Thursday, February 7, 2013

My first matte painting!

This semester I'm lucky enough to be taking a fantastic Matte Painting course with Jessy Veilleux, Creative Director and founder of Meduzarts, a renowned environment and character design studio here in Montreal.

We had our first project last week which was to create a simple mountain scene using a photograph of a daytime sky, and a NASA photograph of a moon. The trick was to turn a daytime sky into a nighttime, moody sky, in which to integrate the moon. We also had to paint in some mountains and forest, as well as key in some extra clouds to hover over the moon.

For those of you who may not know much about Matte Painting (like me a few weeks ago), it's the process of creating digital environments to be integrated into film scenes (that's a very basic definition obviously). It involves a mix of photography, compositing, digital painting, a lot of color correction, and often some amount of 3D modeling.

Like I said I really didn't know much about that specific field until I started taking this class, but I've always been passionate about rich, detailed and atmospheric environments. When I was doing stop-motion a couple years back, I was always extra excited about working on the miniature sets, from the actual building of the individual elements, to the general design of the space and making sure all the elements fit together to tell a story and create a tangible world. I also always spent a ton of time lighting my sets in the most careful manner, because light is what truly made the sets come to life for me.

Anyway, I digress, but my point was, I really fell in love with Matte Painting. I've spent the last year and a half trying to figure out exactly where I fit into the vast world of 3D, and attempting to pinpoint a specific career I might be more interested in over others. I essentially enjoy EVERYTHING about the 3D pipeline, but nothing seemed to stand out over the rest. But now you know what, I think I just might have found the perfect mix of it all...I don't want to get ahead of myself, but I'm very much looking forward to the next projects, and learning more about the trade! :)

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