#11 – 3D implantation of depth to matte painting

Hi guys,

I rush a lot for this article, ’cause I hoped to make a great matte painting and show you what I’ve done today.
I’ve just finished it with my own photo resources from three years ago.
Here we go.

The matte painting is a process created by cinematographic art. In fact, some scenic caught in the camera is not the same scenic that appeared in the reality. For example, when a castle needs to be bigger and the production cast lack of money or want to minimize the cost, a painter can use the matte painting to add several elements in the background.
The painter will create the elements on a layer of glass, that will cover the castle. Through the camera, the filmer will guide the painter in his task.

But thanks to Photoshop and other software like After effect, Maya and such, you can use the same process without a second person. For that, you need to know how to use a layer and how to use a mask layer.
Mask layer is particularly interesting because of his black and white property: if you color this layer with one of the “color”, it will add the specification you want, or take it back/cover it with the other.

You can create a lot of layers with different pictures and compose them to make a larger one.
Then, you only need to add some luminosity or darkness in the overall composition.

How to add Depth to your composition:

You need, first of all, the “Vanishing point” option in the “Filter” tab.
You’ll need to create the “net” that will make a box around your environment.


When it is done, just export the 3D in photoshop and here it is: from this point you can shift the perception of the box.

You can see down there the failure of my experiment…
But I’ll do something better next time.


What I learned:

  • How to matte paint (using mask layers, effect mask layers)
  • Texture & colors composition
  • Making “vanishing points” grid
  • 3D-tracking box for animation
  • Destroying Photoshop with bugs ARGdzmovbefdv.

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