View Full Version : MATTE TOOLS - List your weapons!!!

06 June 2006, 04:21 PM
I am a filmmaker who is transitioning into digital matte painting as a profession. I am proficient with Photoshop, Illustrator, Premiere, and traditional filmmaking (photography, lighting, composition, story). I would like to know more about what you guys prefer to use in terms of software, digital and non digital elements, and process. I know this may be intrusive so you may be general. I will share with you all that I know about traditional filmmaking in return.

To answer my own question as an example:

I have a home built P4 system 2.4GHZ, 1.5 Gig DDR 400 Ram,

128MB Radeon 9000 Graphics card, over 400gigs of drive space.

I use a combination of shot footage in various capacities from VHS to 24p 3CCD quality. I also use photo stills and digital images captured from other sources.

I integrated these elements together to create mattes, composites, and transitions in Adobe Premiere Pro CS, and After Effects CS. I will be uploading demos soon…

I am looking to learn more about Matte painting with 3D software and other tools used by the mavericks of this trade. Any suggestions and comments are encouraged!!!

06 June 2006, 07:36 PM
Ok here you go:

Gigabyte K8NSC - 939 nForce 3 250gb
AMD 64 3200 Venice SSE3
1 Gig OCZ Performance
1x WD 160 GB 7.2k
2x WD Raptors 10k (Raid Array)
1x 60GB WD External
Geforce 6800 Ultra Extreme AGP 256MB (Softmodded to Quadro FX 4000)
Viewsonic WPCI 100 (Broadcom) 802.11g
2x LG 17" Studio 700s CRTs
6x8 Wacom Intuos 3
4x5 Wacom Graphire 3
Canon LiDE 50 Scanner
Nikon D50 DSLR with 3gb of Memory
Canon ZR65 DVC Camera

Photoshop CS2, Painter IX.5, 3ds Max 7, Maya 7, Premier Pro 1.5, Combustion 4.0, various plugins such as 55mm for premier and afterburn for 3ds max.

That help? For matte painting more ram would probably help me, so would a mac for that matter. The only problem I have when painting a matte in ps at film rez is after about 75 layers I have random crashes. Every PC i try with the same file causes crashed but on a dual g5 power mac in never crashed once. Most matte pros would use mac but this total preference on their part, I use PC because of the 3d aspect Maya for mac is slow and tideious.

06 June 2006, 01:09 AM
My main tools are PS2 (can't wait for PS3 hopefully they will have floating point support and better brush management) and XSI. I'm beginning to play with Vue.

At work I'm using a 2X Duel processor PC with 4GB RAM. I have a 23 inch Apple display and a 21 inch CRT. Most guys I know are all using PCs mainly because there is more available on the 3D side of things and they tend to be cheeper. I do miss the stability of a Mac. I used one at home for many years befor being lured by the dark side.

Working in 16 bit can be a dog even on that system so I have to get creative to manage file size.

I try and shoot as much reference as I can. We have a Canon 10D at the office and they will rent a 16MP SLR for the VFX super to use for on set photography. For each project we have tones and tones of photo material. ACDSEE comes in very handy for sorting all those RAW images.

Hope thats of some help.

06 June 2006, 11:57 PM
well my weapons would be

nikon d50
HP x4000 dual 1.5 Xeon
2 GB ram
intous 2 6x8
a home made dual core 3.5 mhz
2 GB ram
intous 2 6x8
both on gforce 5600

for software photoshop cs2 , 3ds max, maya, after effects and combustion , and I agree with thenextside ACDsee is such a great tool

06 June 2006, 12:06 AM
Well I don't have a very high end machine but so far now I'm ok with matte paintings.I wonder what will happen when diving into 3d animation though :)

Pentium M 1.86.Ghz 783Mhz, 1GB Ram,100GB hdd,ATI Mobility Radeox X300.

I use Adobe Photoshop CS2 generally.When needing photo reference I always take them personally.If I need something special only then I grab it from net. Sometimes I use Maya for additional 3d elements and Terragen for high resolution sea pictures.Corel Painter is a good tool also,sometimes I use it to create detailed landscapes.

06 June 2006, 11:41 AM
Ok...slight of topic...but I find this thread appropriate...

I got a vaio p4 fearly descent...Gforce on etc 1gig ram! Monitor is 16 intch which again ok but it is too bright... it seems that whenever i draw or render there and see it on an other monitor is tooo dark..

solutions for that would be an external monitor as i can't afford a new system right now...
sooo which is a good monitor and in a fearly descent price?

06 June 2006, 12:29 PM
AMD64 3500+ WC | MSI K8N Diamond | 2048MB Corsair 3200XLTwinKit DDR400 | HIS X850XT IceQ | Enermax Noisegiant 485W | Seagate SATA(x3) & ATA(x1) | WinXP32 Pro SP2 | Bios: 1.7 | Wacom Graphire 3 | NEC 1970GX2

Want to stick to a dual core and SLI system soon I got the money :)

06 June 2006, 03:52 AM
i am just getting started in matte painting, but came from a illustration and graphic/web design background, and what i got is working great for me. here's my set-up.

DFI LanParty UT nf3 Ultra D
AMD Athlon 64 3500 Venice OC'ed to 2.6ghz.
1GB Corsair LED Memory
CoolerMaster Aquagate Liquid Cooling
3 120 GB WD ATA Drives
GeForce 6800 128mb
Sony Multiscan G220 Flat screen
Wacom Intuos3 4x5 Tablet
Sony s60 digi

software: photoshop cs2, maya 7, after effects 7, premiere pro 2, combustion 4 and various others.

06 June 2006, 11:52 PM
Dell LCD 24" & HP 21 inch

AMD 64 dual core 4400
2x 74 GB 10K RPM raptor (RAID 0)
2x 250 GB, 7200 RPM (RAID 1, mirror)
1x 300 GB 7200 RPM
ATI x1600 (I dont recommend this graphic card, good performance (25-30 frames / sec in big 3D games with max quality settings) but with some graphic glitches and issues, an nvidia 7800 would have been a better choice, I might change it).

Canon 20D, 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Lens (8.5 megapixel, amazing camera!)
Canon lide60 scanner
Epson 2200 printer

Softwares: Photoshop cs2, painter, maya, adobe premiere & after effects.

07 July 2006, 07:08 AM
my weapon is
p4 HT 3.0ghz
3gb Ram
radeon9800 pro.

Philips 190p at office
LG "something lcd" at home.

intuos3 9x12 (my little new fella)

Softwares are 3dsmax, cs2, painter,AE, combustion sometimes and newly vue.

for photos canon g6

07 July 2006, 11:58 AM
Hey guys, you have great weapons. look at my crap :D

Intel Celeron 800mhz
GeForce 4 mx440 64MB
20GB hard drive

Genius tablet 8x6

Software: 3ds max, photoshop cs, rhinoceros, corel draw

Look here at it: - my workstation - (

07 July 2006, 02:03 PM
my weapon:(it sucks)

TFT Neovo 17''
Pentium 4 3.2 Ghz
512 mb of ram
160 gb
radeon 9200 128 mb
wacom tablet NGS 8x6''

i think it's all

P.S:sorry for the bad english

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