View Full Version : Matte Painting :: Practice 1 :: 2D Painting ::JOIN NOW

09 September 2006, 06:00 PM
hey guys after that great atlantis challenge I thought it would be great if we all keep practicing before another real challenge,
I have here a photo taken from the net ( don't know who the photographer is ) but I think that for learning how paint it is a real good example from begginers to advance members.
the practice here will be to paint all , USE OF PHOTOS OR 3D ARE NOT ALLOWED.
just 2D painting , try to do it all manually without the use of gradients, rulers, masks etc.


and this is what I could achive in some hours,

IMPORTANT THING:: because we are working with a real photo source try that your elements does not look like sketches, they should look really integrated and photorealistic, study the image very well before starting painting. levels, colors, mood, scale, depth etc. this will be fun and a fast practice for all of us


09 September 2006, 07:18 PM
That's awesome! Your image is very realistic and is seamlessly integrated with the photo.
Great work!

I'll absolutely join this one!

09 September 2006, 05:14 AM
Great work James...Very nice painting~...
Though not very good with painting...but think I will give it a try.

09 September 2006, 10:23 AM
I think it’s better to work on something rather than just discuses on subject of 2nd challenge.

It’s good to work on the each dimension of matte p. as a practice. Lets do it this:thumbsup:

09 September 2006, 04:13 PM
yeah this is not just a 2D practice is a 2D painting over a real photo source, that has to do a lot of thing with matte painting in real life, I hpe much of your people get involved to this practice

09 September 2006, 09:08 PM
A great idea, Jaime. Iīll do something as soon as possible. Your imageīs very cool:thumbsup:

09 September 2006, 09:54 PM
Hey James, I'll give it a try ... :)

09 September 2006, 06:36 PM
cool ! hope to see some of your work around here, keep it up people !

09 September 2006, 07:41 PM
hi jaime,

long time no post,

thatīs a fun exercise, so hereīs my submission...

love your image, hope mine is not too bad, I worked the whole day on it and am bit tired now, maybe Iīll rework it a bit, what do you think?

09 September 2006, 07:57 PM
nice one trialanderror ( vbmenu_register("postmenu_3844708", true); the levels are quite right, and the idea is nice, just I would do a lot more detail to that tower, tiny little details that make the elements more interesting and photorealistic

09 September 2006, 09:28 PM
thanks for the quick reply! Iīll try to update soon, just quite busy at the moment... but Iīll be back soon...

09 September 2006, 05:13 AM
I've started to have a go at this one too.

one question I have.. is how do you work out the perspective for a scene like this?

09 September 2006, 12:02 PM
one question I have.. is how do you work out the perspective for a scene like this?

donīt know exactly, but if itīs not too complex as in my image, I only use my eyes for perspective and if itīs more difficult (i.e. many buildings, characters,...) I use perspective grids for better proportions, eyelevel, etc...

hope that helps

09 September 2006, 01:23 PM
Waw! Good idea!

09 September 2006, 08:02 PM
Hey James, that paintings really cool, nice work and great idea.

Now let me think what to do ... mmmm

- Dave.

09 September 2006, 11:25 PM
Hi all

I have a question regarding this thread, .I have only just stumbled across this, I admit i had no idea it was here:scream:.. I have already gone on to nearly finish my painting when i discovered "subscribe to this thread" and i thought, well fair enough, i'd better ask before posting
so does one require a subscription to this particular thread to be able to participate?

I am sorry if this comes off as slightly un educated *coff*..

thanks in advance


09 September 2006, 12:57 AM
LightSovereign everyone is allowed to upload images here , this is not a challenge or so, it is just for anyone wanting to practice matte painting , so feel free to show us your image

09 September 2006, 10:06 AM

well here is my image, Its my first attempt at matte painting, thanks very much, jaime. The thing that was very attractive about this practice was that this was straight brushing. I am unfamiliar with using masks and such, so this was a great opportuntity to jump in and see what it is all about..In the end, this is prolly more arty than realistic. I got caught out a few times in the process, usually i don't give things too much thought as to functionality, here i find i have to think things through in greater detail..I found the background easier than the foreground for sure ^^..Regardless, much fun to be had and any chance to challenge the thought process of creating is welcomed

Thanks very much for posting this thread and i look forward to seeing other arts ^^
crits most welcomed



09 September 2006, 02:14 PM
Nice one, LightSovereign!

I have the idea for my image pretty much figured out.
I have done some sketches but will send the image after I'll be hapy with it. It's not easy really.

Keep up


09 September 2006, 06:22 PM
nice one LightSovereign ( vbmenu_register("postmenu_3850108", true); , great concept and execution, you've got the point of this excercise :thumbsup:

09 September 2006, 07:49 PM
Hey jamesvfx any possibilities that you could add a psd with the perspective grids inside? I still got problems with photos to decide where the lines should go. Would be great for us beginners *gg*

09 September 2006, 06:09 AM
Here is my final submission.

and here are the painted areas details.
Thanks :thumbsup:

09 September 2006, 06:43 AM
Hey, chinnha (,

The first thing I noticed is with the round green building on yours, I would work on the windows that have lights in them, they are sort of a flat yellow, i think a little glow in them would look great!

These look really good. I've always been a little hesitent to get into Matte Painting. I think this could be my ticket in. Any pointers?

09 September 2006, 05:05 PM
I'm afraid I don'thave a grid for linear perspective, I did it just with eye. chinnha GREAT IDEA I like the attention to detail you did in your image, just a few issues, first of all, the green and general colors are too saturated, they would look more photorealistic to the photo if you down the saturation
I don't think you can see an illuminated windowd at this time of day, yellow is a little bit wrong and you would not be able to see the lights croming from inside, the reflection of the total enviroment would make the windows look almost white or blue from the sky , I wouldn add glows in any of the signal lights

09 September 2006, 06:15 PM
Thanks Jaime,

I just want to add human presence in that what I think is its military base, day time assumed 9am, and because of the closed structure and tiny windows of bldg there would be darkness inside, and the frozen cold need yellow warm light inside.

Outer Flash lights! There I marked circular shape in ice for helicopter landing space. Flash lights are for helicopter up in the sky. I seen these types of airport lights are much brighter so pilot can differ them from other lights. That’s why I made them brighter so they flash out from ice reflections.

I enjoy it!

Waiting for practice-2

09 September 2006, 06:32 PM
Good jobs! hereīs the mine. Not very original but... heheh:

09 September 2006, 11:18 PM
great work gonzale, nice execution, the only thing I would suggest is:
as a matte painter we are painting reality over all ,that means technique and results, the technique you used is accurate for the source photograph but not the result, always think on the elements you are adding what should they cause to the already real enviroment, I mean if you have a magma river in a snowy landscape all snow sorrounding the magma should be already melt and the rock would be discovered, boiling melted snow , and maybe water should be around think of it
great work and welcome to the practice

09 September 2006, 08:40 AM
Yep, youīre completely right Jaime:thumbsup:

09 September 2006, 08:15 PM
So here goes mine...

I wanted more cathedral look but painted it without reference, and didn't change it later.
Not a lot of time in this one, but I learned a lot of things. I learned mostly, what I can't do very well, to know what to practice...

I'll do the next one better.:D

Was nice practice though.


09 September 2006, 09:12 PM
Hey guys, nice paintings so far.
Just wanted to say I didn't forget this. Just am out of time these days. Maybe on saturday I'll have the needed time :)

09 September 2006, 05:09 AM
great work gonzale, nice execution, the only thing I would suggest is:
as a matte painter we are painting reality over all ,that means technique and results, the technique you used is accurate for the source photograph but not the result, always think on the elements you are adding what should they cause to the already real enviroment, I mean if you have a magma river in a snowy landscape all snow sorrounding the magma should be already melt and the rock would be discovered, boiling melted snow , and maybe water should be around think of it
great work and welcome to the practice

But still a good painting none-the-less! :D

09 September 2006, 08:16 AM
great paintings so far! I hope I have time to participate,great work guys:thumbsup:

09 September 2006, 08:19 PM
Hey guys, some really nice ideas coming through. Just spent a few hours over the last week putting this together. It has a few problems but i guess that's why such projects are so great, we learn from our mistakes Let me know what you think.

I was pushing for something simple and realistic.

Cheers - Dave.

09 September 2006, 09:01 PM
great work david, I think you just did what's enough for this painting, credible stuff and great painting technique very clean

09 September 2006, 09:23 PM
Great one David, here's my first try.

Just noticed that I took it a little too far :sad:. I'll start again and try less with more detail :D.

09 September 2006, 09:28 PM
Hey cheers James, i still find it very difficult to get a true photo realistic look, though i didn't use any photo references for this one which would probably help in future.

- Dave.

09 September 2006, 09:30 PM
Wow, that's interesting, less of a matte and more like a painting, but still very interesting.

Are they cities to the left?

09 September 2006, 10:37 AM
Thanx David, yeah thats a huge city-mushroom-structure like the one in the background.

09 September 2006, 12:24 PM
Awesome, I'm really impressed with the different concepts coming through now. If anything, it's tought me to stop rushing my brushing (deary me, that sounded silly) and take things more slowly, i look to my piece and its a mess!.

Inlakechh, i love that concept, it has a very ethereal aesthetic and unique perspective, own up who else thought of doing in portrait? :D.

those powerlines in everlites piece are very impressive (its the perspective of them), believe it or not thats triggered fond memories from my youth, a strange side effect really :).

way to go everyone:thumbsup:


09 September 2006, 09:13 AM
A little WIP. After a couple of hours. Not all that impressive, I know, but i'm inching towards as much realism as possible:

I'll update this image later.

09 September 2006, 11:55 PM
No that's good, simple and effective, at first i didn't even realise the clouds were removed. The snow 'rails' look a little soft in the foreground perhaps, not quite sure why, hard to say, it's just my brain saying, "a little too soft"! second to that my eyes are say they expect to see something in the distance as they follow the road up, up to what they say? ... Crazy eyes

Continue this and see what happens

- Dave.

09 September 2006, 12:27 AM
good I agree everlite this is simple and effective , it would be great if you add another man made elements

09 September 2006, 12:31 AM
Hey guys just noticed this thread, I just wanted to know how long are we allowed to spend time on the image?

Btw nice looking images, Everlite yours is one of my favourites.

09 September 2006, 12:33 AM
hi George this is just a practice no deadlines here, just upload your image when ever you want, following the rules of course, , welcome I'm looking forward for your entry

09 September 2006, 03:05 AM
Thought I'd take a crack at this. Lots of nice efforts in this thread so far! I tried to make the man made elements fit the environment. I forced myself to work without reference photos as an exercise, just to see what I could come up with out of my noggin'. Any crits are welcome. I may noodle on it some more if I get time.

09 September 2006, 07:34 AM
Hey thanks Vshen

Hi jhuerta, well done. At first the perspective threw me a little, i thought the right side had problems but then i realised the building is maybe going down a hill to the right, which makes sense then I also think it might have been good to balance the use of the original image a little more.

Cheers - Dave.

09 September 2006, 06:43 PM
Thanks Dave, I agree with you on the perspective issue... it's funny how you don't see it when you're working on it. The man made elements kind of took over the image, I think I would have tucked everything into the scene a little more if I were to do it again. Thanks for the comments!

09 September 2006, 05:27 PM
Your welcome, though to be honest the persepective kinda works, it seems to be slanting down a hill to the right, i don't think this was intended but it just about pulls off.

Hey great portfolio by the way

09 September 2006, 07:25 AM
Hello all -- I'm enjoying seeing your submissions and thought I'd throw in my hat. I really tried to push myself. Complete sky replacement (or close to), foreground elements, color balance tweak, etc. Please give me your critiques. I need the help.

09 September 2006, 11:06 AM
I love what you have done with that sky. Beautiful painterly aesthetic. even the shape of the mountain looks effective. Nice palette shift aswell..

This may be personal taste. but it would be nice to see patches of cloud shadow across the land..How would the trees directly on our left look if they were in shade?..Surely some tiny puffs of cloud will be floating across the light source. I think i am reacting to the same intensity of light from the snow across the broad.

I'm not sure if the Vase's need criting at this stage, as they look unfinished, but otherwise, im impressed with that BG.

impressive work.


09 September 2006, 06:27 PM
Hey nice one mate, nice lighting. I think in parts it seems a little rush and unfinished, perhaps in future projects i think maybe less is more so to speak. I'm no expert in the field though i feel myself when creating a matte painting the director/client wants you to compliment the photography chosen and not replace it.

Nice work, keep on

- Dave.

09 September 2006, 06:41 AM
Spent around an hour on Monday night changing the mountian and then decided to erase the fg trees last night...Its still very much a wip. Will hopefully work on the FG today.

10 October 2006, 08:04 PM
nothing near as good as everyone elses but i wanted to give it a shot. 3-4 hours :shrug:

10 October 2006, 06:08 AM
Hi all!
My painting is not so original, and has no many details, but time to work above it a little. I shall be grateful for critics.

10 October 2006, 01:31 AM
Hey DiM :)

I think you fell into the same trap i fell into in that everything here is artistically very nice, but not realistically functional..(that sounds harsher than implied)..For instance the first thing i noticed was your building up the back there..(now if thats based on an actual design, just dis-regard me crit :) ). to me if a decent amount of snow were to fall, that radar and its platform would break under the heavy weight, maybe not initially but over time will definately tell. i feel its not designed for the environment.

secondly, is this a top secret military outfit?...that fence will be keeping nobody out :lol: Judging by how enticing that fence is for me, its a very friendly place to be, yet i look at that building and think hhmm very secretive, if not for the fact that it is where it is, in a snow field in the middle of nowhere, best place to be to execute espionage :).

Finally, just a lil nitpick of the design of the gateway. the gates themselves don't seem to be attached to anything (I.E hinges to enable swing etc). Its basically the little things in this picture, which stand out for me as needing improvement..

I'd like to finish by saying, iv'e spent years doing the same thing with my art aswell, so its been neat for me to sit an analyze your picture, i enjoy your piece very much and i hope i haven't stood on anyones foot with my crit :P. (ahhh a good legal disclaimer, marley)

hehehe this thread is great :thumbsup:


10 October 2006, 08:16 AM
Shrinking violet: I think maybe you should try to retain more of the original photography in future projects, sometimes a director might go to extreme lengths to get the right location to add their really cool secret militry base to(or whatever it may be) Most of the time they want to retain the location and just inhance it to fit the story. Nice painting work though :thumbsup:

anim_ziggy: Good start though i think maybe we would see more highlights poking through the shadows and to the right sides of the building, keep it up

DiM: I agree with the last post, pretty much says all that can be said, though to add to this the perspective seems a little out in places, especially around the gate. Nice painting though, like the post thing in the forground. Try using a harder brush in future projects, i think many people associate snow with softness and automatically approach painting all areas of snow with a soft brush, this can be good sometimes for blending fill areas but when it comes to edges it can produce an effect that looks unrealistically TOO soft :)

Nice work everyone - Dave :applause:

10 October 2006, 09:07 AM
hey everlite thanks you're too kind :P

10 October 2006, 04:59 PM
Here's my go at it. I did a snow cabin, something not as grand as everyone else's but it works perfectly. Let me know what you think.

10 October 2006, 05:06 PM
hey vfxr24 i like vibrance of your colours...i'm no expert either as u saw on my terrible castle one...but i think there's something wrong with the perspective of the cabin especially the roof. If u compare it with the woodshed or whatever that small building is in the distance its completely different And I think that the later one is correct.

10 October 2006, 05:17 PM
That's a good effort my friend, nice shadows around the fence, though i feel the shadows could be stronger around the main house, shadows tend to be darker the closer they are to the casting object and difuse outwards (with reference to the roof window boxes.)

Scale seems a little off, it's worth trying to imagine how big elements in the current photography would relate to say an average man. I'm guessing that the small trees scattered around in the forground seem to be waist to chest height, while the larger trees in the mid-ground seem around 4-5 times bigger than the average man, around 12-16 feet maybe. And remember the trees in the distance that climb up the mountain are probably similar in size to the mid-ground trees so we can use this as a good reference for scale. (which is where i screwed up :-)

With reference to the house the side seems a little flat and needs more perspective. Nice snow build up around the base :buttrock:

Nice one mate, keep it up, they only get better the more you do :thumbsup:

- Dave.

10 October 2006, 05:23 PM
Thanks ziggy and everlite!

You're right about the shadows, I'll go back and fix those up.
And I can see now that there is something odd about my roof. I'll take a look at that too.
Thanx for the replies!

10 October 2006, 05:50 PM
I went back and messed with some of the shadows. I really can't figure out what's going on with the roof. If anyone knows please help me out. Thanx!

10 October 2006, 05:55 PM
can't see the image mate!

10 October 2006, 06:37 PM
Hey guys! Thanks for kind words and comments. I necessarily shall take advantage of them. The fence in general was an impromptu. I in couple of days (now it is a lot of work) probably shall replace with its serious system of protection of perimeter. Dave thanks for advice in occasion of a brush. To me too it seemed that to a side too soft.
Marley! The good comment is always necessary. Thanks. Well and the aerial to bend.... Simply 8))) Actually I have simply made fast figure and a little it detailed. Probably nevertheless it is not enough..

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