View Full Version : Snowfall *First Mattework*

05 May 2007, 02:58 PM
I finally have some free time from college finals so I decided to start working on a tutorial. *Xdreamer79 thanks for finding it*

Took me a while to find a good looking house to work with.

Bare with me, this is going to be my first Mattework so I don't know how it will turn out.
Original picture.

Cleaned plate
Should I chop out the far left tree, does anyone think it distracts the eye?

C&C are most welcome.

05 May 2007, 03:42 PM
That's pretty cool! Did you just use the rubber stamp to erase the signs?


05 May 2007, 03:48 PM
Yea the stamp is all I used. Went alot smoother than I thought it was going to be.

05 May 2007, 06:30 PM
Got a little bit done. Snows on the edges and I frosted the windows. Later today I'm going to put snow on the roof.

05 May 2007, 12:52 AM
this is looking really nice , I like it, maybe a more overcast sky would fit in, or maybe not I can see some hard sun shadows over there, thanks for showing WIP's , a lot of people will learn from your technique

05 May 2007, 04:26 PM
I would desaturate, lower the contrast, and brighten the sky a bit. Give it that look like when its about to dump down with snow. Just a suggestion though, it looks as though its coming along great. That photo plate is gorgeous! I wish I could get some photos like that!
Ill be watching for updates!


05 May 2007, 06:32 AM
Roof Update
I still have to go back with blue for the lighter and darker spots. Along with putting the tree back over the snow.

I would desaturate, lower the contrast, and brighten the sky a bit. Give it that look like when its about to dump down with snow. Just a suggestion though, it looks as though its coming along great. That photo plate is gorgeous! I wish I could get some photos like that!
Ill be watching for updates!

Nick - I made two different options. Not sure if they are exactly what you were talking about but let me know what you think.

I brightened the sky and left the house alone.

This one I brightened the sky and desaturated the house a little bit. Not sure if the house is to desaturated now compared with the sky? I'll wait for some more knowledgeable opinions.
*obviously I still need to go back and work around the trees*

05 May 2007, 01:58 AM
I just meant that I think you should make the blue that is visible in the sky a bit more white. I like how this is coming along. The desaturated version is probably a little too desaturated, but something between the two there could be good. I think the harder shadows on the buildings could do with being taken out a little, coz you have got rid of a lot of the bright sunlight, so the hard shadows dont seem to make sense. Keep it up, i like where this is going!


05 May 2007, 10:50 AM
Hi Andrew,

strong plate and good cleaning here. nice work so far.

and i agree with jamesvfx and spacesprayer a overcast sky would fit in better here and without a bright sunlighning your shadows would be more soften.

it is also a good idea to look at photoreferences to imagine different daylight situations and how it turns out.

eg: (

you should try to get more colorvariation in your snow, some grey would help a lot i think.

ps: you know about the technique to extract something within the channels?



05 May 2007, 11:18 AM
also in the reference that Eligh posted notice no leaves on the trees and no flowers, looking great so far with what you have done hope you get a chance to update soon

06 June 2007, 01:25 AM
I'm out of college but now helping my father with work so I've been quite busy. Today during my lunch break I decided to pull it out, dust it off and get back to working on it.

I painted the tree back over the roof snow. *middle tree*

Worked with the hard shadows. Do these look better? As for technique I really didn't know what to do. For the shadows on the roof I used some different ranges of opacity and painted over them. As for the other shadows *under the roof over hangs and the trees* I just used the stamp tool with lower opacity.

Hows the look of the sky and just the total overall look? Does it look anymore "overcasted?"


My next step was to work on the coloring of the snow on the roof.

06 June 2007, 11:37 AM
An easy way to deal with shadows is to duplicate your image, then use curves / levels to make that image brighter, until the shadows are the right darkness (the rest of the house will look very blown out when you do this, but ignore that, its just the shadow tone you are worried about). Then put a layer mask on that layer, and just paint the shadows back in (which will be lighter). That way you will have the original building, and you will just be painting in the lighter shadows :)

Hope that made sense. Actually you made a pretty good job of taking out those shadows yourself.
I think Ivy made a good point, its probably time to strip down some of those trees and flowers :)

The sky looks much better now, but i think you could still afford to take out some of the bluer tones on the left of the sky? Or maybe push them further towards grey? That is being quite picky tho ;)

I agree about getting some colour variation ionto your snow. Some greys and some hints of blue would look good i think.

Well you still have quite a bit of work to do, but its looking very promising! If you continue with it at this standard, the finished matte will look great!!


06 June 2007, 12:52 PM
Space-sprayer thanks for the reply. I agree about the trees and flowers but how would I go about stripping the leaves off the trees?

I'll try working with the blue tones to the left in the sky.

06 June 2007, 11:01 PM
Well, in short, its gonna be a lot of work :S

The flowers should be easy enough, just paint it back down to maybe the soil flowerbed, cover with snow, and paint in a few twigs etc sticking through to break it up.
The trees are gonna be a lot harder. I think the way I would go about it is to paint the branches, twigs and tree trunk that are covered by leaves back on top of the leaves, and then begin painting out the leaves probably by hand, and making use of clone tool where necessary. I cant think of any simple way to do it im afraid. Maybe someone else knows a better way?

Of course, you dont have to get rid of every leaf, you could leave some of the leaves (no pun intended) and have them catch some of your snow.


06 June 2007, 09:19 PM
Wow this looks great, I've always wanted to learn how to do this. Lets see the turn out, I'll be WATCHING you lol. Good Luck

07 July 2007, 08:32 PM

I sat down today and worked on taking out the small plants/shrubs.
I think under the over hang in the original photo is sort of like a patio. So it wouldn't be grass but it will be covered in snow later. Also I think it was an extra step up from the ground/grass level.

Also there's some discrepancy between the sizes of concrete blocks that I probably should go back and fix a little. But overall how do they look along with the right side of the stairs. *Check previous photos to understand more of what I'm talking about* *They were covered by vegetation*

*Previous update*

07 July 2007, 01:41 PM
Nice update!
Good to see you are getting stuck into the more nitty gritty but tedious parts. I think if you keep at it, by the time you get the snow in there it will look great!


07 July 2007, 07:21 PM
Well I had to give my buddy back his wacom. *needed it for a project for work* I'll try to get it back from him when he's done or I'll try to work with the mouse :eek:

10 October 2007, 09:12 PM
OK I know I'm bumping my old thread but I'm excited because I ordered a Wacom Intuos that should be here tomorrow so I'm going to be working on this project again. :)

10 October 2007, 11:19 PM
Glad to hear it :thumbsup:
I've been waiting ages for the next update ;)


10 October 2007, 03:53 PM
Ok figured it's time for an update.

Went ahead and got some of the trees removed from the background. Now starting up on the foreground trees.

How do the clouds look over on the right side where the tree use to be? Also I feel the walls behind where I removed the tree on the far right look odd *I think it's because I painted the stone wall all the way up the side of that back wing*

All in all it's hard to picture things behind other objects.

I'll have to go back and fix that but it should also look better after the bare tree limbs are painted back in.

Comments? Suggestions?

06 June 2008, 06:40 PM
Second year completed at the university. Summers here and I have my wacom back, *which I'm finding more comfortable using instead of a mouse even for everyday computer use*:) time to get working on some personal projects.

I'll even be starting a sketchbook thread in the 2D forum to hopes to receive some comments and critiques on my traditional non-digital work along with the starting of digital sketches.

While looking back through this thread and seeing what still needed to be completed I thought to myself I'm in way over my head for this being my first matte painting. Instead of quitting because I thought it was too much I'm sticking with it knowing it will still turn out if not into some masterpiece then at least a learning experience.

Started off with this plate

And here I am now.

I'm actually a little bit stumped on how to replace the trees in the front of the yard with leafless trees without ruining the house behind them. I ask for a little bit of help with this as I'm probably using some 'beginner' techniques compared to some of you others. As for my technique, on the far left tree, I used a stock photo of a bare tree and used the clone stamp to paint it in.

Thanks again.

06 June 2008, 01:12 PM
I am afraid there is no easy way around this. What I would do is to completely paint out the tree, pick tones from the house behind to get accurate colours
and values, and then really remove all of the tree. Try to rebuild the house behind as accurately as possible, and then clone some of the texture from this blank wall on the right of the house to recreate some of the structure behind. for the roof you could grab some parts from the large roof, copy them over, mask them nicely and then tweak value and colour until they match. After that you could paint in a nice blank tree with just a few leaves and snow on it.

A few words on the snow...I think it really needs some colours in it, right now it looks almost purely white. Even with overcast weather you usually get some colour and value variation in snow. And if you want to stick with the overcast sky, then I think you should paint out some of the structures in the sky, since then you usually cannot really distinguish single clouds.
Certainly you should decide on what type of weather, sky and light you want to have, as that decides what colours you will have in your picture, and if and where you need to paint shadows. I personally would probably do an evening type of setting, as that allows for more colours and a different atmosphere. But that is up to you, either way is fine :)

Also, I suggest you clean up some of the edges of the snow, as snow usually creates a smooth cover on top of everything, and has rather hard edges. Further down, where people walk around, it would be okay to make it look more kicked around, perhaps even work in some muddy colours there.

Hehe, hope that was not a bit much now, I am curious to see where you will take it!

06 June 2008, 04:04 AM
Time for an update.

Memod - I went ahead and put in a whole new sky. Not sure if it will work for me or against me as the sun seems to be in a different position in the new sky.

Painting out the trees was actually easier than I thought it was going to be.

Haven't touched the snow layers, other than smoothing out the edges on the roof, as I'm still fiddling with sky to find out the lighting.
I'm trying to go for a mid morning time of day where the homeowner woke up and went out side to take a quick snap shot of the house. Which I'm planning on adding foot prints from the door step out to the street.

Thoughts on the opacity, which might be correct or might not. - I felt that the 100% gave off more of a morning feel but I wasn't sure if the 100% was just to much as why I also have a 70% made. 0% seems like an evening time of day, which really isn't what I'm going for.

100% opacity

*Didn't want to take up so much room so I'm just posting links to the other pictures.*

70% opacity

0% opacity

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