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Default How to jump in! - 12-22-2010, 03:40 AM

Ok my position is that I am still trying to learn CS5 extended Photoshop, starting to get an idea of where and what is what with this, regards this program, but Itís hard for me to move on. I would like to start to create some of my own work, regards matte painting. I am not sure where to start. Itís a shame someone does not bring some stuff out like they have done with photoshop, top secret, with video footage and walk through film. Stage by stage, If only! I have the ideas but still lack the skills to bring anything together. Any ideas, pointers, or help please!
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Default 12-22-2010, 09:27 AM

Knowing photoshop (or equivalent) is, of course, essential to creating most digital art. However, once you've learnt it, you don't suddenly become a matte painter, in the same way that learning a 3D package doesn't make you a great animator. There are a lot of traditional art skills that come into it, as well as some newer ones (compositing techniques, photographic image cues, etc.) If you want to learn matte painting, you will need to focus on these traditional skills first, or you will quickly become very frustrated.
Photoshop, when it comes right down to it, isn't that complicated or difficult to learn. Being a good artist certainly is!

I'm not sure what you mean by 'top secret, with video footage and walk through film'. No professional artist is ever going to release something that's 'top secret', or they'll very quickly not be a professional artist anymore. If you are looking for 'making of' films or video tutorials, there are TONS of them around, a lot of them available for free. Start with youtube, and work up from there.

The 'extended' features of photoshop are pretty much a gimmick as far as my own work is concerned (I'm a professional matte painter)- they aren't a 'magic bullet' to creating quality work.

Hope that helps - let me know if you were actually trying to ask something else, and I've misunderstood.

AJ


Head of 3D Digital Matte Painting: MPC Vancouver
Personal Website
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Default 12-23-2010, 03:38 AM

I agree what Alex said.

I'm not a matte painter, but I do some images and been hanging around here for a while. If I don't remember wrong, you did have some earlier arts experience, so that is good. If you were looking for the actual "making of" or how to approach a piece or to get started, there are abundance of choices. YouTube, dvd extras and maybe those gnomon dvds about mattepainting could be good sources.

Process depends on the person making the image (if personal preference of methods are allowed in working), task at hand (for example replacing sky is different task than making large, imaginary scenery with complicated camera move) and other possible directions/limitations by client or someone else.

The guidelines for process are to make it easy (fast and cheap), looking good (or what ever it should look), satisfying for yourself and meet the other expectations of the client.

But if just making a beautiful image for your self or for someone else from scratch the process might (or might not) include these steps in some order depending on the need:


[making the idea clear]

- Reading the brief / making the idea clear

- Sketching for suitable composition and preliminary color scheme (maybe in thumbnail size)

- Gathering or taking the images and preferences that inspire you and may be used as a reference, textures or something else.


[doing it]

- Some prefer working in double size compared to final output. It leaves a little more moving space and lets you work slightly more loosely and paint details easier, since they kind of come together when reduced to final size. So making a double size sketch, painting at the base of everything - or picking a plate image to start with if some of your references is close enough and painting the parts you want to replace or add or remove.

- Preparing the images for working. This might include for example cleaning them from everything not wanted, matching the colors and black levels, removing the noise, and bringing them to the right working colors space. This part just tries to make sure that images you use, might exist in the same universe. ;-)

- Using the images when possible to get what is wanted. Taking part from here, another from there. Some may serve as textures, some may do well as they are, some may add just details and patches and some may contribute just right kind of light or color. If you can't find the right kind of image there might be possibility to take one, model something with 3d or miniatures, paint the parts needed or something. Try to keep with the original idea so that missing of a "right" photo doesn't ruin your work.

- repeat until fine


[output]

- finalize the image for output, mainly providing the image as it was asked, but if making for your self then maybe adding the noise (now the same for all the images), final levels and color corrections, lens effects etc if wanted, using the right sizes and color spaces for print or whatever you do.


Some time ago Alenah posted her process with images here:

http://www.mattepainting.org/vb/showthread.php?t=5761

Suirebit also made tutorial about simple set extencion here: http://www.tiberius-viris.com/tut1.html. There might be something else too, but can't remember now.


I've also made couple of gif-animations about how images are constructed. Animations show layers stacking in order about 4 frames/layers in second. One frame may skip sometimes quite a lot of work, like arranging a photo shoot or painting a lot. I'll just link em, since they are quite large - from 1.5mb to 5mb and not actually a subject of this post. Check if interested:

This one is closest to the process I described: Draw near to my soul


Last two are in black and white so playing with color is not important here, but the luminosity increases in importance.

This one was quite simple: The Eminent Storm

And this ones biggest task was to get luminosity as wanted. Idea was simple so no sketching here (but actually made 6 variations before getting to this): Storm. Original image of Cliffs of Moher by Jaana Hartikainen.


I know those images are not actually matte paintings and they have many issues (that's why not posted here), but they show a one process of how an image is constructed with mixed techniques and as mentioned, it might change totally depending on the task at hand.

Hope this helps a little. If you have any more specific question it would be easier to answer. Meanwhile it's just sketching it, putting it together and a lot of work until it looks good.

Last edited by halen; 12-23-2010 at 03:45 AM..
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Default thanks - 08-10-2013, 04:36 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by halen View Post
I agree what Alex said.

I'm not a matte painter, but I do some images and been hanging around here for a while. If I don't remember wrong, you did have some earlier arts experience, so that is good. If you were looking for the actual "making of" or how to approach a piece or to get started, there are abundance of choices. YouTube, dvd extras and maybe those gnomon dvds about mattepainting could be good sources.

Process depends on the person making the image (if personal preference of methods are allowed in working), task at hand (for example replacing sky is different task than making large, imaginary scenery with complicated camera move) and other possible directions/limitations by client or someone else.

The guidelines for process are to make it easy (fast and cheap), looking good (or what ever it should look), satisfying for yourself and meet the other expectations of the client.

But if just making a beautiful image for your self or for someone else from scratch the process might (or might not) include these steps in some order depending on the need:


[making the idea clear]

- Reading the brief / making the idea clear

- Sketching for suitable composition and preliminary color scheme (maybe in thumbnail size)

- Gathering or taking the images and preferences that inspire you and may be used as a reference, textures or something else.


[doing it]

- Some prefer working in double size compared to final output. It leaves a little more moving space and lets you work slightly more loosely and paint details easier, since they kind of come together when reduced to final size. So making a double size sketch, painting at the base of everything - or picking a plate image to start with if some of your references is close enough and painting the parts you want to replace or add or remove.

- Preparing the images for working. This might include for example cleaning them from everything not wanted, matching the colors and black levels, removing the noise, and bringing them to the right working colors space. This part just tries to make sure that images you use, might exist in the same universe. ;-)

- Using the images when possible to get what is wanted. Taking part from here, another from there. Some may serve as textures, some may do well as they are, some may add just details and patches and some may contribute just right kind of light or color. If you can't find the right kind of image there might be possibility to take one, model something with 3d or miniatures, paint the parts needed or something. Try to keep with the original idea so that missing of a "right" photo doesn't ruin your work.

- repeat until fine


[output]

- finalize the image for output, mainly providing the image as it was asked, but if making for your self then maybe adding the noise (now the same for all the images), final levels and color corrections, lens effects etc if wanted, using the right sizes and color spaces for print or whatever you do.


Some time ago Alenah posted her process with images here:

http://www.mattepainting.org/vb/showthread.php?t=5761

Suirebit also made tutorial about simple set extencion here: http://www.tiberius-viris.com/tut1.html. There might be something else too, but can't remember now.


I've also made couple of gif-animations about how images are constructed. Animations show layers stacking in order about 4 frames/layers in second. One frame may skip sometimes quite a lot of work, like arranging a photo shoot or painting a lot. I'll just link em, since they are quite large - from 1.5mb to 5mb and not actually a subject of this post. Check if interested:

This one is closest to the process I described: Draw near to my soul


Last two are in black and white so playing with color is not important here, but the luminosity increases in importance.

This one was quite simple: The Eminent Storm

And this ones biggest task was to get luminosity as wanted. Idea was simple so no sketching here (but actually made 6 variations before getting to this): Storm. Original image of Cliffs of Moher by Jaana Hartikainen.


I know those images are not actually matte paintings and they have many issues (that's why not posted here), but they show a one process of how an image is constructed with mixed techniques and as mentioned, it might change totally depending on the task at hand.

Hope this helps a little. If you have any more specific question it would be easier to answer. Meanwhile it's just sketching it, putting it together and a lot of work until it looks good.
Thanks that was very interesting to view and gives some ideas which can't be a bad thing.
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Default 08-10-2013, 05:07 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Jenyon View Post
Knowing photoshop (or equivalent) is, of course, essential to creating most digital art. However, once you've learnt it, you don't suddenly become a matte painter, in the same way that learning a 3D package doesn't make you a great animator. There are a lot of traditional art skills that come into it, as well as some newer ones (compositing techniques, photographic image cues, etc.) If you want to learn matte painting, you will need to focus on these traditional skills first, or you will quickly become very frustrated.
Photoshop, when it comes right down to it, isn't that complicated or difficult to learn. Being a good artist certainly is!

I'm not sure what you mean by 'top secret, with video footage and walk through film'. No professional artist is ever going to release something that's 'top secret', or they'll very quickly not be a professional artist anymore. If you are looking for 'making of' films or video tutorials, there are TONS of them around, a lot of them available for free. Start with youtube, and work up from there.

The 'extended' features of photoshop are pretty much a gimmick as far as my own work is concerned (I'm a professional matte painter)- they aren't a 'magic bullet' to creating quality work.

Hope that helps - let me know if you were actually trying to ask something else, and I've misunderstood.

AJ
Of course what you say makes sense to me, and as normal I am probably not expressing myself or intentions that well. I love the type of work and creativity people like your-self manage to produce. In fact I could say I envy you and the skills sets. But I am trying to crawl before I can walk, I can draw Ok, not to some practiced level or pro level by any means. one thing I do appear to have is a very creative mind, and an imagination to instantly create pictures any Hollywood film company would be proud to have! The Big problem for me is ( in short) manifesting that top end pro image in my mind in some tangible visual form which mimics the perfect one in my head. Very frustrating for me! Dare I say it, If I had your skills, knowledge, and experience, I believe I could match you picture for picture for their uniqueness and imagination, If you get my point. If you could see what my mind sees at times, I am sure you would be impressed. Itís like the guy who can create a number one hit tune in his mind, but canít write music or play an instrument, enough to send you crazy. Hahahah.
My biggest failing which I recognize is my inconsistency, I am a burst person, for weeks or months I am 1000% into something, and then get despondent or sidetracked, and hit that wall and it all stops, and it could be 6 months or 2 years before itís back in the groove again. So, I donít do myself any favors by being like this. Sad really, hah. I love this sort of art as itís an outlet of emotion and personal expression of whatís inside someone and even who they are deep down, and it must be great to able to give and express that, a great gift, unfortunately my gift seems to be locked away and never sees the daylight. Even now I can see a picture in my own mind depicting this lost, locked up person/ soul who is trying to escape some inner cell. Spooky! Can I borrow your brain?
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Default 08-10-2013, 02:15 PM



I'm not sure of the best way of saying this, but EVERYBODY who posts here has amazing images in their imagination. Until you can put the images down in a form that you can show other people (and they agree with you), there is no reason to think that the inside of your head is more interesting than anyone else's.

That's not meant to be cruel, or to put you down. You could well have an amazing mind full of fresh, creative ideas. However, the internet is swarming with 'ideas people' who don't yet have the talent to demonstrate it. What separates the exceptional artist from the mediocre is that they had the perseverance to develop their skills, and the dedication to follow a single idea through to completion.

If you truly believe you have a creative gift, then you owe it to both yourself, and the rest of us to gain the skills to communicate your ideas to the wider world.

If you don't... you are yet another 'ideas guy' on the internet, and we don't have a pressing need for any more of those.

Only you can decide which way to go - let us know how you get on, and start posting images!

AJ


Head of 3D Digital Matte Painting: MPC Vancouver
Personal Website
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Default 08-10-2013, 10:22 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Jenyon View Post


I'm not sure of the best way of saying this, but EVERYBODY who posts here has amazing images in their imagination. Until you can put the images down in a form that you can show other people (and they agree with you), there is no reason to think that the inside of your head is more interesting than anyone else's.

That's not meant to be cruel, or to put you down. You could well have an amazing mind full of fresh, creative ideas. However, the internet is swarming with 'ideas people' who don't yet have the talent to demonstrate it. What separates the exceptional artist from the mediocre is that they had the perseverance to develop their skills, and the dedication to follow a single idea through to completion.

If you truly believe you have a creative gift, then you owe it to both yourself, and the rest of us to gain the skills to communicate your ideas to the wider world.

If you don't... you are yet another 'ideas guy' on the internet, and we don't have a pressing need for any more of those.

Only you can decide which way to go - let us know how you get on, and start posting images!

AJ
Well I have to concede and acknowledge your answer was to the point, and completely correct. Thanks for the feedback, and I am not saying that to be funny, I do appreciate your candor! WELL PUT!
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