The Digital Matte Painting Handbook
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The only how-to guide dedicated to mastering the technique of digital matte painting!

Matte painting affords seamless integration between an artist’s painting with live action film footage and allows for greater flexibility and creative input in the appearance of movie settings. This unique book reveals a variety of tools and techniques that are both industry and classroom tested and will enhance your existing skill set. Veteran author and instructor David Mattingly walks you through the process of creating a matte painting, starting with rough concept sketches, working out the perspective drawing, adding light and shadow, and texturing all of the elements in the painting. You’ll gradually upgrade to using Adobe After Effects and Autodesk Maya in order to fulfill your matte painting vision.

Escorts you through the process of creating a matte painting, starting with the initial concept sketch, adding light and shadow, texturing elements, and incorporating motion and depthAuthor is an experienced matte artist and teacher and shares a plethora of unique industry- and classroom-tested tools and techniquesFeatures helpful step-by-step instructions accompanied by screen shots and photos to illustrate the process of creating a matte painting

Whether you’re creating a background for a studio production, independent film, TV commercial, or YouTube video, The Digital Matte Painting Handbook helps you successfully complete your project.

Note: CD-ROM/DVD and other supplementary materials are not included as part of eBook file.


David B. Mattingly teaches digital matte painting at two of the leading art schools in the United States: School of Visual Arts and Pratt Institute in New York. He was head of the Walt Disney Studios Matte Department and has worked for over three decades as a matte artist on major motion pictures including The Black Hole, Dick Tracy, and I, Robot. He is an internationally known science fiction illustrator with more than 2,000 book covers to his credit, including the New York Times bestselling "Honor Harrington" and "Animorphs" series.




1 What Is a Matte Painting?

2 Photoshop Workspace, Tools, and Custom Brushes.

3 Composition and Concept.

4 Perspective Basics.

5 Perspective Drawing.

6 Form.

7 Texturing and Color Correction.

8 Preparing your files for Camera Projection in Maya.

9 Building Geometry for Camera Projection in Maya.

10 Projecting Textures in Maya.

11 Lighting Techniques.

12 Changing Seasons.

13 Getting Started in After Effects.

14 Working Over a Moving Plate.

15 Using After Effects' True 3D space.

Appendix About the Companion DVD.