Meet the Artist :: David Luong

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  08 August 2013
Thumbs up

hey David,

love your work on Blizzard and all your other projects.

i have a question when it comes to using 3D work in the mattes you do. how do you incorporate that into the final piece, do you render out the pieces into different parts and blend them together in Photoshop? or some other technique.

Also how do you mask out specific part of a photo that you are trying to use, such as the trees or sky?

Thanks again for your help and inspiring a lot of upcoming artist such as myself!
 
  08 August 2013
Hi David, congrats!!!

I'd like to ask you if it's important to show environment painting skills of still images, in a matte painting demo reel, together with the before/after matte paintings, 3D models and camera projections, etc? And if so, how to make it interesting, because still images generally are less attractive in a demo reel than animated shots...

p.s:. For those who are starting as matte painters, or those who want to improve with the tuition of David, I definetly recommend his workshop at cgsociety.

Thanks!!!
__________________
"...keep moving forward!"

Rafael Falconi
concept artist | digital matte painter
www.rafaelfalconi.com
 
  08 August 2013
Originally Posted by rbfalconi: Hi David, congrats!!!

I'd like to ask you if it's important to show environment painting skills of still images, in a matte painting demo reel, together with the before/after matte paintings, 3D models and camera projections, etc? And if so, how to make it interesting, because still images generally are less attractive in a demo reel than animated shots...

p.s:. For those who are starting as matte painters, or those who want to improve with the tuition of David, I definetly recommend his workshop at cgsociety.

Thanks!!!


Hio Rafael!

Great to see you here, and my gratitude for the plug to my workshop, I'm really glad you liked it!!

Your demo reel presentation is a great question. Keeping it simple, yet fresh is the best way to do it. First have your name, website, contact info at the beginning and end for at least 3-5 seconds. Then in the middle, you can edit it to some nice complementary music that goes with the beat if possible, it'll keep the viewer more engaged. Have something that's non repetitive, non abrasive, and has a lyrical harmony to it so it sounds like the music itself is leading the story that you're presenting in the images. Have it part of the world. As for the type of presentation on your matte paintings, showing the plate, and then having it wipe or "build up with composited elements and layers" would be a great way to showcase your matte painting. You can have a few of those to make your reel strong. But having still frames of finely executed matte paintings with some subtle camera moves in 2D such as scale transforms, or the "Ken Burns" effect would be much more effective than having a mediocre matte painting that moves with the camera moving. It's very important that you get a good image first, and then show that you can be technically proficient at things such as projection map painting, compositing, and camera moves after.

Most studios won't give you all of the layers and such for the breakdown, or even the before image plate, so just having the well executed final matte painting is good which you can take from a DVD or BluRay if you worked on a film/television show that showcases your work. If it's a personal project, you can show some breakdowns, such as the layer build up, before and afters and such. Be it in a 3D program like Maya, or compositing program like or After Effects, there are many ways to break off layers and show it off. I would only show the assets or models in the matte painting if you only had very few strong matte paintings such as one or two shots in your entire reel to help pad it a bit. But the faster your reel can be, the faster the recruiter or employer can go through your reel and get an idea of how good you are. Don't pad a demo reel just to make it long with longgggg break downs.

Let me know if you have any other questions for me to clarify on that, thanks Rafael!
__________________
David Luong

www.davidluong.net
facebook.com/ackdoh

I teach a DMP Workshop

http://photonicplayground.com art gallery!
 
  08 August 2013
Thanks David!
That's exacly the way i think. A lot of my colleagues just like to do overtime for the sake of overtime and they talk about you negatively if you actually deliver your work in time without OT. I definitly think its a very wrong notion and way of thinking/working. I only do OT if i really need to, because it will only stress myself and my managers, and directors.

Of course there's times where there's no chance other than doing it, but I like to keep it as minimum as necessary and still maintaining the best quality as possible
 
  08 August 2013
Thanks for the response David! IŽll surely remake mine giving more attention to your guidelines and I come back to you to evaluate it, if you can...
__________________
"...keep moving forward!"

Rafael Falconi
concept artist | digital matte painter
www.rafaelfalconi.com
 
  08 August 2013
Fabio: Glad you have the same feeling! Yeah you can only work someone so much past their regular schedule until there is a diminishing returns effect...where it's not very efficient and bad overall.
Rafael: Cool! Looking forward to seeing your update on it later, you can post it in the DMP Forum for us to check out when ready!
__________________
David Luong

www.davidluong.net
facebook.com/ackdoh

I teach a DMP Workshop

http://photonicplayground.com art gallery!
 
  08 August 2013
Thanks a lot David for clearing my doubts. Thanks for inspiring me . Your words really mean a lot to me. I will certainly check your tutorial in D'Artiste Matte Painting vol 3. Can't wait to see it ....
 
  08 August 2013
Hi David, sorry I am a bit late to the thread here. Firstly, I have to say that you have been a great inspiration for me and getting to learn from you in CGW was brilliant. Learnt a lot of things which I had missed earlier. I definitely recommend David's CGW .Thanks a lot

Actually I had the same doubt as Rohit as to how the line between matte artist and environment artist is bridging. Thanks for clearing them & waiting to get my hands on D'artiste matte painting 3.
 
  08 August 2013
Originally Posted by hernanflores: hey David,

love your work on Blizzard and all your other projects.

i have a question when it comes to using 3D work in the mattes you do. how do you incorporate that into the final piece, do you render out the pieces into different parts and blend them together in Photoshop? or some other technique.

Also how do you mask out specific part of a photo that you are trying to use, such as the trees or sky?

Thanks again for your help and inspiring a lot of upcoming artist such as myself!


Hio Hernan,

Thanks to you for coming here about your questions, and I'm glad to be helping the up and coming artists.

For 3D work, it could either be an asset done by a 3D modeler, or something more manageable, you can do yourself in a 3D program (after it's been matchmoved to the camera properly with composition and all correct so you're not modeling some things you do'nt need if the camera doesn't' see it) You would take that 3D asset, light it, render it, then if it's more of a non moving scene, bring it into Photoshop for further texturing and integration for the final matte painting. If it's a 3D asset to be given to the compositor to integrate, and they need further help on it, you would take a still frame of that frame number, render out a double sized resolution from the 3D camera, or projection camera that's pulled out if you need more coverage) then paint that up in 2D using Photoshop, and then reproject that back onto the 3D model using either the 3D program, or compositing program like Nuke.

As for extraction of elements such as a tree or a sky, I actually go over this in detail for the upcoming D'Artiste book. But in general, you have a variety of ways to extract something.
- You can use automatic tools such as the magic wand and adjust the tolerance on it, and select your area that way
- Use the polygonal tool for a more manual approach and using the shift key for adding a selection into your main one, or the alt key to minus something from your selection
- Using the calculations mode in Photoshop to multiply out a stronger color in R G or B against another to get a nice key extraction...good for objects against a solid color like the sky with a tree
- Channels, which is similar to calculations but more visual. Find a channel with the strongest contrast of black and white to something you want to extract, duplicate that, adjust it's contrast via levels of curves, and alt click on the layer or save out the selection to use as a mask later on.
- Or the most manual way, using the eraser tool.

All of these you would use in combination with each other, whichever works best and fastest for your situation. Also right clicking and going into the Refine Edge tool to further tweak your mask, and usually I do a feather of at least .4 pixels so it's not a super sharp edge. The eraser tool always comes into play too for final tweaking of edges to remove nastier matte lines, as wells as a spill suppression technique on the matte if it's taking in too much of the background color like a tree against a strong blue sky.

Hope that helps!
__________________
David Luong

www.davidluong.net
facebook.com/ackdoh

I teach a DMP Workshop

http://photonicplayground.com art gallery!
 
  08 August 2013
Originally Posted by MysticalDisaster: Thanks a lot David for clearing my doubts. Thanks for inspiring me . Your words really mean a lot to me. I will certainly check your tutorial in D'Artiste Matte Painting vol 3. Can't wait to see it ....


Thanks Rohit...I'm glad to help, and I heard there are print copies lying around somewhere, I definitely want to see it in person soon too
__________________
David Luong

www.davidluong.net
facebook.com/ackdoh

I teach a DMP Workshop

http://photonicplayground.com art gallery!
 
  08 August 2013
Originally Posted by ashishdani: Hi David, sorry I am a bit late to the thread here. Firstly, I have to say that you have been a great inspiration for me and getting to learn from you in CGW was brilliant. Learnt a lot of things which I had missed earlier. I definitely recommend David's CGW .Thanks a lot

Actually I had the same doubt as Rohit as to how the line between matte artist and environment artist is bridging. Thanks for clearing them & waiting to get my hands on D'artiste matte painting 3.


Allo Ashish,

No problem, thanks for joining! I still have about 1.5 weeks to be active on this, so invite your other friends if they have any questions too. I'm so happy to hear my CGW has really helped you and you're continuing your education going back on it, as well as being active on forums like CGSociety here! Glad my other answer with Rohit cleared up your question too. Are you working with Tiberius right now in Zoic?
__________________
David Luong

www.davidluong.net
facebook.com/ackdoh

I teach a DMP Workshop

http://photonicplayground.com art gallery!
 
  08 August 2013
Hi David, its a nice ongoing learning process and I love every moment of it Just a small question for you, do you use any particular tablet apps for sketching on the go ?

Yes, Tiberius is also working with us at Zoic.

Thanks,
Ashish
 
  08 August 2013
Thumbs up

Hey there david,
Thank you for taking the time out.

Q:
The 3rd pic's divine ! flatters JRR's Arda after the Valar got cracking. Kudos.
Can you say a few words about how that was done.

Q:
Fabio Zungrone and Anthony Eftekhari did some fantastic work.
http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthr...m_source=cgtalk

What would you change there if that was a real project.

Thanks once again. Your replies are very informational .

b
 
  08 August 2013
Originally Posted by ashishdani: Hi David, its a nice ongoing learning process and I love every moment of it Just a small question for you, do you use any particular tablet apps for sketching on the go ?

Yes, Tiberius is also working with us at Zoic.

Thanks,
Ashish


Allo Ashish,

Yes definitely, art is full of lifelong experiences that can change us and make us always improve pertaining to one's own styles!

For the tablet question, I do not actually...though I wanted to get into more Plein Air painting later on with my Intuos + Macbook Air which is both great for travel. I think when the next generation of iPad Mini comes out, I'll be going for that and trying with a pressure sensitive stylus. Do you do any Ashish?

And cool you still work with Tiberius, I see he's back in the DMP forum too, which is great! And I think Darvin just got back too to work with you guys...some great work coming out of Zoic!
__________________
David Luong

www.davidluong.net
facebook.com/ackdoh

I teach a DMP Workshop

http://photonicplayground.com art gallery!
 
  08 August 2013
Originally Posted by boomji: Hey there david,
Thank you for taking the time out.

Q:
The 3rd pic's divine ! flatters JRR's Arda after the Valar got cracking. Kudos.
Can you say a few words about how that was done.

Q:
Fabio Zungrone and Anthony Eftekhari did some fantastic work.
http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthr...m_source=cgtalk

What would you change there if that was a real project.

Thanks once again. Your replies are very informational .

b


Allo Boomji! (sorry didn't see your real name!)

Thanks for the compliments, and great to see you have some Silmarillion/J.R.R Tolkien references His world is a huge inspiration to my work. Actually that image, "Skyward Life", will be one of the new matte paintings I created just for the upcoming D'Artiste DMP book with a full tutorial on how to create it. Check out the full flipbook preview here when you can to see a quick overview of how I created it, as well as signing up for the notification when it goes on sale soon! Just a quick general overview of how I created it though was to have a base plate (the foreground) And then getting an idea of what I wanted for the background sky (fantastical/highly saturated looking near sunset looking sky). Then If would find references, and then put them all together via photo textures/painting/color corrections. I would then get a model of a tree (this one I used XFrog plants) which I used Cinema4D for, positioned it with a similar camera angle, lit it, rendered it out to Photoshop. Do further tweaks, painting and colors corrects as well as faking the shadow on the ground, and then do final painting tweaks on top of all of it for an overall color palette.

Regarding your question about Fabio's and Anthony's latest project, I wouldn't change anything!! What they've done is quite epic, and they did it all by themselves in a relatively short amount of time, while learning lots along the way. Usually big sweeping establishing shots like that could be just one off's so they don't have to worry about reusing a lot of that later on, but the work they put into the assets could really allow them to do so in more shots. Fabio will actually be answering some more questions about the piece in the coming days in the DMP forum so be sure to check in again soon here: http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthr...f=196&t=1122044

Thanks for reading and asking!
__________________
David Luong

www.davidluong.net
facebook.com/ackdoh

I teach a DMP Workshop

http://photonicplayground.com art gallery!
 
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