How to match a matte painting with live shot?

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  03 March 2003
How to match a matte painting with live shot?

Hi folks,

Well, I am a newbie using matte painting : (

So, how to match a matte painting with live shot? Anybody know a good tip?

  03 March 2003
Hi there!

What're we talking about here - tracking, color/contrast matching? Or practical stuff like glass/brush/paint vs. digital??

Please give a little more info...

Meanwhile, take a look at these cool sites:

Seung Ho's matte paintings
Tchook - awesome french matte painter

- Jonas
  03 March 2003
Hi jussing ,

I am talking about tracking, color/contrast, matching, something like that...

hey man, great sites!!!!!!!

  04 April 2003
Well, that's just about the whole package you're asking about ...

I haven't replied to your last post before now, because frankly, I have no substantial experience in matte painting, so my advice will be best guesses, as good as yours. I was hoping someone more experienced would reply... (maybe you should post it in the 2D section...)

Anyway, for what it's worth, this is what I'll say:

- First of all, how well do you paint? Obviously the key challenge in a matte painting is your own ability to create photorealistic pictures.

- As you'll see from the video clips on that French matte site, you don't have to paint everything by hand - a lot of mountain mattes are really photocollages, modified in Photoshop.

- Perspective matching: this is entirely up to your own skill to get right! Try making a seperate "guide line" layer in photoshop, where you draw sharp, red lines, along the perspective lines in the original background photo. Then match that perspective in you painting/collage...

- Color correction: again, check out the clips from the French site to see how he corrects the colors of all the element (painted as well as collaged), to match the original background footage.

- Tracking: if you have camera movement, the tracking won't really be the matte painters problem, but the compositor's. You'll have to make sure your painting is "trackable", though: be sure to paint it as wide as the entire scope of the shot...

That's all I can think of... I hope this helps somehow. Just remember, I have no experience in this, and only reply with my best guesses because no-one else did...

If you wanna get started, but have no project to work on, take a picture of some city-scape/land-scape, that you think it'd be interesting to modify.

Then import the picture in photoshop, and start painting on layers above it, to create your matte illusion (for instance, paint out buildings in the horizon for projects that take place a long time ago, or paint sci-fi stuff IN, for futuristic projects). Just don't modify the original background layer - only paint on other layers on top of it.

In the end, your matte layers should have a "hole" in them, where the original "footage" can be seen through, so your matte will work with a layer of live-action footage.

Collapse your matte layers (WITHOUT the original background), and there's your finished matte painting...

- Jonas
  04 April 2003
Hows it going?


Hows the Matte going? V.intrested in what u may have found out because i know that i've got to create a matte for a big hole in the ground in a few weeks, and like you have no experiance.

Any secerets you'ld like to share?


  04 April 2003
Hi TimP ,

Sorry, all the secrets come from jussing. Maybe he could help you better than me......

  04 April 2003

Thanks anyway i guess i'll have 2 go and hunt him down!!!


  01 January 2006
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