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What is Matte Painting?

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Matte painting is one of the oldest techniques used in the visual effects industry and one of the most significantly applied techniques as well. The idea of matte painting is very simple “ use one or more paintings in order to replace the background”.

However, the idea of matte painting sounds simple but the technique of matte painting requires artistic and skillful artwork because the paintings used to replace the background have to be realistic sufficient and support the film style so that audiences can think it is a real background.

Background of Matte Painting

Matte painting is one of the most common VFX shots in filmmaking. You shoot your actor in front of a green or blue screen, then replace the screen with a single painting to the background.

Using this technique, you can make your film look like it was filmed anywhere around the world, even if the world doesn’t exist.

The process of matte painting is necessary to learn in the matter of producing ultimate results in the visual effects industry.

So here are some guidelines for beginners:-

1. The first step to creating a matte painting is your base, which needs to be the best quality that you can find. A high-quality base photo or 3D model will give you plentiful scope to build from. Or you have the option to build up your own base plate using different elements and consistently integrated them together. Now Photoshop’s selection and transformation tools are the perfect options to use. 

2. Lasso tool gives you chance to extract elements precisely when you are working on matte painting, masks as it is really crucial to work in a non-destructive way, the clone stamp tool can be used to patch parts of a matte painting and recreate the content, says Amine Amahadar.

3. Similar to the Clone Stamp tool, a pretty robust tool doing almost the same thing that exists in the Fill tool(Edit > Fill or shift+F5). To use this tool, you only have to select an unwanted area with the Lasso, enter the fill menu, and be careful to make sure you are in Content-Aware mode. It works more or less as per the selection.

4. Concept artist Maxime Delcambre makes use of the complete range of selection tools in Photoshop, including the Lasso tool along with the refine edge tool, which makes precise selections on complex subjects. Get used to Refine Edge tool for doing more certain selections, particularly for fur or hair. It is very easy and simple to use: draw your selection using a brush and play with the setting of Smooth, Feather, and Contrast to make a perfect selection.

5. You might also need to make use of the Transformation tools to utilize the photo or 3D elements to create your base scene.


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