View Full Version : Castle wall

04-01-2009, 09:07 PM
Hi guys, this is my first attempt at matte Painting in a very long time. Real life keeps getting in the way. Anyway, this piece was inspired by a screen shot i took while playing Age of Conan. Fire away, all crits welcome. I had a hell of a time figuring out the shadows and I'm sure they're stil wrong.


04-11-2009, 09:36 PM
Updated... changed a few things. Comments??? Anyone????


04-22-2009, 08:07 AM
Update... comments... anyone???


Alex Jenyon
04-22-2009, 09:05 AM
It's a bit tricky to comment on this image (which is probably why you haven't got any yet) because you haven't done any work on 'bedding in' each of your disparate image elements.

Typically I would expect a matte painting to look like this early on in the process, once all the required elements have been put in place, but haven't yet been colour corrected, perspective corrected, or merged together.

Get hold of some reference, and have a very close look - you've got some perspective issues with the castle towers, different lighting on each of your foreground elements, and all your greens need colour correcting to match.

I know that might be a bit harsher than you were expecting - this is a perfectly reasonable start to a matte painting, but it needs a lot of work, and until you've made an attempt it's difficult to know if you're going in the right direction. Leave off the 'bells and whistles' (the wall decoration and creepers), and concentrate on getting the 'bones' of the image right first.


04-22-2009, 09:27 AM
Thanks, AJ. Fire away, not harsh at all... I'm not thin skinned. Believe me, I'm aware of how far I have to go. All and any input is helpful. Back to the drawing board.

Alex Jenyon
04-22-2009, 09:36 AM
Here's a (very) quick paintover to give you some suggestions to get started - however, I would recommend doing some sketches and studies from reference first.



04-23-2009, 04:07 AM
Wow, Alex, thanks. that was very kind of you.

That shadow has been killing me since day 1. I tried using all the calculation techniques but nothing seemed to look right. I'm gonna sort of eyeball it for now and see what I get.

The only thing that is confusing me is the tower perspective. You said that cloning won't give the right perspective. That's what I did I cloned it and fit it into my perspective lines. How else should I go about this???

Alex Jenyon
04-23-2009, 05:22 AM
Perspective - if it's too difficult to work out on paper, a 3D visualisation can help. I often build a proxy sketch model using google SketchUP - it's free, fast, and can give you the correct shadow angle too...

The problem with your second tower is that even though you've matched the two horizontal vanishing points, you've forgotten about the third. There is another vanishing point way, way off the top of the image, and all vertical lines will point towards it. Each clone of the tower has it's own vanishing point, which is why they don't look right - they should all share the same one.


04-24-2009, 04:21 AM
Ok, downloading sketchUP as we speak. Thanks for the tip.

Ok, so can I ask another noobish question? How do you estimate the position of the vertical perspective point? Is this an eyeball thing??? When i set up the 2 point perspective for this I have to extend the canvass WAAYYYYYYY out.

I'm also gonna take a tip you gave another user here and slow down on this piece. i really want to get this right.

04-24-2009, 10:09 AM
ventana - when setting up a perspective grid in photoshop, you dont necessarily need to see the point itself, which can sometimes be way way off the canvas. Instead, try creating a series of straight lines across the canvas with the line tool. Duplicate this until you have maybe 20 or 30 lines crossing the canvas and merge them into one layer. Then use the perspective and distort tools in PS to transform these straigt lines into a perspective grid. If you have some straight edges in the plate or paining, its easy to transform the lines to match the perspective and then use these to judge any other objects that you place in the painting.

Hope i explained that ok...


04-24-2009, 12:11 PM
Thanks Nick. Yeah, I think I understand. I saw Dylan Cole do that in his video. On this piece I was able to pick up the first vanishing point on the horizon pretty easy but had to temporarily extend the canvass to get the second. I guess if I use this technique on the vertical elements then all I have to do is line them up with the first tower and I should be good to go.

Thanks, guys.

04-25-2009, 01:22 PM
Quick update to make sure I'm going in the right direction.

Ok, I worked on the tower/wall perspective. I drew in some guide lines and adjusted the far tower to "kind of" match the first tower. What i have here is basically eyeballed. When i adjusted to fit the guild lines exactly it seemed too extreme and didn't look right to me, so i pulled back some. Maybe the towers are too close or something but it just looked off. thanks guys for reminding me about 3 point perspective. I did a little researching and came up with these sites in case someone else needs some help in this area as I did(do).


I also paid " a little" attention to relighting the right side foreground elements and I readjusted the look of the sky to help it fit the overall image more. I know there areas need more work but I wanted to concentrate on the perspective issue.

So... am I on the right track?


04-26-2009, 03:12 AM
looks like the plant on the right needs some defringing. it's got that blue outline to it, which can be hard to get rid of sometimes. you said you watched a Dylan Cole DVD, he covers that in one or two of his videos. You should be able to clean that up a bit, but it's not always easy.

04-26-2009, 08:25 AM
Thanks, Thirteen. Yes, the right side needs a lot of work and I think I'm gonna start working on it this week to change the pace a little. Yep, I remember Dylan going over the defringing thing early in his "Introduction to Cityscape Matte painting" Dvd. My bad for forgetting it. Sometimes it's like information overload and somethings just don't stick. Every time i post something my forehead hurts from the "Oh damn, I knew that" reaction. Ya know, I've spent a lot of money on matte painting DvD's. While every one of them I've watched has had the "OH, WOW" factor, I've picked up more just from tips from you guys. I guess it;s like book learning and OJT (On the Job training), ya never know how much you know until you get out in the real world. The best thing about trying to matte paint is I now look at the world with a brand new pair of eyes in a brand new way.

Anyway, much appreciation to all of you who are trying to help this feeble minded old soul, lol.

04-29-2009, 03:59 PM
Ok, a little update.

I worked on relighting the right side some
I added some atmospheric perspective to the background.
I put some bells and whistle elements back just to see what it looks like.

Crits wanted.