Mr.Dylan a tut on how he did the lava and other stuff, check out his interview here => http://www.rendernode.com/articles.php?articleId=216. He throws a lot of light about his works.

05-16-2005, 10:37 AM
wow... :)
this is great, i loved the movie, and have been a huge fan of the book since childhood ^^

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