matte painting an interesting look to the past...

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  01 January 2013
Originally Posted by NanoGator: Principles yes... (sort of, anyway). Execution, no. Making paint on glass look real is a very different skillset than making something look real in Photoshop. I can't speak for the shot you referred to, but in the Avatar trans-light we used, many of the trees in the jungle actually started out as photos of real trees that were then modified info the Pandora jungle. When somebody like Rob did those glass-paintings, they might have photographs to look at, but they still had to paint all base detail in. I've talked to him about it before and... wow... it took a certain breed of painter to do that job. Try to imagine painting on glass, outside, keeping the colors matched up as the clouds come and go, and having to be ready on a moment's notice for the Director to shout 'Action!'

There is a certain amount of 'the more things change, the more they stay the same' here, but that definitely is a lost art.

I talked with Stromberg a couple weeks back, mainly about OZ, but also about his career, and when he was barely a teen he took his grandmother's sliding glass door off and used it to paint some post apocalypse type city backgrounds, then he shot it in-camera with his friends acting below the painted vista. I was pretty impressed ... I mean, I remember using the sliding glass door as a horizontal 'live' animation stand, where you put photo cutouts of spaceships on it and slide the door while shooting through it at a starfield in the backyard, but I never took the door off or painted it!

In a quarter-century this guy went from CAPT POWER to STAR TREK matte painting to MASTER&COMMANDER vfx designing to AVATAR/ALICE/OZ producution design and now he is directing ... not many folks can claim that kind of career arc.
"achievement is its own reward -- pride obscures it."

- Major Garland Briggs
  01 January 2013
Originally Posted by rafamathard: and yet i see people complaining and fighting about software, that video was truly inspirational, thanks for posting it man!

This is actually the crux of my point... Software (or No Software) you eventually get to the point where you have to put something onscreen and the images have to get into the eyeballs of viewers.

At THAT point everything is identical in requirement. I have no doubt the skills are different and it's obvious the level of scale possible now is much bigger than back in the glass panel era.

But you deliver product of Additive Spec to previous eras... .you don't really go in a different direction.... because your customer has biologically remained the same. Maybe they expect more scale or more dynamism... but you don't deduct from what was the Spec a long time ago. You can only add to it.
"Your most creative work is pre-production, once the film is in production, demands on time force you to produce rather than create."
My ArtStation
  01 January 2013
I was pretty young when these were running, I'll warrant they were very influential in my ultimate career decision.
  01 January 2013
Originally Posted by Ephisus: I was pretty young when these were running, I'll warrant they were very influential in my ultimate career decision.

I remember watching that show when I was a kid and setting up little experiments with my dad's video camera afterwards. Just like you, it helped guide me to where I am quite happy to be today. On top of that, I've worked with Rob and he's one of those dudes (as Trevanian discovered....) that talks about his work. I've learned a great deal from him and have grown as an artist as a result.

It's a shame that this show is gone.
Maestro 2 is out!
  01 January 2013
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