Originally Posted by littlelizard
For me to be a digital artist involves more skills and knowledges than being a simple painter, i started as an illustrator and for many years i used traditional medias, then i realized thai i wanted to be involved more deeply in different aspects of an environment creation and i started studying digital painting, 3d tecniques and compositing, because in this way i would have been able to turn my personal vision in something different than a still image.
You bring up interesting points. I'll leave you with this however. Mike Pangrazio, famous matte painter and now art director/supervisor did a glass matte painting for a recreation of the King Kong spider pit back in 2004 or 05, and he said he forgot how difficult it was to do those tricks without a computer. Before that, Mike was on a 10 year hiatus from the industry when things shifted to computers, as I heard he was dubious about using computers. He gave in and got used to computers, and their added ease. Obviously, this great master of our craft in the pre-digital era, and now in the computer era admits it was harder before computers, why are you and others here seeming to deny it?
Before computers came along, there was a smaller number of qualified matte painters than there are today in digital matte art. As such, those few exceptional artists/craftsmen and women (simple painters as you say) were in higher demand and had more respect. I will agree with you that you need to be a generalist nowadays and know more computer software to be more employable in digital matte art, but that is to the craft's demise in my opinion, and will garner less respect - the Original issue being discussed. You can't offer a unique, valuable service (that not many people can do) if almost anyone who learns to use Maya can create the same stuff, and probably faster than a digital matte artist with the way things are going now. Sure you still need a good eye, but not as good of an eye as you once needed.
Anyway, I think the problem is that digital artists, cg generalists, digital matte artists or whatever we're called now are being too accepting of irrational timeframes, budgets, crazy camera moves that don't help a story, etc etc. We're just pushing vertices and pixels around and as Mike Pangrazio said, it was more difficult before computers. Being a simple painter, is not so simple.