View Full Version : School of Visual Arts Matte Painting Week 2

01-22-2009, 09:34 PM
Hi all--
I decided to start a new thread each week so that no single thread gets too large. This weeks assignment is to make 3 different concept sketches for the 16 bit plate I handed out in class. You must work over this plate to get a little experience in working in 16 bit.
The main requirements are as follows:
1. Don't use photography directly in any way! You can look at castles, and I recommend finding some castles to keep in front of you as you work, but no direct usage of photography. Using photography at this point in the process will just short circuit your creativity.
2. The castle must be old! Our second assignment is a futuristic cityscape, so lets go old with this one.
3. The castle must show linear perspective. No organic castles. Our third week you will be required to do a perspective drawing over your concept sketch, and if you have made a castle based on a tree, or a sea shell, there really isn't anything to draw out in formal perspective. So basically the castle must be based on boxes and cylinders, but other than that, be as creative as possible. Extra credit for anything I haven't ever seen before that still meets those requirements!
4. Make the castles different--each one should take you a couple of hours. Think of me as a director who comes to you and says "I have no idea what this castle should look like--give me a variety of concepts."
Once again everything must be in my 12:00 wednesday night. Don't wait for the last moment before you turn your homework in. Late assignments will be failed.

Here is the raw plate for all to see. This version is 8 bit, but the students will be painting over a 16 bit version.

As always, critiques are most welcome!

David Mattingly


01-24-2009, 07:36 PM
Great second assignment! Again, look forward to seeing the work produced!


01-25-2009, 11:12 PM
Kate Conrad_Digital Matte Painting Homework_School of Visual Arts_Week 2


01-27-2009, 06:56 AM

01-27-2009, 11:08 AM
Hi everyone,

Below are my paintings for this week, as assignment # 2 for our latest 'old castle' project. Each one, to some degree, shows linear perspective. I hope it was fair game to 'add' some things in, as I took the liberty of sprucing up my foregrounds with various compositional devices, in order to lead the viewers eye to the castle - our desired center of interest. With each of the foreground elements, I blended them into the overall image by painting them into one thing or another. if you look closely, you'll probably be able to tell which is the photo, and which is my brush.

See you all on Thursday!





01-27-2009, 06:58 PM
Let me start off by saying that this idea is great. Personally I want snag the photo and paint over it myself. I have checked through this thread and the previous and I will say that a big thing that is missing in some of the these painting is atmospheric perspective, you wanna check your color values and your contrast on images that distant to the camera lens. Also I have found that it you start off with a smaller brush first, the structures you build end up not being so exagerrated.

01-27-2009, 07:55 PM
Thanks for your comments about the students work. Please feel free to post any reaction you have to the pieces--the main reason I am doing this on mattepainting.org is to get the students exposed to the professionals on the site.
David Mattingly

01-27-2009, 08:24 PM
I hope I didnt overstep myself but I wanted to give that plate a whirl.

01-28-2009, 03:49 AM

01-28-2009, 06:14 AM
Serg [slash] Kiryanov




01-28-2009, 06:54 AM
These are my castle concepts more to come soon.


01-28-2009, 08:23 AM
Nice work there Slash
The day for night shot is a nice touch, and its good to see you starting to think about perspective. The second one is the most successful IMO. It reminds me of the shots from the start of Prince Caspian.

Look forward to seeing more soon


ps. it looks like some of the week 1 assignments are still being posted here, are there some people joining the couse late?

01-28-2009, 08:53 AM
really good assignment like RiKToR i couldn't resisit giving it a go myself ....everybody who has posted here has shown some good work it's always nice to see people useing the plate in different ways, it's going to be alot of fun watching your students delvelop over the coming year.

01-28-2009, 03:26 PM
Hi to everyone!
Here's my first castle (visible part of it).
I have learnt about David's event just 2-3 days ago. I'm going to finish my 2 more castles (+5 sketches) in few days and I hope I will get access to participation in "third week step".

p.s. yes, this one (castle) is too damn big. Ok, lets think that is not a sheeps walkin there ... its kittens >.<


01-28-2009, 06:13 PM
Here is my homework assignment for the week. This one was a lot of fun!




01-28-2009, 06:23 PM



01-28-2009, 06:26 PM
Hi all--
I notice that Amanda Schwartz has posted her castles, and they look great, but they are too tiny. Make sure they are around 1000 pixels wide so we can see what you are doing!!
David Mattingly

01-28-2009, 07:20 PM
Jeez, I feel like throwing my computer against a wall...but I figured I should post this first beforehand. There's another castle coming!!!!!! Things are crashing so I can't upload the last one for a bit...

This was a fun assignment!



01-28-2009, 08:19 PM


Jim McKenzie
01-28-2009, 08:30 PM
Hi David, I recently switched into your course and missed the first week of class. I tried my best to catch up with the class but was only able to complete the first weeks assignment and just two castles. I'd prefer to hand in 3 well done castles rather than rush through the assignment. I would like to request an additional week to complete my third castle. Thank you- Jim


01-28-2009, 08:36 PM
Ahhh cool!

01-28-2009, 08:53 PM
Beryl Chen_Digital Matte Painting Homework_School of Visual Arts_Week 2




01-28-2009, 08:55 PM

01-28-2009, 09:15 PM
Hey everyone,

David has asked me to re-post my images in a higher resolution, so here goes:





01-28-2009, 09:26 PM



01-28-2009, 09:28 PM
2 more concepts



Derick Ramirez
01-28-2009, 09:34 PM

01-28-2009, 09:37 PM



01-28-2009, 09:47 PM


01-28-2009, 09:51 PM
After looking through these I notice that there are students who are still too caught up in the idea of drawing and line and detail. I think they should stick to broader brush strokes and let the paint do the detailing for you. Since these are concepts, be loose and explore shapes more. Detailing and texturing with photos comes later. Also I might suggest perhaps a value study assignment. Or perhaps on their own free time, students should really study black and white values and the power of contrast.

01-28-2009, 10:39 PM
The grades on the castle concept sketches are most dependent on an interesting idea--I am not at all worried about the rendering, So I will grade higher for something fresh that I haven't seen before, and less well for an uninspired concept. For each person I will also choose which castle to proceed with--please use the one I choose for next weeks assignment.

Daniel Bradham-- These are great concepts! Congratulations. Let's proceed with the orange tinted one with the cracks in the ground. These are among the strongest in the class.
Grade: A

Beryl Chen--It is a little hard to tell what is going on in these sketches, but this weeks lecture on perspective should allow you to firm up these concepts. Lets go with the greenish tinted sketch with the monastery like buildings (the first one you submitted.) But don't let the building be leaning over...
Grade: C-

Kate Conrad-- All of your concepts show some out of the box thinking. I want you to go with the second sketch you submitted (the orange and green suspended ruins). You will need to really pay attention in the perspective lecture to get this to come out right, but looking at your work, I think you are up o the challenge.
Grade: A

Jacek Jurga--How about combining the first sketch you submitted with the second one--the floating castle is really fun, but adding the foreground structure would make it a fuller composition. Maybe you can match the architecture of the 2. I'd grade you higher, but the third sketch really looks like an afterthought...
Grade: B

Brandon Lori-- These are very nice, although with your imagination I hope to see some wilde r work out of you by the end of the semester. Let's go with the second sketch that looks like you are looking out of a cave, but make the castle larger in the frame. It currently gets kind of lost in the hillside. Nice work, though, and I love how you pencilled out your composition in advance. I'm marking you down just a bit for lack of inspiration. For instance, the color of each of the concept is roughly the same.
Grade: A-

Jim McKenzie-- Since you came in the class late, I am going make an exception for you and have you just go ahead with next weeks assignment and not worry about the 3rd castle. I don't want you to fall too far behind and next weeks assignment requires some work.
For your copies of the 5 photos, your color matching is quite good, but you ability to spot where everything is in the picture needs some work.
Grade: B
Your castle concepts are fun, but not mind blowingly inspired. Please proceed with the pointed turret castle for next week.
Grade: B

Danica Perry-- The last one you submitted is the most inspired. Let's go with that one. Overall a fun group, and shows some good thinking.
Grade: A

Daniel Pochtrager--The perspective lecture will be really good for you--these are all very flat. The one I like the best is the 3rd one, with the rope bridge. Maybe we could get some lights in the structure to get a little more liveliness into the composition.
Grade: C

Derick Ramirez--I like the first sketch best, with the curving wall around the structure. The one thing I am disappointed with in these sketches is that you didn't go anything to alter the mood of the plate. I chose a very neutral plate so that you would be forced to do something to it to spice it up. If you are not in my class, then you didn't know that, but I would have loved more variety in the tone of the plates.
Grade: B-

Deborah Saez-- The only one of these 3 that can be turned into a proper perspective drawing is the 3rd sketch (castle with the purple flag on top). You will need to add some additional dimension to this to get it to work for the final, but we'll cover that tomorrow.
Grade; C

Amanda Schwartz--I see that you posted again, but once again got these postage stamp sized images. I'll have to take a look tomorrow at how you are posting You may be posting the link to the preview rather than to the full sized image.
I wish you had done more with the plate to give the castles more personality--these are all tonally much the same. However, of the 3, I think the first one with the mist rolling in over the castle is most interesting. Let's proceed with that one for next week.
Grade: B-

Max Thomas--The most out of the box sketch is the one with the bridge leading out to the tower, but there isn't much perspective to work on in it. So go with the first sketch with the circular wall castle. How about adding something in the background to spice this up a bit?
Grade: C

Who is slash? You need to put your name at the top of the homework so I know who you are. You could go with any of the sketches, but the one with the cliff hanging off the right side is something I haven't seen in this assignment before. Please do that one, but add more of a castle to the structure on the right, almost like the aqueduct structures are emptying into the ruins of a castle. Nice work.
Grade A

Who is zhumai? Your photo copies need a lot of work--flip your eyes back and forth between you photo, and your copy, and try to really see what colors are there, and the location of the features in the frame. A lot of times you are painting what you think you see rather than what is actually there.
Grade: C

Who is etery? The same critique of the photo copies as zhumai, although your color is somewhat better. These don't really look like you spent an hour or 2 on each--with some additional time devoted to each, I suspect you could get them looking much more like the look and feel of the photos
Grade: C

02-01-2009, 08:51 AM
Good evening, David.

Excuse me. Can I present my works, or it is too late? I want to study in your class....What I should do???

sorry for my English :(

02-01-2009, 10:46 AM

I would be happy to have you submit assignments to my class. You will be at a disadvantage since you will not hear the lecture that would prepare you to do the assignment. Please do the best you can based on my notes that are posted, and I will grade you just like a regular class member, including giving you comments.

I am stated a new thread for every week so the threads don't get crazy long, so for next weeks perspective drawing assignment, go to:


There is also an example of the kind of drawing I want. Also, subscribe to that thread so that you can get updates as I put them up.

Give us your real name, and where you live, so that we know a little about you! Glad to have you along for the class.

David Mattingly

02-02-2009, 12:12 PM

02-02-2009, 12:56 PM
Glad to have you working along with the class. i want you to proceed with the sketch with the Inca pyramids, but get rid of the stone face in the sky. The face is a graphic element, and I want you to put all of your efforts to making this as realistic as possible. Be sure to get your perspective grid set up on this--you second pyramid is leaning down hill, which I am sure is not your intention. Also, your painting is very flat--look at photo of pyramids, and try to get some of that natural variation in your tone, and much more of a light side and and a dark side, even in your concept sketches. Also, your color in your shadow side is wrong here. Remember that in almost all cases, the shadow side color will be less saturated than the light side. The most obvious exception to that rule is when you have a powerful colored fill light on the shadow side, or when your light side is burning out, but your picture has neither of those.

So get to work on your perspective drawing. It must be in by 12:00 wednesday night for you to continue with the class. I would like for you to keep up, so get on schedule with the class. Don't forget, if anything in your picture does not vanish to the horizon, you will fail this assignment, so get your perspective grid set up, and stick to it!

Your grade: C

02-25-2009, 10:45 PM
Beryl Chen_Digital Matte Painting Homework_School of Visual Arts_Week 6



Jiyeon has problem to upload her image. I post for her.

Jiyeon Kim_Digital Matte Painting Homework_School of Visual Arts_Week 6


04-23-2009, 03:06 PM
This is to bring all of the threads together for the School of Visual Arts matte painting class.