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How Much is Real?
RayLaVeau's Avatar
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Default How Much is Real? - 01-24-2005, 11:55 AM

Hi Everyone,
I have been browsing this forum for awhile now, and have several questions but I will start with this. When I look at some of this work I often wonder how much is real and how much reference is used and how much is painted and etc..., I am a somewhat newbie to this art form I am a "traditional" line art artist and oil painter. I know Photoshop I use it everyday at work) I have bought several gnomon videos and study art all the time. When I started out this world of digital media was not at my expense, I use an Intuos3 6x8 tablet now and have become comfortable with it. But again how much ref should I use?
A question for the "pros" I have is when they give you a shot to work on do you have photos of the scenery and concept art to work with? I see these illustrious buildings being presented on here that I say to myself..."There is NO WAY they could have painted that!" and even if they did they had to of used some part of another building to acheive that.
Any Insight on this would be greatly appreciated. I want to continue my quest in this field and I feel I have the talent, I am just lacking some final knowledge on the subject matter.
I hope I make sense and I hope some of you can help me.
Thanks for reading.
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Default 03-06-2005, 05:28 PM

For modern day matte paintings, artists use everything from photos to 3D CG to painting. Nothing is out of bounds unless you don't have the permissions to use a photo someone else took. Usually getting the shots to look photoreal is very important and how you get there doesn't matter to your supervisor.

I see these illustrious buildings being presented on here that I say to myself..."There is NO WAY they could have painted that!"
Complicated things like a moving camera showing off amazing details in complicated buildings with realistic metal and glass reflections that glide across the beautifully textured surfaces, etc, etc, can be done in 3D. If you want to get into matte painting and be assigned some real cool shots, I'd say you should learn how to work in 3D (MAYA, MAX, whatever). Your background as a painter will probably help your artwork "sing". In the end, a good looking portfolio is what will most likely get you in the door.

Chris Stoski | Pirates III Matte Painting Supervisor
Industrial Light and Magic
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Default 03-31-2005, 06:02 PM

Usually getting the shots to look photoreal is very important and how you get there doesn't matter to your supervisor.

That's what I love about VFX. It's one of the few areas where you can cheat all the time and it doesn't matter as long as the final shot looks good :)

Nate Caauwe
Digital Magic Pictures
Weapon of Betrayal - Coming Spring 2007
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rrische is Offline
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Default 03-31-2005, 07:49 PM

Actually cheating is the most fun thing there is about filmmaking.
I just watched the movie "Saw" and was on my knees in awe
of how absolutely gorgeous the production design and photography
is on that picture. If you want to be amazed at cheating, check that
one out.

Rick Rische
Digital Matte Artist
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Default 04-05-2005, 05:37 AM

Yeah, cheating and self expression in visual effects and especially in matte painting are things what we live for. Am I wrong? :D


digital matte artist
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quantum mechanic is Offline
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Default 04-12-2005, 08:28 AM

There is no cheating in special effects, the only function of the job is to make the fake look real. It would be like saying that magicians cheat because they don't use "real magic".
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cameo is Offline
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Default 04-12-2005, 09:34 AM

Hopefully all of it if youre the viewer. Thats the litmus test.

There are no rules to get the job done. I was surprised having read a couple of books to learn of the salt trick for waterfalls etc (that was used as recently as Phantom Menace). Like yea you could do it in CG or whatever but whats simpler than dropping a bit of salt and shooting it? Genius & simplicity at the same time! Theres some really wacky stuff going on in Kubrick's 2001 and in the Cinefex retrospective you find out that the way they achieved the results were equally as odd.

Bottom line as others have said: As long as it works it doesnt matter how you do it.
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