View Full Version : mattepainting question

Pere Balsach
11-07-2005, 11:29 AM
Hi there!
This is my first post in this forum. First of all Hi to everyone, good stuff in this forum :)

I'm interested in all this mattepainting stuff sice starwars movies (80') , and I really want to go further with my environments , so I'm trying to improve my painting and 3d skills.

I've got a question about detailing a matte.
Normally, I start with a basic concept for what I want (idea of the whole composition, color, light, etc.....).

Ok, and then, I go to a maya to blockout the basic shapes to paint over it.

And the question is:
- How can I archive realism? (painting I can't get it :( )
Should I play more with photographs and stick it over a 3d shaded geometry and then paint over the photos to add extra detail?

Sometimes is hard to match the prespective and find good huge photographs for what I want.

So, Thanks in advice to all.

11-07-2005, 11:57 AM
I'd say if funds aren't a problem, get Dylan Coles 3 DVDs. Except for 3d and Compositing, they handle all your matte questions.

Photos are great for realism, but not necessary, many of the artists are just that good with a paint brush. So start with photo refs and slowly add
you own details here and there, then maybe in the future you wont need as many, even though its a very good matte technique. I very much like photo refs for detail, some time, I blur and use the color pallet, sometime, I desaturate and just use in blended mode for highlights, or blocked out detail, or for implied intricate details, machinery, and such.

As they say, practice, practice, practice.

11-07-2005, 12:50 PM
Photos are great for realism, but not necessary, many of the artists are just that good with a paint brush.

I'll disagree with this statement. While you may be fantastic with
a brush in Photoshop, you should ALWAYS be referencing photography
in your work. In the old days, before there was such a thing as PS
cut and paste, we gathered mountains of photo reference before
starting a shot. Photography is your friend. USE IT. Even if it's
just to study.

Pere Balsach
11-07-2005, 01:57 PM
thanks for the reply!

I know what you mean, but.....

in the case that you want to build a fantastic city with futuristic stuff you can't take photos and stick onto photoshop. I guess you need to model the building in 3D and then do the texture in photoshop and stick it, i'm right?

Thanks guys !

11-07-2005, 02:02 PM

either way

11-07-2005, 04:48 PM
You can't get caught up in trying to find the exact photo or subject matter, because alone it won't convey the bigger vision you may have. If you're understanding of perspective isn't so hot, then by all means use a 3d app to layout a scene.

I'm really bad at having this great feeling of wanting to finish this masterpiece I may have in my head, but not going through the proper steps to ensure I'll get there. You have to break it down and simplify everything to the point where you finally understand the process.

That means, for instance, you're wanting to do a future city. What turned you onto this idea? Study your inspirational referrences in a simplified manner as well. Is it the shapes, the coloration, the detail, etc that you appreciate the most. I know we all want to say EVERYTHING, but you have to 'GET IT' in order to implement those observations in your own work.

I know this all sounds off the subject, but if you start with the basic elements of design, for example:
...then you can start to understand how you perceive what YOU perceive in others art and work from there.

All the software in the world won't help if the artist doesn't know the language. Photo-realism IS important, but you can't lean on it so much as your skills as an artist and how you personally communicate your vision.

Even if you can't afford the Gnomon DVD's, each title on their website has several still captures from the content that if observed really tell alot about what is going on and why. Each DVD also has a short video clip to watch...also very telling of some techniques.

So, I would say, render your geometry with basic grayscale shading and lit the way you want it to eventually be lit. If you can, sketch out some hints on another layer as a better guide to what you'tr trying to achieve. Use a few photo refs to lay over the geometry and distort them into correct perspective. I might even do this having desaturated the photo refs as well so as not to immediately become biased.

Use another layer to block in some color here and there. Reduce the opacity of the color block layer maybe so you don't lose sight of the form and composition. Alot just depends on how well you know yourself and your process. I, for instance, have a VERY short attention span which means I have to work quick to achieve a certain amount of satisfaction in order for me to keep working on something. I've come to realize my short comings and have adjusted my process to suit. You may be completely different and are able to sit for hours and days on end working on one piece. Don't get me wrong, I love doing this stuff, but I'm also always working on umpteen million other projects or hobbies at the same time.

The term 'future city' can also describe something fantastically different in your mind than what others have presented as theirs. So, in short (sheesh) your idea should be bleeding out of you before you go searching for photos to use and your understanding of cinemaphotography, design theory and a deep gritty love of photoshop must be paramount as well.

It goes much deeper than photos, photoshop and 3d.

Pere Balsach
11-08-2005, 05:07 PM
thanks for the replies !
Yes, the gnomon dvd's seams a good start. I'll buy it :)

And then I will start to sketching from photos to improve my drawing skills and the atention for the detail and see how it works :P

I'll will try to do a 1 skecth each day. It's right to post it in this forum (in the wip seccion?

Thanks a lot for the feedback!! and happy painting :wink:

11-08-2005, 07:10 PM
The thing I quickly realized jumping into matte painting, is that a photo manipulation is quite easy in the scene, its an actual photo, so real life,
perspective is there already.

If you are interested in creating your own, getting to know how to set up and work with perspective lines, is key. check out some of Feng Zhu's dvds, great intro to that aspect.

Perspective lines are a part of some of Dylans, from memory I think its glossed over (but thats not the purpose of those DVDs, in fairness)

I'll post a quick one I started after some perspective study.

11-08-2005, 07:14 PM
its a little rough but you can see, slapping in refs would leave much
to chance, drawing in those perp lines, helps emencely.

Starting from no photo, you need a guide.

Anyway, my 2 centos, still learning, having fun.

copy and paste url, or drag link into the address bar, (403 errors)

orig ref:
http://www.lwg3d.org/upload/general/200 ... 515927.jpg (http://www.lwg3d.org/upload/general/2005/09/4751-23-515927.jpg)

http://www.lwg3d.org/upload/general/200 ... 752577.jpg (http://www.lwg3d.org/upload/general/2005/09/5620-26-752577.jpg)

http://www.lwg3d.org/upload/general/200 ... 894973.jpg (http://www.lwg3d.org/upload/general/2005/09/-28-894973.jpg)