What is matte painting?

Hello Everyone,

Its Josh here from Loveridge Digital, this week on “Getting into it with Loveridge Digital” we are going to cover what Matte painting is.

Matte painting is one of the oldest techniques in the visual effects industry and perhaps one of the most commonly used techniques. The principle of matte painting is simple: “To cover backdrop, use one or more paintings.” While the principle is so simple, the matte painting technique is quite skillful and artistically demanding since the paintings used to cover backdrop must be very true to life.

The challenge of matte painting comes in when the camera is moving it’s position. If it’s a static shot then it’s simple to just put the painting in the background along with decent lighting and it’ll look real. But when the camera is dynamic, it will reveal that the environment is just a image. Even before vfx turned digital, there was an easy solution to this problem. The artist would use layered painted glass to provide a parallax effect when the camera starts to move, making it feel 3D.

As VFX moved into the digital frontiers, the abilities of matte painting increased dramatically. we now apply a technique called “camera projection” or “3D projection”. This technique allows artists to put their paintings in 3D software and create simple 3D geometry to match the shape of the environment, this is a very cost-effective way to create realistic environments as only one matte painter is required for the job, This has made it a very favorable technique within the VFX industry.

While not all of us will be needing a matte painter anytime soon, It is an invaluable tool to be aware of if ever the need arises, Thank you very much for taking the time to watch the video, I hope you found it informative and engaging, until next time.

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