XM Magdalena 3D print, GGeorgy (3D)
LC #42 Pipers Alley

View Full Version : Coming Soon: MATTE WARS (Paint a Matte painting in one day)

12-06-2004, 02:48 PM
One idea that has been floating around my head is to do now and then some matte painting in our forum.

I wanted to ask you guys for ideas on this topic, and source plates(ie photos, digital video) that you have have shooted.

Post your topics and links to your files
Daily Sketch Forum Topic Suggestions (http://www.cgtalk.com/showthread.php?t=145003)


12-06-2004, 02:50 PM
This should be a great challenge! Hmm gotta do some research!

12-06-2004, 03:07 PM
that's really cool. I never really did a matte painting but I wanted to do it for a while now.
I have a bunch of high res environment photos hanging around on my computer, I'll see what I can do.

12-06-2004, 03:15 PM
This could be really fun! I have loads of hi-res pics from my trip to New Zealand this past Spring. We were on a "Lord of the Rings" tour - but it might be fun to use them in a non-LOTR setting. Hmmm....

12-06-2004, 04:37 PM
You went on the Rings tour??? *seethes with envy*


captain chapo
12-06-2004, 06:03 PM
so i'm not quite sure what a matte painting is...i mixture of photos and paint or something...?

12-06-2004, 06:21 PM
so i'm not quite sure what a matte painting is...i mixture of photos and paint or something...?

yea something like that.. basically it is a mixing of photos and changing a lot of stuff in the process like the mood. here are some resources:

http://www.dylancolestudio.com/index2.html (did matte paintings for LotR)

12-06-2004, 07:12 PM
Thanks for the great links Garma! I didn't know what "matte-painting" was either. It sure looks time consuming... not that most everything isn't.

12-06-2004, 07:19 PM
you're welcome GOT :) I posted some more resources in the dsg topic thread.

12-06-2004, 08:23 PM
You should keep this one sticky Roberto, this is a fun project for Christmas/new year.

12-07-2004, 04:40 AM
One of the best matte paints I've seen (and it was a true paint, not a digital/photo composite), was the hoth mattes in Empire Strikes Back by Mike Pangrazio. I did a double take when I realised it wasn't a photo. Best damn snow landscape I've ever seen.

12-07-2004, 12:25 PM
Could someone explain what a matte painting _really_ is? Is it like drawing more to a photo or drawing a whole image not just a character or so?

Never really got it so far.. :)

12-07-2004, 04:23 PM
A matte painting is a visual effects technique almost as old as cinema.

The idea is quite simple.

Take a previously shot scene, and expand the enviroment with a painting.

A classic example is the ending shot of Raiders of The Lost Ark in the Washington DC warehouse where the ark finally is stored.


12-07-2004, 04:41 PM
But the idea is not to use two photographs and expand one's environment with another?
It's about literally painting the new environment to the photo you use?

12-07-2004, 05:02 PM
The idea is to EXPAND/ MODIFY the enviroment.
For example, if I posted a picture of the capitol, you could paint it
either in ruins, or with a flying sucer on top of it.

What makes this concept cool is that it is usally used for visual effects.

Just take some digital footage, usually shot with a locked camera, paint an
imaginative backdrop,add affer effects (but for us a paint program Photoshop is more than enough) and presto!

Trust me, ALL OF US can do it


12-11-2004, 12:58 PM
wait, do we paint ONTO the pictures? or recreate them entirely?

12-11-2004, 01:01 PM
wait a minute... do we paint onto the picture? or recreate it entirely?

'cause i can do one of those, and not the other :P

edit: eep, sorry for double post, there was an errory thing

12-12-2004, 01:27 AM
I'd like to see at least one round that isn't photo-sourced. I guess that might be hard to do in a day though, since it's more time consuming to paint from scratch.

12-12-2004, 05:39 AM
tutorials of how some people are modding their cars.... without spending any money... this classify as a matte? or just image manip?


12-13-2004, 02:54 AM
Actually this is what I have in mind:



12-13-2004, 11:13 PM
Cool matte paintings... check it out! ;) (http://www.dylancolestudio.com/index2.html)

12-15-2004, 02:31 PM
I am going home to Puerto Rico, next week.

Ill be shooting some photos and videos to use as plates for this challenge.
Since PR is a tropical island, Ill be able to get some interesting plates.

By the way, if you have suggestions I am all ears.


12-15-2004, 07:26 PM
Have a wonderful holiday in PR! My suggestion is for you to bring the warm weather back north with you when you head back to DC. :)

12-15-2004, 07:34 PM



12-16-2004, 01:08 AM
are there some guidelines about shooting matte painting resources? It's not that much work for me to take my camera and bike and look for some cool shots.

12-17-2004, 10:47 PM
Ok some guidelines for the upcoming MATTE WARS.
These guidelines are a WIP so please feel free to comment on them.

Some of the most famous visual effects have been done using paintings.
from the closing shot of the storage facility in Raiders of the Lost Ark to the
famous stature of Liberty scene in the original Planet of the Apes, matte paintings are
one of the most useful techniques in the arsenal of a VFX supervisor.

I would like to give you guys a taste of your first experience doing visual effects.

So lets do some matte paintings


The topics will be picked by the person who posts the reference still or video.
The reference still or video will be posted here: Daily Sketch Forum Topic Suggestions (http://www.cgtalk.com/showthread.php?t=145003) along with the category of matte you want.
Same rules as a daily sketch, so you only have ONE DAY to finish the matte.
The mattes will be done of either still digital photos or still of a video.
The photos should be taken on Landscape format, but exceptions are accepted depending on the desired matte.
If you are taking a video, you should provide a digital still with the video. I have no problem if a person wants to post a composite video as their final entry.
If you post a video, it should have only locked camera shots with NO ZOOM.
To keep our sanity.
Some of the categories I have thought of that we can do are:

Set extensions
Buildings & Large Scale objects (spaceships, temples, city extensions)
Visual Effects (Building damage, ground craters, fire smoke, snow on the ground, sky replacement)
If enough people show interest in this, this might be something we do often.

Check the Reference so you get an idea of what I am shooting for:

http://www.matteworld.com (http://www.matteworld.com/)
Siggraph 1998 - Matte Painting in the Digital Age (http://rds.yahoo.com/S=2766679/K=the+history+of+matte+paintings/v=2/SID=w/l=WS1/R=1/IPC=us/SHE=0/H=3/SIG=11nb8fpbj/*-http:/www.matteworld.com/projects/siggraph01.html)
http://www.animallogic.com/trailer/features/artofillusion2/illusion_main.html (http://www.animallogic.com/trailer/features/artofillusion2/illusion_main.html)
http://us.imdb.com/name/nm0926087/bio (http://us.imdb.com/name/nm0926087/bio)
http://www.guardian.co.uk/arts/critic/feature/0%2C1169%2C931820%2C00.html (http://www.guardian.co.uk/arts/critic/feature/0,1169,931820,00.html)
http://www.nuvein.com/archived_cinnews_site/cinnews12/digitaldesignart.html (http://www.nuvein.com/archived_cinnews_site/cinnews12/digitaldesignart.html)
http://www.fromscripttodvd.com/harrison_ellenshaw.htm (http://www.fromscripttodvd.com/harrison_ellenshaw.htm)
http://www.theasc.com/magazine/july00/whitlock/pg3.htm (http://www.theasc.com/magazine/july00/whitlock/pg3.htm)

12-17-2004, 11:48 PM
What's the deadline for this? I'm going home as well, I'll make sure I take plenty of pics at home.

12-18-2004, 04:02 AM
You can start posting inmediatly....

PS Are u in SJ now?

12-21-2004, 10:28 AM
thats amazin concept which is running in yur mind but i think workin some restrictions would be more fun and would also explore the creativity of individual art
thats what i think.
n i liked yut idea.
One idea that has been floating around my head is to do now and then some matte painting in our forum.

I wanted to ask you guys for ideas on this topic, and source plates(ie photos, digital video) that you have have shooted.

Post your topics and links to your files
Daily Sketch Forum Topic Suggestions (http://www.cgtalk.com/showthread.php?t=145003)


12-21-2004, 12:30 PM
...at 2am Wed. My plane leaves at 9:30pm tonight. I'm trying to beat the holiday traffic by leaving the office by 4:30pm. I figure it can't take me 5 hrs to get to the airport but, I don't want to risk it. Once In PR I'll be incomunicado till my return. Have fun Roberto! Felicidades.

12-24-2004, 09:58 AM
:shrug: OK call me stupid, sorry guys I am just not clear on what a matte painting is - I kinduv have and idea - (doesn't Lucas et al use them?). I would like to get into this challenge - but I have got to know some of the details of what Matte painting is.

Help - Definitions, examples - Please!:bounce:

Cheers and Eternally Greatful
Gord MacDonald

12-24-2004, 10:03 AM
you find examples in this post:

basically a matte is a photo shot you modify. You can add extra landscapes, houses, (e.g. rivendell to a photo of the valley), you can modify the existing structures (damaged houses, ...) you can do whatever you want and call it a matte painting ;)

12-24-2004, 12:51 PM
Yeah, you can also add a statue of Tuzz on a mountain top ;)


12-25-2004, 06:17 AM
Do you need to use your own photos for a matte or can they be pulled off the internet? I ask because I did a pretty nice matte but it's from internet photos....can I post it?

12-25-2004, 10:08 AM
Yeah, you can also add a statue of Tuzz on a mountain top ;)


:applause: lol

you can take whatever photos you want to take, but pay attention with copyrights ;)

12-25-2004, 02:27 PM
So, when does this start? I'm looking forward to it...

12-25-2004, 02:37 PM
I am going to start the first threads soon.

I am currently shooting some plates in the Caribeean
so hopefully we will get some sweet eye candy soon.


12-25-2004, 02:39 PM
Yupiiiiiie!! :thumbsup:

12-27-2004, 12:53 PM
can we start submitting picture ideas in the suggestion thread yet?

12-27-2004, 01:57 PM
Yes el rodente.
Ill start doing these things at least once a week
as an experiment next year,


12-28-2004, 02:19 PM
i have a cool mountainy picture...

and a new avatar too ¬_¬

12-29-2004, 02:02 PM
Hi guys I am still in San Juan.

Here is a sampler of some of the images I want to post for this.


12-29-2004, 09:11 PM
First off I would like to say hi to everyone, I'm new to cgtalk and happy to be a part of such a wonderful group.

Matte is a basic when learning Photoshop but, called photo manipulation and is quite fun and easy to do. Also it doesn't take a lot of time to put something together. I found in my past experience with manipulation challenges that the thing that took the most time was coming up with material to use based on the theme of the challenge unless, the material was already supplied.

I like the idea of the daily sketch challenge as, the limited time in which you have to complete and submit your project can help sharpen creative talents and tool useage. I'm the type of person that has a hard time coming up with project ideas to practice cg and being provided with challenges such as this helps me practice and learn.

I would like join in the daily sketch but, my regular job will not allow the time for me to do this on a daily basis, 11hrs a day, 6 days a week for right now.

Good Luck to all and have fun.

12-30-2004, 03:26 AM
Nice pics Roberto!

Welcome aboard PadawanCG. Post when you can, no need to do it every day. All artists at all skill levels are welcome. Its a great place to keep the creative juices going and to learn from others. But if you don't have time to sketch, even lurking helps. Cheers!

12-30-2004, 05:22 PM
It is a little unclear... would we all be working from the same source images? I think that would be a great challenge and a way to showcase the communities creativity and talent.

I am excited to give this a stab...

12-31-2004, 05:01 AM
Hello all, I just joined the web page and am keen to get busy.

I think if we all had a chance to play with the same image, that would
be the fairest and most productive way to share ideas.

As there are 2 parts - still/plate and motion, mentioned in this challenge,
perhaps the challenge could be in 2 interconnected stages?

12-31-2004, 05:01 AM
Yes same source Images.

That way we can get diferent interpretations.


01-03-2005, 02:50 AM
Check out this interview so you guys get an idea of what i want:



captain chapo
01-03-2005, 04:38 AM
wow that guy's awesome, he has some sweet rollovers on his site...when is all of this starting?

01-03-2005, 05:54 AM
What's a good resolution for a soon-to-be-matted photo?

01-03-2005, 02:12 PM
Good Question...

" * RESOLUTION : The image can have any aspect ratio up to 800 x 600"

The original source file can be in Hi resolution (3 megapixels or more)
but the final images has to followthe standards of the usual image
requirements used for the daily sketch forum.


01-04-2005, 07:12 PM
Aaaargh, I can't wait no more... can I help with something?

01-05-2005, 05:54 AM
I promise soon.

Technically I am still on Vacation in San Juan

01-05-2005, 11:44 PM
...just looked at your pictures. I lived steps away from pict #2, where Mom lives, in La Puntilla. Is it still nice and toasty? :D I miss it so much, I had two great weeks down there.

01-06-2005, 05:10 AM
Hey Clos71 I am stil in PR.

My Sister just gave birth to a Healthy boy, but as you can imagine things are quite nuts
right now.

You should include some of your PR shots forthe Matte Wars challenge.

01-07-2005, 03:08 PM
What a nice "Dia de Reyes" present! That's great! don't go nuts, that's not the purpose of you going to home...rest. I will definitely use the shots I took home for the painting. I went to Culebra Island and have a couple of shot that I'd like to use. Also I'm trying to integrate some of the shots I took at the Radio Telescope in Arecibo. Let's see how that works out, it should be fun.

Again, congratulations and enjoy the weather!

01-07-2005, 04:08 PM
What a nice "Dia de Reyes" present! That's great! don't go nuts, that's not the purpose of you going to home...rest. I will definitely use the shots I took home for the painting. I went to Culebra Island and have a couple of shot that I'd like to use. Also I'm trying to integrate some of the shots I took at the Radio Telescope in Arecibo. Let's see how that works out, it should be fun.

Again, congratulations and enjoy the weather!You went to the Radio Telescope at Arecibo? SWEEET! I bet that was cool!

Roberto - bring some of the nice warm weather back to the States with you when you head home. Its colder than I like it here in Texas. Me no likey freezey stuff! :)

01-07-2005, 08:15 PM
This is a pictorial summary of my vacation, enjoy.
http://www.carlosvegadesign.com/CGT/PR Vact_Mont.jpg

01-08-2005, 02:38 AM
Nice images CLos71! Looks like a great place.

01-08-2005, 05:31 AM
Thanks, CLos71! PR looks so beautiful, I think we need to plan a DSG group trip there this year. You and Roberto can be sure to come along and be the tour guides for the rest of us! My step-mother's family is from PR, but I've never been there. Its on my list of places still to visit.

01-08-2005, 06:15 AM
Hmmm...this year seems a little hectic for me, I have a big trip planned at the end of July. I think the best time to go is winter when is not hot or cold, like this Xmas break. The weather was wonderful, people that is not used to high heat and humidity will find it very enjoyable. I'm trying as much as I can to go back next Xmas; usually leaving around Dec. 21.

GOT would you go? It'll be a big change from Nebraska!

01-08-2005, 01:53 PM
I agree 100% with cLos71.

PR is the perfect place to go in winter. God
having to go back to the COLD winter of the US east coast
will be brutal.

Ok time to give to share a secret about PR ,
so come close to uncle Robert.

Most hotel room in PR are WAYYY to expensive,
but there are goverment owned places where locals
can stay cheaply.

The key is to know a local.


PS cLos71 you should use your best PR shots for the Mattte Wars.

01-08-2005, 05:00 PM
hmmm....I could probably arrange to go to PR for Xmas 2005! I bet I could even talk my Dad and StepMom into the trip too! Its something to think about anyway. If I can't swing that, I'll just have to get my StepMom to go with me sometime to show me around. I think she still has some family there.

The only thing that would prevent me going at Xmas time is that my Son and his family are currently living in the UAE and they get 2 home trips a year. One at Xmas and 1 in the summer. So I don't think he'd want to use his home visit to go to PR, but he might. Can't hurt to ask, huh? :D

01-17-2005, 10:00 PM
just found this place, it's huge, thought I'd post it here as well

El Dorado (http://gal.mvc.ru/)

01-19-2005, 03:42 PM
When I was a kid, my parents moved the whole family from a small town in Western Colorado to a tiny village in Central Puerto Rico for a year long adventure. I went to school in Spanish and made lot of friends. We explored all around Castañer (near the Arecibo telescope) and much of the beautiful island. PR had an amazing effect on me and my understanding of the world. :eek:

I have been all over the world largely because of the love of travel instilled by my time in PR. My Spanish is rusty when I am not in a Spanish speaking land, but it comes back after a day. There was an amazing waterfall nearby where you could swim into the falls or jump off the top into a huge pool. I still visit the falls in my dreams occassionally. I also fell in love with the ocean in PR. That has been a bit of a curse living in Colorado...

I would dearly love to go back and visit Castañer and PR.

01-20-2005, 02:57 AM
If we make the trip tp PR, we'll let you know. I'm always lloking forward to going home, much more if it's -2º like yesterday. It'd be nice for you to go back to PR and reminisce.

04-29-2005, 07:22 AM
I'm game for some matte painting. I havent done much in this area, but just strted to get really interested. I have the two scheurer (?) gnomon DVDs coming.

looks like fun.


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