View Full Version : School of Visual Arts Matte Painting Week 12

04-12-2009, 12:24 PM
School of Visual Arts Matte Painting Week 12

We are fast approaching the end of the semester, with one more week on this project, and then our final exam. Just to give you a heads up that the final exam will be a matte shot you will do in class in the space of approximately 2.5 hours. You will put everything you have learned during the course of the semester into use. For the last class you will also be required to have a data DVD with all of your projects on it--all of the layered Photoshop files, all of your After Effects files, everything you used to construct your projects. Also, you will render out a movie of all of your projects that will be posted on mattepainting.org the night before to show everything you did during the semester. This is not due until April 30th (actually, midnight April 29th), but sometimes there is a mad scramble to find all of your files, so I thought I would give you an advance warning.

For this week you should continue to refine your final project, correction your composition if needed, and starting to use photographic texture is you like. You also need to break your file up into layers and exporting the layers to After Effects, and set up your camera move. For midnight wednesday I expect to see a photoshop file of your painting in progress, and a movie of your move. I will look over everyones move in class, and there will be time to correct the camera move if necessary. In general I find that students make their camera moves too dramatic, which is not appropriate for a multiplane shot like we are doing. If you were going to push in, or move side to side using a large move, you would need to use 3D as a multiplane shot will break down fairly quickly with too large a move. Now is the time to be David Lean, not Michael Bay.

Also, you will each have a chance to shoot the required figure for your composition in the green screen room. If you already have a figure to be inserted, you can use that, but you will still need to be part of the group shooting in the green screen room. Think about costuming, and perhaps finding an appropriate person to be your "actor" for the day. I hate it when students just shoot themselves in street clothing looking around randomly, and then add that to their multiplane piece. Doing a bit of planning ahead can add a lot to your work.

i also wanted to share another compositional technique that can be helpful. There really are no hard and fast rules to composition, but if you are stuck with a composition that just isn't working, techniques like this can help you figure out something pleasing.


David Mattingly

04-14-2009, 10:26 AM
This is a great check list for anyone doing a greenscreen or bluescreen shooting, as my class is doing on Thursday. This was all taken from http://generalspecialist.com. It was written by Jonas Hummelstrand. I just turned it into a more convenient PDF file.



04-15-2009, 01:46 PM


I realized that my scene doesn't appear to multiplane, but if you grab the little toggle and slide it back and forth it actually does move quite a bit.

Jim McKenzie
04-15-2009, 03:06 PM
Last weeks :

This weeks:


it is not going to have these drop shadows in it, It rendered out like this and i noticed it afterwards

04-15-2009, 03:46 PM
David, Im fail the task again, im really sorry. I have a tonns of work till the end of month. Im working on my sketch when im rest from my main work, but its still not ready. Its dissapoints me, coz I really love your school. I hope I will find enought time to finish sketch and texturise it and maybe even compose it in AE, but i cant promise it. All I can say is that I have a huge desire to make this work.

Jim McKenzie, your movie is AMASING! It reminds me the video of my fav band Oasis - All Around The World. Its kinda "Monty Python's Flying Circus" stuff. I really love this video and your work impresses me much too. So I wish you a luck in your work!!!

All Around The World movie :)

04-15-2009, 09:06 PM


04-15-2009, 09:48 PM




04-15-2009, 09:49 PM

For anyone that missed my post in week 11 (a couple days ago), I explained that my previous file i was working on in Maya became corrupted, and David and I weren't able to distinguish what happened to it. Nonetheless, I re-thought my idea, and to make up for it, came up with this idea.

Also, David - perhaps you and i should have discussed what was expected from me tonight, as the process of my assignment is very different from the others students. Nonetheless, here's what I have so far, and have been working on it, virtually non-stop since our last e-mail.

First, I need to clarify how LONG it takes, as opposed to just importing a PSD into After Effects. Almost EVERY gesture I do in 3d, whether it be just moving my camera, or using the Sculpt Geometry tool to model my rocks, is taking forever. I think it's because my image is really big, and with every move, Maya has to re-draw the screen in real time. I'll be able to demonstrate this tomorrow in class when showing you my scene file, David.

And lastly, it takes a significant amount of time to model the geometry, then align it as such. I also have some questions on that specifically related to the placement of the assets, in coordination with the camera that I hope you can answer (tomorrow in class).

Lastly, I didn't post a video because there would be ultimately nothing to show, as the new painting still has to be projected onto the geometry, which was just finished moments ago.

Overall, I think it's going well, but am hoping things don't get wonky once I project the new painting over the geometry. Thanks!

PS- some of the geometry of the background mountains is being obscured by my image plane


04-15-2009, 09:53 PM
I posted this in case you wanted it in the week 12 thread at full-size, David.



04-15-2009, 09:58 PM
Here's the concept broken up and panned in after effects... I'll be able to start working on perspective and texturing this weekend.


Concept again:


04-15-2009, 10:16 PM
im sorry i couldnt finish the hw in time this week, of couse i will be up to speed in a few days


04-15-2009, 10:37 PM


This is not where I wanted to be at this point. But I'll bring it together for the final.

04-15-2009, 10:56 PM
Hi all--

Teacher evaluations are this week, so everybody gets an "A"! Congratulations!

Just kidding of course.
The main elements I am looking for in grading are:
1. You must have broken your pieces into planes, loaded them into After Effects, and created a camera move.
2. You pieces should be almost done this week, so that you can spend the final week perfecting your shot, and making them look as good as they can. If you are using photographic textures, you should have incorporated them here, or if you are doing this as a straight painting, the elements should look more finished. I will also being looking for consistent lighting in your pieces, and good color correction if your are using photographic textures.
3. Any of you who had compositional problems last week should have corrected those problems by this week.

So here are this weeks grades:

Akim Phimin: I'm giving you an "A" for posting the excellent Oasis video! I look forward to seeing you again in the fall when I teach this class--you show a lot of talent, and I would enjoy it if you would participate in the future.
Grade: A

Dan Bradham--This is looking good. I would like you to do some more adventurous things with your buildings, and not have any directly recognizable structures, like the diamond top building on the left. You whirlpool still needs a lot of work, and you need to figure out how you are going to animate it. But this has a lot of depth, and you seem to have used the horizontal plane very well. Also a more interesting sky is in order here.
Grade: B

Kate Conrad--What happened here? I actually like what you had last week better! You had a nice warm/cool interplay on the mountainside, like the top of the snow was being kissing by the setting sun, and the pink glow from the setting sun gave color to the background. Also, your buildings are much less charming and idiosyncratic than what you had in your concept sketch--I liked the warm windows you had last week, but you took all that out along with the Shangri-la like architecture detail you had going. Also, the knobby thing on the right foreground was more finished last week than it is this week--now you have scribbly lines all over it. Your camera move needs much more of a move on it--this is much too subtle. Between now at the final next week, please go back to your original sketch, and restore the good things you had going on there.
Grade: C-

Brandon Lori--You never disappoint! Once again you have chosen to do much more than was required, and yet not really do what was required. But what you have done looks great, and I have to give you props for that. One recommendation--make sure you render out your geometry in passes. If worse come to worse, you could still paint over what you have and load it into After Effects and have a very effective shot. Also, reduce the size of the painting you are taking into Maya for projection to as small a size as possible--Maya will choke on too big a file. Also, while you are working, line up one layer at a time, and turn off everything else. You may get speedier results that way. You are basically jumping ahead and doing what we do in the digital sets class, and we spend an entire semester figuring this Maya stuff out. I did warn you...
I did say that you had to have this multiplaned this week, but the project looks so good I am going to overlook that. I will lower this grade if you don't deliver a final project that makes my eyeballs explode, so be forewarned.
Grade: A

Andrea Lowery--Your shot gives me yet another chance to tell a Peter Ellenshaw story! I did a nighttime concept sketch while I was working at Disney Studios, and it featured a pitch black sky with stars and a moon, just like yours, blue mountains in the background, and a lighter landscape in the forground. Peter looked at it, and said "always remember that even at night, the brightest thing in your scene will generally be your sky." Unless the landscape in illuminated by an outside light source, the ground will be darker than your sky. 9 times out of 10, this also holds true for the daytime. As counter intuitive as this may sound, your piece will look a lot more like a nighttime scene if you darken the landscape, lighten the sky, and give everything a cool tint.
Here is a quick pass at what I am talking about:
Also, you need to spread your layers apart--this looks like there are just 2 layers, the sky and the foreground. Get your back hill broken out, and make a layer out of your foreground pond and tree. I do miss the spring coming out of the tree, though. But this is getting better.
Grade: B-

Jim McKenzie--Even though this is residing in Tim Burton land, it still needs to have a consistent light source, and all of your layers must live in the same color space. The mushroom house on the right is lit from the left, but the giant poppy on the left is lit from the right. Then your barber pole tentacle is lit from the top. Your balloon, which I noticed is a 3D element , is hard lit from the lower left. You have to light everything from the same direction for this to have any chance of looking realistic. Also, your center mushroom/house is lit with a with a golden scrim over the light, and your right hand mushroom/house is lit with a with a pink/magenta scrim over the light--you need to decide on a consistent illumination color. Lastly, the perspective on your 2 houses is radically different--I realize that this is supposed to be a "Cabinet of Dr. Caligari" wacky perspective, but right now it just looks inconsistent. If you want, you can make it clear that one mushroom is leaning forward (the left hand one), and the center is leaning back, to account for the difference in perspective, but you will need to adjust them to make that clear.
Lastly, I liked your ballon better from last week--the hippy paisley paint job looked a lot more in keeping with the scene than these colored squares. Why don't you go back to the original solution on that.
Still this could be a fun scene, but even in a Tim Burton stop motion scene there are consistent rules of light direction, light color, and perspective, even if they are stylized.
Grade: B

Danica Parry--Nice! This is the kind of work I was expecting from you. I like how you figures out how to do the flat plane and set your objects up on that. I do want you to do a more subtle camera move--there is no way this dramatic a move will hold up on flat cards like this. Also, I want you to go for more realism on the final--you have to give form to the cotton candy tree leaves. Your tree trunks are looking pretty good, but you also need to think more about light direction.
How about a mountain range in the background to give the scene even more depth, and a more interesting sky? You are on your way to rescuing your grade in this class.
Grade: A

Dan Pochtrager-- Your composition looks much improved, and I like the start of your texturing. I would have given you a C on this if you had just multiplaned it, but with no multiplane at all, I am disappointed. You can still pull this out of the bag, but you have a lot of work to do for next week.
Grade: D

Max Thomas--Your multiplaning is looking good. I know you are finishing your thesis, so for the final week I expect you to put your nose to the grindstone on this and show me a full blown matte shot with textures and much more of an attempt at realism. I want to look at your layers tomorrow. I suspect you don't have enough separation in your project--I think that foreground building should move more.
Grade: C

04-23-2009, 03:14 PM
Bringing SVA matte painting threads together for reference