View Full Version : Adding geometric/architech details to matte painting

05 May 2006, 07:07 PM
Hello you matte gurus,

Hopefully there's not an identican thead already existing... anyways:

I'm just working on with my first actual matte painting case here. I've previously done only one or two matte demos ( for practice, but since it's the real thing here, I'd like to hear some opinnions of some clever detailing.
I'm doing few paintings of city views at night. (I'm quessing this is very typical scene so there must be tons of good tips out there.) I'd like to add geometrical and architecturic details, such as masses of windows, as clever as possible. The details should follow strickly straight lines like perspective. I've tried doing some free hand lines, but that just doesnt work. :) Hopefully you get my problem. One or two windows are not a problem, but tens or hundreds of sky scrapers with hundreds of windows on each IS a bit of problem.

Here's some Googled photos of the situation I'm trying to achieve.
pic 1 (
pic 2 (
pic 3 (

ANY tips are warmly welcome!

05 May 2006, 01:35 AM
welcome to this matte painting forum elderberry , I already saw your painting s and they are awesome, great technique, composition and color , I know exactly what you mean , doing a night cityscape is not that easy, you have to think, where will I put these lights , in order to gain composition not make a kaos of it, take a look at this example, how with lights and skyscrapers lights, I could gain depth and scale

as you can see I used lots of photos , that I collected via itnernet, doing some 2d painting I could tweak some of the original shapes to make my own buildings design
think about an image exposure, get as many reference as you can, and always try to star with s rough sketch to a color sketch, these steps will help you in composition, mood, and concept
your skill and technique are great, just take a look at other matte painters how they use light, let me know if I can help you better

05 May 2006, 09:29 AM
Thanks man! That really helps. :)

05 May 2006, 02:47 PM
Hi there,
I'm making matte paintings of night cityscape for one project too.
I found out it's very hard.
Watch Dylan Cole's Gnomon Matte Painting - Cityscapes DVD
There is good technique of doing windows - square brush with opacity and hue jitter and big spacing.

05 May 2006, 04:13 PM
Kutkin you are right with that dylan's technique but that could work for very very far away buildings or for sketching just like he did, , in final detaileed matte paintings I've always used photo elements , it's hard picking the right windows for your buildings , I always change hues, cloning a lot , and placing every element with the right balck and white levels, for this image I did , I work for over a month, selecting the photo resources was really important
I found great high resolution images here ( (
as well as lots of reference

05 May 2006, 06:03 AM ( (

These sites looks great! Thanks for sharing. I used photos too in my demos and I think I'll be using them in the future too. Seems to be practical. The square brushes sound neat too though, and no doubt good for long distance buildings.

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05 May 2006, 06:03 AM
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