View Full Version : "Urban Oasis" WIP - Need help

04 April 2006, 06:47 AM
LAST UPDATE - 20th April 2006


My second matte painting. This is still a WIP.
There are several things I am not pleased with but I would like to hear your suggestions about how to improve this.



04 April 2006, 05:18 PM
My second matte painting. This is still a WIP.
There are several things I am not pleased with but I would like to hear your suggestions about how to improve this.


IMO the problem lies in the fact that you have lost the depth and shadows in image #3. Image #1 shows a variety of colors of trees and shadows to give it depth, but you haven't followed through with this in image 2 or 3.

1) Image 3 is very flat. The trees are not showing any volume or shape like in image #1.

2) Change the grass to go from darker in the forground to lighter in the distance. This will take the eye to the house.

3) Delete the buildings in the foreground, as the stop the viewer from enetering the image.

4) I liked the house in the first image better than the flat toppd house in the last image. The peak on the roof is a shape that echoes the building shapes.

5) Finally, stagger some of the trees on the right like you have on the left. They are too straight right now. make one of the trees on the right red too! (image #1)

I think image #1 is a very nice composition overall. Try some of the above suggestions and I think this will imporve dramatically.

04 April 2006, 06:49 PM
I titally agre with paint guy, be ware of the textures in the background buildings as well they look too flat with just a building texture on them, paint shadows or highlights so we can see some volume

the shadows in the grass look too painted ,I'm not sure with the house perspective, maybe the texture is a little off

04 April 2006, 12:00 AM
Thank-you very much, guys. Your insightful comments were really helpful. I completely redid the forest and the terrain. I think that they look better now. Probably I will do the same to the buildings.
At first I wanted to keep a painterly feel, but I dropped that idea. Perhaps in a further stage I will "blend" everything together through painting to give it some unity.


04 April 2006, 03:57 PM

That looks a lot better! You might want to adjust the contrast on a couple of the trees they look a little washed out. The buildings look great.

How are you applying the textures to the buildings? Are those textures applied to the 3D objects, or are they painted on?

Where did you get those building textures. I need some for an old british city?

04 April 2006, 04:09 PM
Thanks, Lorne.

But I'm not too happy about the trees nor the buildings. The latter look too dirty and I think I will have to redo them.
I did them in Photoshop but I don't know which is easier and more effective: placing them in Photoshop or applying them as textures in 3dsmax?

I think I'll go take some pictures downtown tomorrow to make things easier and more realistic.

In answer to your query I used the Marlin Textures "Downtown Surfaces and Signs"...

I'll work more on it tonight.

04 April 2006, 05:20 PM
Very good, however there really seems to be something off with your scale. I really like your idea, but I think perhaps, the trees are all too large. I don't really know exactly but there seems to be a scale and perspective disconnect between the buildings, the ground, the trees, and the sky. It just seems odd that a tree would rise halfway up an office building. I know it's possible, but to see the two together is a bit odd. Perhaps you could also think about what kind of trees you are using. When I think of trees that are THAT big, they are usually evergreen, at least in America. I don't normally think of thick dense trees that rise that high, especially with plain of grass around them.

It's a very good looking image but think about type of trees, type of buildings, scale of buildings and trees etc. and overall perspective. The manner that your picture receeds makes it look like a pile of dirt is piled up to half the height of everything else in your image. perhaps if you put the grass on a flatter level, instead of having a recession like you do.

Also, the clouds look a bit off, I think you might want to consider putting a few cloud layers in, or making some volumetric clouds, they are clearly (to my eye) just clouds in a skydome. Experiment with that as well.

Your work is pretty, it just needs to be refined :-).


04 April 2006, 06:33 PM
Cool... great start!!

Maybe adding a depth pass to the mix would help blend everything together.... When I start a matte I have a tendancy to go for mood / depth and overall light first, once I'm satisfied, I move more into details (I find this keeps the matte I'm working on more uniform). Atmospheric perspective is a great way to blend stuff together.

I have to agree also with J3.. scaling is an issue.. tree leaves, grass and other fine details seem a bit big compared to other size references -like building windows- we see in the shot.

Adding a shadow from a tall building in the bottom FG part would be a great addition to help anchor your concept of an Urban oasis by underlying the fact that it is surrounded by skyscrapers.
Keep up the good work.. can't wait to see how it turns out. :thumbsup:

04 April 2006, 06:39 AM
Thanks guys...your comments are really helpful. I didn't implement some of the things you mentioned because I wanted to correct what I had, and I want to finish placing all the buildings, before doing any "unification" passes with depth, fog and painting. I would like to hear more of your suggestions.


04 April 2006, 04:42 PM
I would put more of a depth pass in with a stretch of ground and trees you need water to make the trees grow, water evaporates into the air and makes haze and fog, through those trees a light mist which affects the buildings behind it and makes them cooler is what I would reccomend.


04 April 2006, 11:02 PM

Not to be overly negative but there are a few big things that I can see from looking at the painting so far, please take these as areas where you can now work on the image.

- as already mentioned scale is not consistant in the trees.
- a lot of the edges in the shot are very soft and hazy and need to be much more detaield and not just air brushed masks
-colour matching, especially gamma and black points quite far off at this point
- a couple of the fg trees just seem to be stuck on top of the image and not integrated into the scene at all at this stage
The back buildings are far too clean and glossy compared to the ones on the left, which also are two mid grey and not shadowed enough.

here is a quick overpaint describing what I mean :

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