View Full Version : what is matte painting

12 December 2006, 07:44 PM
I'm confused as to what matte painting is exactly? I've seen pictures that look like they were purely painted and other stuff that looks like it was photomanipulation. Do you manipulate pictures into a colage(sp?) until you like how it is then paint over it? Alot of the work I've seen on these forums are phenominal and I really want to make some myself. Thanks in advance.

12 December 2006, 10:49 PM
In most cases its how you said, photo manipulation untill the pieces are where you like then paint over for to intergrate the photos to each other. (at least thats the overall thought)

Now to answer your question, What is a matte painting? A matte painting is a painting (until recent digital advancements was oil paint on glass) that is made for a specific purpose in film production. Two of the most common of these are set extensions and enviroment establishing shots. Mattes are used as a cost effective alternative to completely modeling, whether in 3d or in a soundstage, an environment to save time and money. For examples of classic mattes check out the book Invisible Art, that book is a very good resource of historical mattes like in Ben Hur, Star Wars, and other classic pieces of epic cinema. In the digital era mattes are now done on the computer with a pen & tablet (wacom almost always), and Photoshop (mattes can be done in other tools but PS is the best for photo manipulation). Matte artist usually work in the following production work flow;

1 Conceptual Drawing (with or without film plates and conceptual design work from art team)
2 3d Modelling (if needed and depends on the matte painter/ project)
3 photo selcetion and manipulation for intergration (Some matte artist paint and do not do photo manipulation)
4 intergration
5 layer optimization for compositing
6 composites and 3d projection maps if needed

Some good video tutorials that I would recommend to any aspiring matte painter are the Dusso, Dylan Cole, Chris Stoski, DVDs from ( . Also The Ryan Church architectual concept art DVDs are a good source of digital painting reference in the concept stage.

Good Luck

12 December 2006, 05:42 AM
which DVD set should i buy first? they are expensive so ill just go with one set to start. Should i get the Dusso set or the Dylan Cole set for starter? They both look equally good but its hard to tell judging from a few 1 minute clips. So I need some advice from soomeone that has seen these.

12 December 2006, 06:21 PM
Hi well if you are going to start , you can start at home without dvd's , some of them are medium to expert level .
my advice would be to really learn first about:
linear perspective
color theory
traditional drawing
learn photoshop perfectly
learn a little bit about photography
(these thing are not shown on the dvd's , and are escencial for this art )
this can be learn via internet for free, I really suggest to check out some of the tutorials in this matte painting forum ( sticky thread )
after this you will sure take advantage of any dvd's you get

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