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Alex Jenyon's Avatar
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Default 01-25-2012, 07:09 AM

@gfilmman: Definitely people around spending 80 - 90 % of their time in photoshop (in film/TV) I'm probably about 25-50-25 vue/photoshop/nuke on a lot of projects, but that's because I'm often handling the tech side too.

If you are ONLY going to use photoshop, and need someone else to handle the tech side of things for you, that makes you a lot less valuable, and in some cases a liability. It shows you aren't prepared to learn new tools, and that you probably won't produce the correct deliverables. Harsh, but true.

If you are prepared to (willingly) suck up 10 - 25% of your time doing projection setup and patch work, there's still plenty of painting to be done.

This is very anecdotal, but it looked like lots of studios thought matte painting was going to die off a couple of years ago (when lots of projects went stereo) and cut down their departments substantially. They realized there was still a need for paintwork, and hired them all back. Don't know what other people saw around the world, but that was my experience.


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Default 01-25-2012, 07:31 AM

Thanks Alex
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Default 01-25-2012, 11:14 AM

off-topic, Alex - you mentioned Vue - how often and for what is it used where you work? Most of the studios I know try to avoid it because the common belief is that Vue is not so good for animations (due to flickering and noise issues); And they are partly correct.


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Default 01-25-2012, 11:53 AM

funny you should say that cause its how this thread started... :) I Use vue a lot but since I still need further texturing to get 100% photoreal I asked a prof at fxphd where vue was used in a production sense and whether is was able to be used standalone or just as an asset generator... was alerted to this article

http://www.fxguide.com/featured/for-...nd-whiskytree/

cheers dave
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Default 01-25-2012, 01:10 PM

Vue is awful for animations - the flickering is much better than it was, but the render times are brutal. I personally use it as an asset generator, and do any camera moves / projection work in Nuke.

There are going to be different opinions and workflows in different studios - Whiskeytree is obviously heavily invested in 3D, and is pushing a lot of work onto their 3D pipeline instead of DMP. They've done some really nice work, although I thought the 'Thor' environments looked very CG, and could have done with a lot more paintwork. But maybe that's what the client wanted - who knows. I personally wasn't very keen on them.


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Default 01-25-2012, 03:56 PM

matte painting since its inception has never been 100 % brush oil and glass,

cotton wool, foliage hanging minitures cel animation, stop motion, back projection, front projection, forced perspective models

all these are artisan skills, personally not bothered how the effect is done just that the effect is done.

if I have to learn a skill to complete the effect i just get on with it, this helps with development of the production, effect and my employability.

sketch up. cinema 4d, z brush, degree in photography, degree in music, art course after art course, sculpture modelling, make up effects and a massive vfx library, sculptris, photoshop course, BBC camera operator course,

all this i am learning and have learnt, just so that I can create an effect. I just have a leaning to matte painting. However if it takes a miniature use that, if its needs cgi use that, if its needs a cutout photo (2001) I will use that.

My favourite sci fi shot is the spinner in bladerunner as it flys over a tv set with etched brass representing windows, a office block made of a cutlery tray next to the slide carousel of a projector finishing by plastic packing crates. All shot beautifully.


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Default 01-25-2012, 05:49 PM

I still work with senior matte painters who use 100% photoshop and never have or will venture into other software. In general though, they are less valuable to a production, and get by on their experience and efficiency as a painter (and by that Im not suggesting they dont do photo-manipulation, i think we all accept that photos are a necessary part of the workflow).

I still spend 70% of my time painting in photoshop (either concept or matte), but i always take opportunities to diversify as they present themselves, so this week alone ive done ALL of the following:
Matte painting, concept painting, a little basic modelling, projections, mari texture painting, location photography and image processing, and a little maya:nuke pipeline development.

I could get by without doing all those things, and i still am at my most comfortable painting in photoshop, but by doing more you are able to actually make better decisions about what approach to use. I have great collaboration with most of my environment leads because i can discuss more than just the 2d painting side of things. I think you end up being more trusted because if an environment lead can see that you are capable in almost all disciplines, they trust your judgement about where to stop CG and let matte painting take over.

Basically, as Alex said, matte painters are more in demabd than at any other point in the last 10 years, and you can still just about get in just by displaying a 2d matte painting portfolio. As deadlines get tighter any chance to use matte painting and save a full build will be taken!
Its slightly off topic, but concept artists are also in high demand, because with a lot of great 3D artists all working on seperate elements, its really important that one person is able to dictate the overall direction and look of a shot.

In short (and this post is anything but short!) if you are a strong matte painter with even a passing interest in the 3d workflow, you will find work.
Matte painting isnt dead, its thriving, you just have to adapt a little at times!


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Default 01-25-2012, 05:57 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by miragenz View Post

@ Alex.. encouraging words, great to hear vancouver's still going well, I'd be on a plane in a flash if I thought I had a chance... ha
Definitely dont discount your chances, you may show something that ticks the right boxes at the right time! Dont be disheartened if you have to learn other tools to get ahead though, just see it as another creative avenue and see where it takes you, computers arent going to replace good artists any time soon ;)


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Default 01-25-2012, 11:54 PM

It's interesting that I see this thread today because I had a chat with a senior matte painter yesterday and he also along the same lines as Alex and Nick. It was also interesting to hear from him that this digital environmental artist is a bit obnoxious term as digital environment in a big show is a work of team rather than one or two artists.

I should mention that I am coming from a Nuke compositing background and I do full 2D matte painting time to time so I am also caught up in this issue. Anyways nice discussion guys, thanks for the share.


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Default 01-26-2012, 02:00 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by nickmarshallvfx View Post
Definitely dont discount your chances, you may show something that ticks the right boxes at the right time! Dont be disheartened if you have to learn other tools to get ahead though, just see it as another creative avenue and see where it takes you, computers arent going to replace good artists any time soon ;)
hey nick thanks for joining in...
dont get me wrong I'm not suggesting mattes are just for paint/photoshop, far from it, and yup been learning as many disciplines as I can (in whatever capacity my brain can handle!) from tracking to modeling (and paint) to projections and compositing, but was hearing from some 3D advocates that it will be solely a 3D exercise sometime soon... which, for me, is not nearly as fun and rewarding as the present multi discipline / multi software solutions... that was the intent of my initial question/s, (which were maybe not presented as clear as they could have been! :) cheers dave
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