CGChallenge Digital Matte Painting 2013: Kreola!

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  10 October 2013
For posting images on this forum, I use, upload your image and it will give you a option for grabbing url. Copy and paste the forum URL it gives you and paste into the forum box and it will automatically upload your images for you.

Hope that helps

Rockhopper VFX

  10 October 2013
WIP: KREOLA-AmyElizabethRose

[IMG]/Users/student/Desktop/pictures/Uni Work/2013-14/1370220_10200629498765173_1360579500_n.jpg[/IMG]

I've taken a slightly different approach to the task by doing a little character design first, hope you all like it
  10 October 2013
Originally Posted by JamesColmer: Hi Jonatan,

Milan recently mentioned the final aspect ratio is to be standard widescreen 16:9

So basically while you're working, any multiple is fine, i.e: 32cm X 18cm etc

The image I'm working on is 64cm X 36cm (4X) at 300dpi, which can then be reduced down to 1920X1080 for the final upload (16:9)

Hope that helps.


Hi James,
Thank you for answering. My point is, that size/format of final image is described in few places and those descriptions doesn't match in every aspects. Well... as for me, today I've tried to change aspect ratio to 1.78:1 and I like the result, so it looks like I would change it anyway... again .

But still it wouldn't be bad if information in FAQ, Terms & Conditions and in first post of this thread was unified - to avoid confusion if someone will join to the contest tomorrow for example.

  10 October 2013
Hio Jonathan,

Yes we do apologize for the confusion and differing directions in some places. We're working on that fix, thanks!

FYI, DPI and inches do not matter for screen resolution, just the pixels and aspect ratio. Just look for the amount such as 1920x1080 (which is 1.78:1) and then you can further crop it down yourself if you'd like 2.35:1.
David Luong

I teach a DMP Workshop
  10 October 2013
Originally Posted by JamesColmer: Hi David,

I have been following the recent instructions from both Milan and Jaime who have said to keep the aspect ratio to 16:9, and that I can crop it wider for my portfolio later (after the competition)...


Heyo James,

That's perfectly fine! Though I would choose which aspect ratio you are working with as soon as you can and stick with it as it does affect your composition.
David Luong

I teach a DMP Workshop
  10 October 2013
A few thoughts

Matte Painting is not digital fantasy illustration, nor is it concept art. Generally, you don't start from scratch. And just because you can push the plate into the mid-ground, it doesn't mean that you have to. The conceptualization of your set extension could be driven by the given lighting with its directional sun and harsh cast shadows, while being curbed by the perspective limitations.
Try to concentrate on the brief and reduce the additional information provided to a thought in the back of your head. The script excerpt is not meant to function as a dogmatic rule but rather a helpful guideline if needed.
Sometimes less is more.
Furthermore, this forum provides a unique platform for everyone to interact. Please be as generous as possible with leaving comments on other threads. Especially if you're waiting on feedback.
Hope you guys are having fun with the contest.
I'm making a movie!!
  10 October 2013
looks like a lot of fun.
will give it a try..!


Secret Agent
  10 October 2013
Sue Jang

Originally Posted by XSIEN: looks like a lot of fun.
will give it a try..!


Welcome Sue
  10 October 2013
Thank you, Seema!

Secret Agent
  10 October 2013
Kreola WIP

[IMG]KreolaMatte WIP[/IMG] A nice opertunity to stretch ones mental images about him or herself.
  10 October 2013
Talking Hello everyone :)

Hi everybody!

Just registered (should've done this years ago..) and started with my first steps in this challenge, I am not expecting to win since this is my first challenge ever, but it already has been a lot of fun and I hope to increase my skills through this and further challenges, WIPs following tomorrow (German time, it's late ;> )

  10 October 2013
The kreola Event Continues

I'm sure that this challenge presents a bit more work than usual, the comments indicate that there may be a conflict in the description. A busy work schedule this year is stealing my CG time, I hope it doesn't reflect in this work. It really is allot of fun. Good luck and well wishes from this first timer.
  11 November 2013
Kreola Matte Painting Brief Elements

Heya all,

Unfortunately, there seems to be still a lot of confusion about the requirements for this challenge. Let me please try to lift some of this mist, although this should have been posted into the Kreola thread, so I have taken the liberty of moving it there.


Actually, this challenge is as straight forward as it gets:
1. Create a locked-off establishing shot Matte Painting based on the provided plate, meaning you should simply extend the photograph creatively without losing any of the photo-realistic quality, while implementing some new elements, preferably Steam-punk-ish.
2. Treat the Matte Painting as clean-plate without animation elements. This I would interpret as painting out unnecessary GAK or those little plants and the car and whatever you feel like doesn't fit into your vision of the environment.
3. Convey a feeling of the city extending into infinity. The easiest way to do this is by cutting off the photo where the street curves and making it straight while filling it with buildings. Judge for yourself how complicated you want to make it on yourself but keep in mind that the finished piece needs to be a Matte Painting.
4. Retain as much from the plate however much you find necessary to communicate the proper look, and improve the overall appearance of the shot by utilizing Matte Painting techniques. As a filmmaker I want to keep my costs reasonable no matter what the budget of the production might be. As such, you must show clever ideas of how to get the most out of the location you are forced to work with. If you use less than 50% of the provided plate, the production might as well create a fully digital set, which would be counter-productive. Meaning, retain as much from the plate however much you find necessary to communicate the proper look!!
5. Last but not least: Your goal should be a production quality Styleframe ready to be presented to the director for approval. A Styleframe is a production art piece visualizing the essence of a shot or an entire sequence. It's primary purpose is visual communication between artists and clients/supervisors or the different areas of production. Most importantly, Styleframes have to be of a photo-real Matte Painting quality.

In general, this should be enough to go on but some artists sometimes wish for additional information. In feature film production we often have the luxury to be able to read through the script or screenplay. As such, I wanted to let you guys have a sneak peak at part of the original script. I chose to include a scene from the same sequence and have explained in multiple threads that you should not use these as dogmatic guidelines but only refer to it if you need further background details or input. If this confuses anyone in any way, please ignore the script excerpt completely.

The idea for this challenge was much like that for all the previous CG Talk DMP contests, such as the Atlantis
or the Natural History Museum one, which was also plate-based and had a lot of creative entries that respected the original plate: or

That said, the main requirement of this competition is to extend the given plate. Some of you decided to push the plate all the way into the background and we felt it would be unfair to discourage anybody from attempting such an enormous undertaking even though we did fear that a few of the large scale concepts might turn out to be too difficult to bring into a photo-realistic Matte Painting realm. Naturally, we have been expressing this to all of you but it is not necessary to re-start your work. Please, simply respect that other artist's visions might differ from your own visualization of a scenery. Once again, please don't use the extra background information as a bible. You do not need to be looking down into a 200m drop. The camera can be at the bottom or anywhere between the two, and so on.

One beautiful thing about art is that every individual artist can interpret the same creative brief slightly differently.

In my MTA session, I have outlined a working guideline to anybody interested in scheduling themselves:
I suggested that I would expect to see a first concept after 12-14h. You would then receive notes and the turnaround for each set of feedback would be around 8h, which is one day of work. The number of rounds will depend on your supervisor's vision, as well as your proficiency. The photo-realistic Matte Painting will take, depending on your technical and artistic skills, between 2 to 4 days (16-32h). The more frequently you present WIP during this process, the less time you will waste exploring wrong avenues.

This basically means that you could sketch over the plate today and post a WIP. If all is good, the actual real Matte Painting should only take you one weekend to finish and you can wait for your price in the mail.

We truly appreciate your participation and all the hard work everybody has been investing into this Matte Painting challenge so far.
I personally hope to see lots of wonderful entries and would like to apologize to anybody who has gotten confused about any specifications of the contest due to the description I provided.

Please, enjoy the last week of our official DMP challenge. It is not too late to join.

Kind Regards,

Originally Posted by Jonatan-Moonchild: Hello James. Most of what you pointed is correct in comparison with brief / rules, so I don't understand why write it again here. Especially that the judges give their feedback to those who need it.

In general - I agree with Torsten. Well... unless the judges will say the other way. Additionally - I think point 11 is not true (or I missed something - can you link to place where it is written?). If I understood the judges correctly, concepting is not necessary but not prohibited (if result in final image is photorealistic). And regarding point 10 - "Work from the plate kreola.jpg, at least 50% recognizable".


Originally Posted by artvandeley: Hi James, appreciate your efforts and your support.

However, nothing of this is written in stone and should rather be a guideline than a checklist to work on. Being an artist sometimes means bending the rules if these don´t apply to your vision, no matter what others tell you to do.
I have to admit that it´s a fine line......

I´m with you that some entries has little or nothing to do with the brief, still no one will go to jail for that. For what i know.

Hope you don´t mind my 2 cents

10 days left.....wwhooooo......

Originally Posted by JamesColmer: I'm going to post this here again, because time is running out, and after looking through all the other entries today, I realised that a lot of people perhaps haven't read all of the elements in the brief.

1. Clean plate, no animation elements (i.e No people, no planes, no balloons, no spaceships, no steam etc)

2. Set in the UPPER MIDDLE CLASS section of Flussdorf. (yet resembles a Tunisian Souk)

3. City is built on two opposing cliff faces above a river, and the gorge drops 200 metres below.

4. Built by the ancients, the houses are seamlessly carved into the rock.

5. Multicultural community - cannot remember markets.

6. Direct afternoon sun.

7. Very busy, noisy, ambient.

8. Significantly hot weather.

9. City has expanded in every direction along the canyon.

10. Retain as much from the plate as you find necessary.

and most importantly...

I'm making a movie!!
  11 November 2013
Dear James,
You are right; and thank you for your professionalism. If this was a paid gig we'd be certainly a lot stricter.
As it is, this is supposed to be a fun challenge for everyone to enjoy.
You're doing everything right and the others are also trying to follow the rules the best they can but in a contest such as this you'll find artists of all skill level and we have to respect every individual as they're all surely working just as hard to get the most out of this, too.

For everybody who is still trying to make up their mind about joining, the first CG Talk DMP challenge was held when d'artiste MP1 came out. This is the third official competition here and the CG Society is hosting it in celebration of the third book in the series. Judging based on that pattern, the next contest is not exactly around the corner.

Best Wishes,

Originally Posted by JamesColmer: MILAN:

Thanks for the reply.

All of the points I have listed as the brief came from you. They are your detailed description of your vision of Flussdorf. If they are not important you should not list them in the first place.

Personally I rely upon a clear brief when I work for people, as I don't want to get near the end of a job only to find out that I either didn't need to do stuff or nobody else is doing it.

Keep in mind that this is a competition essentially, so everyone needs to be working on the same set of basic rules, which in this case is the brief.

JONATAN: Point 11 is absolutely true - the final product is to be photo real matte painting, not concept art or digital fantasy work, and those comments came directly from Milan, so I am not making it up.

TORSTEN: I agree that art is interpreted differently by everyone, I studied fine art for a degree, so during that time people presented all sorts of things that they passed off as art, including human excrement...

However, this is matte painting, and in a job situation there must be a clear precise brief to follow. In a competition situation, if there are not strict rules to follow for everyone, then it is not a competition, it is a free-for-all..and not fair for those following the rules.

Now I should point out that I am probably the least likely person to follow the rules generally, but the reason I posted this thread was that it has been frustrating me greatly that firstly people are not reading the brief, and secondly, it seems that the description of Flussdorf as given by Milan seems to have gone out the window...
I'm making a movie!!
  11 November 2013
Originally Posted by JamesColmer: (...) JONATAN: Point 11 is absolutely true - the final product is to be photo real matte painting, not concept art or digital fantasy work, and those comments came directly from Milan, so I am not making it up. (...)

About the final product - I agree and in fact that was exactly what I wrote: "concepting is not necessary but not prohibited (if result in final image is photorealistic)". I don't agree with your point 11 because Milan wrote "Matte Painting is not digital fantasy illustration, nor is it concept art." (not "NO CONCEPT ART OR DIGITAL FANTASY WORK", if I missed something, please direct me with link). He didn't wrote also that we can't concepting or fantasying in this competition (if final image is photorealistic of course). So... I still think that point 11 is not "absolutely true" (at least not in that edition).

About "frustrating you greatly that firstly people are not reading the brief"... please take no offense, you doing great job, following the brief and rules as you understand them, so... let other people doing the same without preaching us with eleven commandments (interpreted by you in point 11 for example). I think we should show respect to judges and leave judging other contestants (and their understanding the rules) to them.

But... it looks like I'm the one whose preaching now . Sorry matte. Maybe I'm too nervous sometimes a bit. Once again - please take no offense. We are all brothers in art, so... let's do some art - It's weekend after all . May good fun, god of art and... in particular his (or better say OUR ) beautiful muses be with us!


P.S. It's just my opinion, but I think if the rules would be too strict in competition like this, all entries would be similar ad nauseam.

Last edited by Jonatan-Moonchild : 11 November 2013 at 07:51 AM.
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