3D Matte painting steps

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  01 January 2014
3D Matte painting steps

Hi, I have been studying for over a month different methods that would allow me to produce the best 3D matte painting results. I am starting a serie of environment work, and it must be 100% photorealistic...

The best method I have found was to:
1) make a rough 3D scene with the desired geometry
2) render the scene and paint the geo in photoshop
3) project the painted psd on the geo

This is the amazing example that made me understand this whole process:
and the result:

My questions are:
a) If I am to paint the scene in photoshop and project the matte painting, how do I handle the hidden parts in the rendered view? His advertisement seems to offer more than one possible angles of view, no?

b) How do you manage reflections, in the eventuality of a scene containing windows or water?

Please share any tip that could help me!

Thank you so much
  01 January 2014
Hey Rick, how's going…

there will always be many methods, and no single recipe.

In my opinion:
for your a) question: you should consider use more than one projection in your scene, one for the objects behind and other for the objects in front of those.
Multiple projections, sticked togheter inside your 3d tool or in your composition tool… or in both.
This can also help you to go for more complex camera movements…

for your b) question you should render from your 3d tool some specular/reflection passes and then composite it above your shot.
many methods as well, but for instance you can do this after project your DMP in your geometry.

hope it helped

kind regards
Norberto Idiart
Digital Matte Painter / Environment Artist
  01 January 2014
Hi norbertoidiart!!

Thank you very much for your reply! I'll dig a little bit deeper soon, but I was not sure how I could have multiple projections on my objects... In photoshop, the two painted perspectives would have to match... Like if I painted windows on a building, the two perspectives would have to show the windows at the exact same position I guess?...

I am sorry I am not experienced in DMP that may be a dumb question lol.

Separating my scene in render passes for objects and reflection is a super good idea, I'll try that for sure.

Finally, I was also exploring the idea of painting directly, at the end of the process, on my 3D scene in a 3D painting program. This guy shows how he converts his projection to a UV map, it looks great... I know I'm shooting in all directions right now, but I've been thinking a lot about all of this lately
  01 January 2014
Hey Rick or Eric...

Dig deeper and deeper. Go deeper in the habbit hole.

ahhn uh, yes: you must fit perspective and position and light and everything else in your projections.
Check this video from a great artist, Garret Fry. It's a nuke setup, but i'm sure you will understand the principles of multiprojections.

He also have other good tutorials and always shows good will in share knowledge. take a look at his website as well. There's a nice 'learning curve' article.

about painting directly: for sure it's a good tool. Recently i'm having a lot of fun using the integration between modo, mari and nuke. Alembic format...

I'm also not experienced in production, and i'm shooting in several directions like you, studying a lot of things in the last 12 months. And what i've figured out is that software is super important but never will be more than a tool... like a good hammer, saw or screwdriver.
Recently i'm sticking on basic art principles, realism and fundamentals.
I also was acepted in a Visual Arts University Course, and will start next march
Super stoked

Software always evolves, changes and get better... as we can do the same.
But the fundamentals are solid for centuries and will remain for a long while. I will not forget the tools, but i'm trying to get solid.

Good Luck for us!!


Norberto Idiart
Digital Matte Painter / Environment Artist
  01 January 2014
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