Cityscape Matte Painting


Hi there,
I’m trying cityscape matte paintings and kinda need help.
It’s going to be matte painting of Istambul (Turkey) at night.
There will be camera move.
So I’m thinking of modelling and texturing the closest buildings and then painting over them and create variations to create another similar buildings mapped on simple card(in distance) and few layers of buildings and some just silhouettes of buildings far far away and night sky.
Have a look at Dylan Cole’s site to demoreel and DareDevil Matte Paintings to see what I mean.
Then some layers with fog and dust to suggest distance and we’ll see how it is working…
This is the sketch:

I have seen Jamie’s cityscape so I think he could help :wink: (Jamie, it is done mostly using photos of night cities? Or by painting over daylight buildings? Or from scratch?:shrug:)

Any suggestions, ideas and experiences with it will be very helpful.

Thank you


hi there Kutkin : I know what you mean and what you want to do , but creating something that level of detail isn’t just painting, first of all I suggest pre production , for a matte painting technique like dylan or I did in our night shots are a little bit different and both complicated. first of all always think about getting real photo reference, real night cityscapes that will help you in get the mood you want and for textures or elements
you can get really nice and high resolution photos here

after you got lots and lots of textures and photos make sure you’re working with the proper architecture in this case Istambul (Turkey)
the sketch you re showing here has a nice mood on this but always use the linear perspective lines , when you have done the sketch with the correct perspective you will see exactly what you need ( elements , buildings, lighting etc )
dylan in his daredevil demo is using 2.5 matte painting, this is done with only photoshop layers in an after effects 3D workspace , to create parallax hi is putting several layers in different depth , and the camera movement gives the impression of depth and parallax all from 2D layers.

in my Thekno city matte painting, I used some 3d modelling as you could see in the thread, for the foreground buildings all the textures were added in photoshop, for the big skyscrappers in the background all are photos that I was collecting , when I had them together in the comp I started to paint some details or elements over them ,in order to change their shapes of a building already known for most of the people, in my case I used lots of photos from hong kong , shangai , new york etc, because the city I did is futuristic I could tweak the buildings as I wanted changing their shapes with warp or free transformation
are you going to do an actual cityscape? futuristic? think of all that

if you have more questions I be checking constanlty:)


Thanks, Jamie
You have helped me much!
I have checked the photos and I’ve got nice references.


I know a little bit more about the project now.
It is supposed to be futuristic city, so I don’t have to be very much worried about right lighting and shapes since we don’t know what it can be like in, say, 50 years time…


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