View Full Version : School of Visual Arts Matte Painting Week 10

03-28-2009, 12:43 PM
Hi all--

This weeks assignment is to find a photo of a structure, and relight it using the techniques I showed in class. You could also do a landscape, but this technique is most often used to relight castles, or buildings, or some man-made object. If you find a photo shot on an overcast day, the relighting will be easier, since you won't need to get rid of the cast shadows. If you choose to relight a scene that has hard shadows in it, I will give you extra credit for that.

You final relighted version must show cast shadows. So figure out where your light source is, and project the shadows down at the same angle throughout the scene.

I was going to post the demo I did in class, but I forgot to bring the file home, so here is one I did for a class I am taking. You can see there is a lot of similarity with doing a day to night shot, and it will give you another chance to work with masks. Please work non destructively as much as you can, applying curves to lighten and darken controlled by masks. You will usually have to do some painting at the end, so have a final paint layer at the top to do your final touch up. Also remember that if you have a mask to darken the dark side, that is a good starting point for the mask to lighten the light side, so you can invert the one mask as the starting point for the opposing mask.

This is a one week breather before we start on our final project, so start thinking what you would like to do for your multiplane matte shot.

Here is an example of what I want:



See you all on Thursday! Remember this assignment is due on Midnight Wednesday before class.

David Mattingly

04-01-2009, 07:57 AM
Hi all--
Just a reminder that all of your scene relighting projects are due at midnight tonight. If you want to post a movie cross dissolving between the 2 scenes, that would be great, but at least post your original photo, and then your relit version.
Remember that your relit version must show cast shadows, so if you have chosen to turn this into a night scene, there must still be a strong light source, like a moon, to cast shadows in your scene.
Turn your projects in here.
Also, we will start class with Danica Perry's review of Orson Well's great masterpiece "Citizen Kane". Make sure that it is the Original 1941 version staring Orson Wells and Joseph Cotton, not the weird 1972 British version with all the human parts played by barnyard animals. Please have that ready for the start of class.
See you all tomorrow, where we start on our final project.
David Mattingly

Jim McKenzie
04-01-2009, 02:13 PM
hello class, I must inform you all that I am dropping out of school to pursue my dream, and go on Americas next best dance Crew. Hopefully we make it to the finals. it was great meeting all of yous and I hope to see you all in the future. Goodbye.

-Jim McKenzie

04-01-2009, 03:06 PM
Hi all!


Jim McKenzie
04-01-2009, 03:29 PM
... April fools.



04-01-2009, 07:40 PM




(YouTube has taken 30 minutes so far to process this 9-second video... It should work soon, hopefully before midnight)
Edit: Gave up on that one, uploaded again. Working video:


04-01-2009, 08:08 PM


04-01-2009, 09:21 PM


04-01-2009, 09:49 PM


I'm sorry about this clearly not being my best work, i couldn't really grasp the concept of how to do this but i definitely tried. see you tomorrow.

04-01-2009, 10:00 PM
Hi everyone,

I decided to do something more challenging this week, and instead of taking one image, and re-lighting it, I did several - each from a differing lighting scenario. I wanted the end result to be strongly characterized by the time of day, with this painting, in particular, occurring at dusk. The photographs I used where also chosen to drive my narrative, where I was hoping to describe something that looks fantastic in nature, with a touch of "lost world" charisma. This is Treasure Island.




04-01-2009, 10:03 PM


04-01-2009, 10:04 PM
Here are various souirce images that where used in this project.


04-01-2009, 10:11 PM
Nice one Brandon!

04-01-2009, 10:18 PM
Thanks man! Nice job on yours as well! My lighting change is subtle -- I hope David doesn't grade me down b/c of it :(

04-01-2009, 11:05 PM
Hi all--

The two main things I am looking for this week is that your changed the direction of the light in your scene, and that your relit scene shows some cast shadows. It is difficult to understate how much a good cast shadow can enhance the reality of your scene, so you should always be looking for opportunities to evidence them in a scene with a strong directional light source. The complaint I have most often with student work is that the lighting direction is often "mushy", where you don't really know where the light is coming from. If you ware going to add cast shadows to a scene, you definitely have to decide exactly where your light is coming from, or your shadows will never be convincing.

So here are this weeks grades:

Akim Phimin--You have done a lovely job here, but you did not reverse the direction of the light in the scene. This might better qualify as a "day to dusky evening" scene rather than a relight. This is decidedly effective in spite of the fact that it doesn't fulfill the assignment. I am not giving you a high grade for that reason, I think you have real talent!
Grade: C

Dan Bradham--Very moody piece, and you changed the direction of the light artfully. However, you didn't cast any shadows, even though cloudy moonlight light like this would provide a lot of nice chances to do just that. I would have bumped this up to an "A" if you had gotten the shadows in.
Grade: B+

Kate Conrad--You definitely reversed the direction of the light here, but the thing that is holding it back from looking as good as possible is the lack of cast shadows. That wall on the right side where it connects to the round turret would look much better if you had shadowed it where the 2 surfaces meet even if it was a very soft shadow. The light you have described here could be a very soft glowing sunset light, but even that would have soft cast shadows to make this fully believable.
Grade: B

Beryl Chen--No homework. I am assuming Beryl has dropped out. By the end of the semester we may be down to the guy from Moscow and 2 other students!
Grade: F

Brandon Lori--You drive me crazy! This is a very imaginative piece, but it in no way fulfills the assignment. The relit version just has the shadows sides a little darker--there is no reversal of light direction. "Relight" means actually changing the direction of the light. You have clearly put some work into this, and I am not willing to flat out fail you on it, but how about actually finding a photo and relighting it? With your skills you could do this in an hour or so. Please put aside some time and actually do the assignment!
Grade: C

Andrea Lowery--This quite a pleasing piece, and I definitely think your relit version looks more colorful and inviting than the original. Once again, the thing that stops this from being an "A" is the lack of cast shadows, and a general "mushiness" of the shadows. A nice cast shadow, especially on that center square tower would go a long way to making this scene fully convincing.
I've scribbled in some corrections over your file to show you what I mean--I have added some cast shadows, and clear up a bit the direction of your light.
Grade: B

Jim McKenzie-- You got me! I had completely forgotten about the April Fools thing, and my first thought when I read that was "what the hell is that kid thinking!" I'm glad you put your dance career on hold to finish out the semester.
Your relighting is from the opposite direction, but the overall feel of this is very patchy. I am assuming that the white color of the wall on the lit side would be generally the same tone, but you have it varying by 3 or 4 tones on what looks to me to be the same surfaces. The entire left hand lit side looks too light, and then suddenly that little porch sticks out for the shadow side of the building, and gets a white tone several tones lighter than the nearby wall. This is an example where a final paint layer at the very top of your file would be a great idea, and you can go in and scribble i tones to unify the areas after you have done the heavy lifting with curves and masking. Also, not to sound like a broken record (or perhaps I should say a jumping MP3 file to not sound old fashioned), but you are also missing any cast shadows on your castle.
Grade: C

Danica Perry--No homework. What is going on here? You are a talented artist, but 3 "F"s in a row will impact your grade dramatically. I am very disappointed.
Grade: F

Dan Pochtrager-- You did switch the direction of the light, but I wish you had pushed this quite a bit more. We went from a strongly lit castle, to a castle weakly lit from the other side. Also, that brightly lit patch in the middle of the castle should have been scribbled out to unify the tones in your structure. Also, no cast shadows...
Grade: C

Max Thomas--This is a pretty nice job, and you are the one student who made a bit of a stab at including cast shadows in your scene. That center facing wall that is brightly lit is unconvincing to me--I suspect it would fall into shadow, or at least be a couple of tones darker than the surfaces more directly facing the sun. Also, there are some great opportunities for cast shadows here, some of which you missed. I did a quick pass over you piece to show you what a couple of extra minutes thinking about the cast shadows could do. This is the best piece turning if for this assignment. Not bad for a film student!
Grade: A

04-23-2009, 03:12 PM
Bringing SVA matte painting threads together for reference