Matte painting vs 3D texture rendering


Hi, Guys,
Please pardon my ignorance, I’m new to this and I’m a bit confused
about which direction to take. My question is the following:
the way 3d software and computing power has evolved nowadays,
is learning 2D matte painting in photoshop still relevant?

if yes, please provide reasons why a production studio would still
prefer photoreal 2D matte painting over photoreal 3d texture rendered
when it comes to environments design for movies.


why not use both… a lot of matte painter knwo how to work with porjectins in nuke or maya…


Yes I understand they do, my concern, however, is more about the
path to take nowadays if one decides to learn matte painting.
is it still relevant to master it in photoshop?


Yes Photoshop is still very relevant, but also you should learna bit of Nuke.


without to know how to project your work in nuke how should you know what to paint… what layers are needed… how much overlap… you need the understanding of 3D…
It does also help to block stuff in 3D… to get the right perspective and scaling… its hard to get a tree the right size if one is in the foreground and one 30 kilometers away…

even if you paint 98% of the day in PS you have to double check if it will work in the end in the shot…


hey kri584,

3d is an incredible tool, and the process has become a lot faster. The advantage of 2d matte painting, or the use of a combo, is that while its quicker to get to the 90% photoreal mark in 3d, its a lot faster to get that last 10% in 2d still. Also, traditional paintings skills, of creating light directions, vignetting, pops of specular, and little blooms, all those fine details are very very difficult to control in 3d, especially when you have a client that’s being very specific about them. Usually these sorts of things will be added in either compositing (2d) or matte painting (2d)

Several studios will push their cg renders as far as they can, before sending those over to me to paint on top of, and reproject, to get across that finish line.

Both tools have their place, both are incredibly relevant, and the combination can be unstoppable.

Hope that helps.