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AlexanderConcept 02-04-2012 07:20 AM

Alexander Isaksson | Digital Matte Paintings

My name is Alexander and I'm 17 years old. I'm a beginner when it comes to Matte paintings so feedback would be great, if you want to of course. :] I have done a total of 6 matte paintings and this is three of them.







dncrmt 02-04-2012 09:15 AM

First one: The water would be more greyish since it reflects the sky tone,which is overcast and there wouldn't be any reflections of the surroundings visible since the water is moving.Mirror reflections can be only seen on still water.

Second one: Sun would not reflect like that on the water surface and reflection would definitely not lose its intensity.If you look at some photo references of sun reflections you will understand what I'm talking about.

I did some quick search of photo references,but you can do a more thorough research:

AlexanderConcept 02-04-2012 09:28 AM

Yeah, now as you mention it, it's pretty stupid of me, hehe. I'll keep that in mind.
Thanks for the feedback + link.

AlexanderConcept 02-27-2012 03:27 PM

A new one.



I don't have a plate picture for this one since I did not use one.



AlexanderConcept 03-02-2012 06:22 PM

Hello. Just a quick update with a matte I just finished.



AlexanderConcept 03-04-2012 07:50 PM

Helluu. Here is another one and it's getting really really late here. You will probably notice that. One thing though, I don't get any feedback so it's somewhat hard to know what I should improve. Also, first time I do a more city like matte. Anyway, hope you like it.



Alex Jenyon 03-04-2012 10:57 PM

These mattes show some real promise (in terms of photo manipulation skills and perspective), as well as some significant problems.

The main problem with a lot of these images is that in most cases, the matte painting looks considerably LESS photoreal than the plate, which is not really what we are striving for.

The 'stone guardhouse' is a great plate to choose, and the challenge you have set yourself is a good one as a DMP exercise. I'm unclear why you thought the shadows were 'wrong' though - it would have looked much more convincing if you had kept the purple colour of the shadows, and done a less saturated sky replacement. The shadows didn't NEED to be darker, and adding saturation makes it look less realistic, not more.

The same with most of your mountain mattes - adding contrast and saturation to an image that was pretty extreme in terms of what natural conditions will produce doesn't help 'sell' the image in terms of realism. Nature, as a rule, isn't very saturated.

Your bridge matte painting has some bigger issues. First off, don't EVER mirror a photo element like you have done here. It simply doesn't work - our brains are hardwired to see symmetry, and everyone can spot it instantly.

Secondly, the river had a great ice texture, with realistic lighting and reflections. If you had decided to change it in some way (i.e. remove the ice, make it polluted, make it dry, etc.) that would have made sense. It doesn't make sense to replace realistic ice with another painted version of ice that looks less realistic, but does the same thing. In production, if something is working, we don't touch it!

I think for your next painting, you should choose another image (you choose some great plates), and let the plate dictate the lighting angle, colour and grade. Don't change everything simply because you can - it's actually a more interesting, more useful and more challenging exercise to work within the reality of the photo.

For instance - removing the trees in the bridge plate, and replacing them with a city is a difficult thing to do as it is - it needs to sit in properly with the plate, look like it was lit from the same direction, has the same shadow colour and density. It will need a bit of haze to give it some depth, but not too much that the scene looks misty. When we look at the final image, we should see a photo, not a painting.

Adding another bridge, replacing the frozen river, changing the light angle AND the sky, as well as adding a city and distant mountains is an extremely challenging task, requiring almost every pixel of the image to be re-done from scratch. I'm sure you will be able to do this kind of task eventually, but I think in the meantime you would do better to try something a bit less ambitious, and a bit more subtle. It might seem like a step back, but I think you will learn more.

Hope that helps - not trying to knock your confidence, and I think you have the potential to improve extremely quickly. Look forward to seeing more.


AlexanderConcept 03-05-2012 10:38 AM

Hello Alex!

Thank you so much for your feedback, I really appreciate it! :] This is what keeps me going, the strive to become a better artist, and this will keep me going since I'll have stuff to do, hehe.

Yes, I will do everything you said, less saturation, not "overdoing" the plate etc.

Once again, thanks so much. :]

AlexanderConcept 03-05-2012 04:05 PM

Here I tried to implement the constructive criticism, felt a bit weird. The matte itself isn't really that interesting in my opinion, just wanted as said earlier, implement the criticism.



MvHighway 03-06-2012 11:14 AM

You're right that the second one isn't that interesting. Maybe you could have add something behind the tree line to make it interesting. A tower for exampel, or maybe another 'layer' with hills or mountains behind the trees.

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