Today's entry is on matte painting.
What is matte painting? From the Wikipedia entry:
A matte painting is a painted representation of a landscape, set, or distant location that allows filmmakers to create the illusion of an environment that would otherwise be too expensive to build or visit. Historically, matte painters and film technicians have used various techniques to combine a matte-painted image with live-action footage. At its best, depending on the skill levels of the artists and technicians, the effect is "seamless" and creates environments that would otherwise be impossible to film.
Good matte paintings are the ones that don't distract the audience from the acting in movies. On one hand, artists work so hard on them, on the other hand, all the hard work are supposed to go unnoticed.
So in this post, I've gathered some resources as well as links to the artists/studios who have created these amazing background art.
If you have any interesting links, share them by posting a comment.
Got a question on matte paintings? Check out these forums. Most of them come with galleries as well, on the same domain, but outside the galleries.
Do check out the sticky threads typically pinned at the top of the forums for more resources.
2. Personal blogs and websites
Paul Lasaine has done background paintings for Surf's Up, Open Season, Lord of the Rings, Prince of Egypt and many other films.
Yanick Dusseault has worked on films including Star Trek (2009), Indiana Jones (2008), War of the Worlds (2005), etc. You can check out his impressive resume and gallery on his website, www.dusso.com.
Flickr Group: Matte Painting. Not just purely a photo sharing website, you can find a group created specially for matte painters. It's called Flickr: Matte Painting. It's essentially a gallery.
Tutorials and downloads
Computerart.co.uk has a 5 page tutorial on digital matte painting. It's in PDF format free for download.
London History Museum matte painting tutorial by Sorin Bechira. The second image is the final painting.
Sebastien Gaucher has some step-by-step tutorials on his website. Galleries included.
For more tutorials, you'll want to do a search on delicious.com.
D'artiste: Matte Painting and D'artiste: Matte Painting 2
These two books look at the matte painting work flow of top artists in the movie industry. I've the book review for volume one.
The Invisible Art. This book is out of print and is selling online at pretty insane prices. If you happen to see it in a bookshop, you're in luck. I've briefly browsed through it (in a bookshop) and it's mainly on the history of matte painting, and how they are used in movies.
Special Effects: The History and Technique. Chapter 5 covers the history and techniques of movie matte painting.
4. Places to look for more resources
Delicious.com is a great place to check out popular bookmarks. You can do a search on tags with keywords like mattepainting, matte_painting, matte-painting or do a general search through titles and tags with their search box.
I did a search on Youtube for "matte painting tutorials" and there are a few videos.
There's no special dedicated category on Deviantart.com for matte paintings. They are there but you'll have to search.
So what other interesting matte painting websites do you know? Share them in the comments section.