2 New Mattes-Day for Night Castle/Light Snow


Hey all, last week I just finished two new mattes.
Here is the first, a day for night of a castle in Germany.


Animation was camera mapped in 3ds max


And the 2nd is a snowed over cabin. All of the snow was entirely hand painted


I added particles for falling snow, composited myself walking on the deck and added a camera shake.


Well let me know what you think!


I can’t believe no one’s commented on these yet - they are really nice. The only issue I have with the castle is the lights are too green. Not sure what kind of light source they are supposed to be. If it’s fire, they should be more yellow/orange. Incandescent bulbs are more white/yellow. Varying the intensity of the lights from the windows might help create a little more mystery, too.

The snow image is well done, but the shadows are too dark and too hard-edged for that kind of diffused wintery light, especially if snow is falling. The light in that situation would be very flat and even. There should also be a more light bounce from the ground snow onto the lower shadowed areas, which would flatten out the lighting even more. Here’s an example of a building in a similar situation. Note almost the complete lack of shadows.



OO thank you for the reply.

On the castle painting I tried to vary the light color a bit, making it a little different.

But on the snow…I didn’t even realize the shadows were too hard…I just thought they were too dark so I lightened them up a bit but didn’t even soften them. Good observation, thanks for pointing that out. :thumbsup:



Both pics look well done. The night shot has a few minor problems, the low lit areas around the house need darkening down a bit. I also feel maybe there’s too much light in the sky.

The snow pic, take out the falling snow, doesn’t look quite right. Maybe a little more definition in the forground snow, but given the exposure it might be ok as is. The shadows around the house need disfusing.

But that said onto the next project :slight_smile:

Hey how did you get the snow effect in the background trees. I really struggle with trees/snow, you can see my attempt in the portfolio, i was never happy with the trees, any tips?

  • Dave.


great images indeed, for the first one I agree with the windows, I think you need some more color variation as well and some brighter tones, I think those yellow/green tones are not necesary also taking a look at the blue sky I would definitly add some bluesih shadows in some parts of the castle just to have better intetgration with the sky
the sky has a very strong black level that should be lighter

the second one is almost perfect I have to say that it’s very real, I think some of the clean wall needs moisture or a little bit of snow just to make the effect more beliavable

well done , these are really nice pieces


Wow guys, thanx for the comments and critiques. I will take them into consideration when I go back and touch them up for my reel. But like Everlite said, on the next project!

To answer your question Everlite, I originally had the same problem. Here was my solution…after I color corrected the sky…which btw took a lot of tweaking, my trees were still too blue, and did not look snowed over at all. I brushed in selections of the tops of the trees down towards the bottom using heavier opacity at the top. With this selection I used curves to lighten up the trees and knock out the blue. This gave the trees the subtle color of snow and of the sky but it needed more. So I went in randomly and painted in some quick snow strokes on branches.

This took a couple of attempts but I finally got it right. Hope it helps! :slight_smile:


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