May 2016 - Alik Sarkisyan


Hello party people. Super happy to have matte painting challange back) Thank you all )

I have couple of very rough thumbs. I didn’t made the decision yet, with which one I want to go. Maaaaaaybe I am leaning more towards 4th one. I like the idea of an alien-ish structure glooming over the usual human architecture. I also like the 1st, because I like the idea of companies advertising their stuff all over the elevator, because everybody could see it for miles and miles and it only makes sense to use it as advertising platform as well.

I am also thinking about more of a natural environment type of setting, I will make thumb for that one as well and then decide, I guess. Running out of time, but what-you-gonna-do))

Feel free to comment, guys) Cheers.
P.S. Can’t get hold of new forum uploader. Here goes flickr)


Hey, man. Try to follow the syntax: “” (without quotes), of course it does require to upload them somewhere first, but it’ll insert your images here in native resolution.


I love the second one! It has a very cool back lit lighting and the space elevator looks more convincing than the other thumbs.

Great concepts! :keenly:


Hey guys. Thanks, SirJPetrovich for the hint and Liane for you opinion) I’ve decided to go with the cityscape, yes, just not that symmetrical in the end)

I went with a combo of first two, but i’ve decided to go away from asian setting for now. I’ve found a great plate (with particles in it thou) and i merged it with skyscrapers in the back (also with particles hehe). I hope, I’ve got perspective right, because from now on there should be no major changes to the layout.

I am planning to design the elevator next (right now there are some placeholder doodles). And onwards there is a challange to adjust everything to the more of a sci-fi direction instead of in-your-face-obvious new york vibe.

Also I worked quite hard on the plate. Here I already removed most of the people from the shot and did a basic cleaning. That mask took some time also) I did some notes to just not forget that some lights from plate’s BG have an effect on poles and wires. And some wires need to be placed back and ideas for ads and signs and stuff. It is hard to keep everything in the head)


Great vision Alik! Will it be horizontal? I’m asking because I think vertical approach would look great with that high perspective and would perfectly fit to the topic. “The Sky Beneath Our Feet” seen from the ground :twisted: . In fact I was thinking about that myself (Milan mention that poster would be fine for this challenge). On the other hand there’s no much time left for changing your mind if you went far to the horizon… Good managing time is very important (if not the most important)… and was always one of my biggest challenge ;). Anyway… Keep it up! Great work!



Oh jeez no time at all) You are so right Jonatan)

So I took a day off work today, thanks to my office buddies. I am gonna push it all day today right to the final. I’ve tried to design a decent tower over the weekend, but failed miserably) it always looked like just another tall skyscraper.

Instead of tower i went with Journey inspired pyramid, i will try to make it more sci-fi-ish) But right now the most important thing for me is to start rubbing what i have on canvas together.

I added more space on top, making it even more vertical and this is what i have to start the working day with. Now i have to put everything together. Lots of work, don’t know if i can do it, but i will give it my best shot )


I recommend to dial back the haze a bit, even though it looks cool, go easy on the snowstorm in order to reveal more of the elevator structure and tease a bit of the intriguing architecture some more!


Thanks Milan for jumping in ) Yeah i am definitely will add some stuff on the pyramid and will probably alter its shape a bit. Right now I am retouching my main plates, putting everything together, so it would be a valid mattepainting even if i will not be able to finish elevator on time) I will probably raise the contrast in order to be able to add some bits and pieces on the pyramid and its surroundings

And the whole left side section is a huge pain, since it is all covered in particles. i created hand painted snow texture for it to help me out.

spent a lot of time to retoch this one) It is not perfect, but it will do the job.

Still a lot of work ahead)


Still think you should dial back the snowstorm a bit though! Bounce around your painting and balance out the work that needs to be done instead of taking one particular area to a final level. That way you will always be able to present a working image and make decisions on the fly.


here is last step before polishing and adding the super-mega-duper structure, which will be just a triangle.

thanks Milan, you are sooo right about the approach to the process. Yeap should less concentrate on small things, especially when i don’t have that much time.

i’ve tried to make a less atmospheric version (even thou i like it how it is), but it just didn’t click. I gave it an honest shot, but values just didn’t click for me. i will try to add some clarity (which i guess, u suggest to add on the focal point by removing some atmopshere, right?)) with final adjustments and some details in the last hours that i have.

p.s. deadline when is the deadline?)) i don’t remember) what time?) GMT, UTC or something?)


Deadline is somewhat flexible due to the global aspect of our digital world. It’s basically when David gets around to look at the entries tomorrow. If you keep updating it you can make sure that we grab the best image at the time of the deadline. Keep posting, you still got a few hours. Almost an entire day, really.


Holly moly that is some great news, gotta grab some more tea and push it) Thanks!)
here is a little update then


Omg what a night))

I am glad i finished it even thou i had to back out from some ideas, but overall i am happy. Again thanks for the feedback. I’ve went with less of a bleached out look, i haven’t decided on color, so sticked with blue with which i’ve started.

here is alternative color with some elements that didn’t get into the final. i am still wondering if it is better or not))

and here is final

here is link
or this one
I have pretty big res on original 7k by 5k. I don’t know what kind of resolution we are shooting for with verticals, so let me know if i am below the requirement. I will upload asap high res.

And again thanks for this challange! A lot of cool stuff from participants, I hope we will repeat this soon enough)


There were reports, that some of the embedded images didn’t work, so just in case i edited my last post, adding links and here is high res also just in case. it is not an update, just higher resolution of final image - 3k.


Great finish Alik! And yeah - that night was crazy :wink: (I also experienced insomnia chasing after unreachable perfection). And now… you can sit back and enjoy satisfaction of being proud of yourself - good job!



Yeah Jonathan ) totally, you know the feeling, man)

Thanks) I would also like to thank Milan for jumping in and steering me into the right workflow and his critique. I lingered on some parts of the matte, when i should’ve been working on “the big picture”, i think that was very important, to not loose that focus to arrive at finish.


I’ve put together wip during lunch break) here is recap of everything) Too bad it doesn’t show all the work with masks and tiny retouching. I should probably not have overdo certain bits and focus more on others, but yeah, overall it was a nice ride)


Wow, you put in alot off effort and it shows! Amazing piece, really nce!