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RedIsHere 08-07-2010 10:52 AM

Need critique for my first matte
hi there,

im not fine with my first matte . . so some suggestions or critiques would be nice . .

thx a lot


Alex Jenyon 08-07-2010 02:23 PM

The important thing with all painting, and especially with realistic matte painting, is to know EXACTLY where your light sources are, and what they are doing. You appear to have four in this image - the moon, the light beam, the lantern, and whatever is hanging in the sky off the top of frame.

Each one of these has it's own colour and falloff, and each causes it's own particular set of shadows. At the moment, a lot of shadows are missing, and this is giving an 'underwater' feel to the image (as if the air was bouncing light back to the city, just like water). The 'god rays' also add to this effect.

I would personally reduce the number of light sources to something a bit more manageable, which would have the nice side-effect of making the image a bit more believable as well. How about taking out the light source in the sky (whatever it is). This would leave a bright light beam hanging above your city, and a lantern with a very localised effect. You could leave the moon there for a bit of ambient light, but it would have much effect at the exposure you would need.

Most of your image will then be in shadow, with powerful highlights and glints around the central beam.

Hope that gives you some pointers - look forward to an update.


Alex Jenyon 08-07-2010 03:00 PM

Very crudely, something like this:

There are still some composition, perspective and scale issues (the buildings at the back are bigger than the ones at the front, for example), but sorting those out would basically involve starting from scratch.

RedIsHere 08-08-2010 03:35 AM

hey alex,

thx a lot for your example painting . . . its veeery inspiring . . . your paint is exactly what my picture should become . . . but i couldnt figure out what is wrong or missing in my picture . . . i will work on that and post it again . . .



RedIsHere 08-08-2010 07:11 AM

hey guys, hey alex,

i tried to insert some right lights and colors . . im sure that it isnt perfect . . but is this the right way?



kbarts 08-09-2010 05:58 AM

The secound version is better.

I realised you used one of my matte for this one.
I do not mind but try to not use other matte paintings to create a new one.

Alex Jenyon 08-09-2010 08:41 AM

I hadn't spotted that, but I'm pretty sure you've used some elements of Tiberius Viris' painting "Hall of the dragon mist" as well.

It's a great way of getting yourself blacklisted by other artists, who could potentially be interviewing you for work in future, so just don't do it!

RedIsHere 08-10-2010 06:16 AM

im sorry for that . . i just practicing matte painting and dont want to use this for any kind of commercial or client project . . . as i told . . this is my first one and i just want to get the light things and the color issues . . .but im really sorry if someone dont want . . i only used partd of the city from kbarts . . but what is the hall of the dragon mist? the mountains, forest, the lantern and all that stuff is taken from google and different stockphoto sites. . . where should i get my photos? any special source for matte painter?

Alex Jenyon 08-10-2010 11:21 AM

Tiberius' painting looks like this, and the two of you have presumably used the same 'great all of china' reference image, if (as you say) you didn't take it from here:

Most images on google are copyright, which means you can't use them for commercial work OF ANY KIND. A practice image obviously isn't commercial work, but it gets a bit wooly if you then use this in a showreel, and it breaches copyright entirely if you then (for example) sell it as a print on your site.

Sites like, and others have completely free images, and flickr has a subset of 'creative commons' images, some of which you can use for commercial work.

But really, really don't use the work of other artists - even for practice. It isn't actually good practice in any case, since they've done a lot of the work for you.

Hope that clears it up a little?


RedIsHere 08-12-2010 04:56 AM

thanks for the tips and the websites. . i will update my work and post it soon . . .


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