06-05-2012, 05:23 PM
I don't want to intrude too much in your production, but just wanted to make clear that what you are asking for may very well be months of work. It obviously depends totally on the shots you are producing, but something like the interior of a ship would very rarely be done as a matte painting, it would usually be built as a set unless there is a very good reason it has to be CG in every shot. If something like that is going to be a digital environment rather than a set, it would normally be a full 3d environment so that it is consistent from shot to shot, and because interior industrial design like that is very difficult to do on the fly. A ful CG environment needs modelling, texturing, lighting and rendering, as well as compositing, which is a huge amount of work and could take months even with a team of people working on it (again this is depending on the shot requirements which only you will know.)
The exterior shots sound relatively straight forward, again depending on what your specific requirements are. A good matte painter with some solid reference could probably put that together fairly quickly, maybe a week at best if he/she is compositing them and the shots are few and pretty simple. You didnt mention compositing, would the same person be compositing or have you already hired a compositor?
Your comment about 'it must look real obviously' will likely be where you come to blows with your artist. There is a reason that top vfx studios are paid millions to deliver work on feature films, and that is because its extremely difficult and time consuming to do vfx that look totally photoreal. Have you shot the plate footage already? I would suggest sittin down with the artist you hire and getting as much input from them as possible. There are artists that visit these forums that can deliver photoreal vfx for you, but they will know their limitations and you are more likely to get satisfactory results if you consult with them as much as possible.
I hope that helps a bit going forward. I don't want to interfere with what you are doing, just offer some advice to help you get the results you want for your production. There are people here often with a project that they need to hite a matte painter for, but I've yet to see one of them get completed or have vfx work that looks anything close to photoreal if they do complete, so it would be good to see one that makes it!
Digital Matte Painter // Forum Moderator