Lately I had the opportunity to take on a smaller project which was a lot of fun. I decided to make a quick little breakdown to show how my work evolves and takes shape. Sometimes I start out with a sketch, but with so much good reference and a strong image library it is usually easier to start with a more solid foundation of images. One thing I learned at Matte World Digital was to always start with a photograph, or at the least an image of how you want it to end up looking like. This serves as the backbone for your piece, and the foundation which you can always drawn upon if the matte starts to stray too much. It is easy to get carried away and loose track, or loose your initial idea and have it turn into something that does not communicate your story.
This is a supercool reel by a fellow matte painter by the name of Zach Mandt. When I was working for a short period at Rhythm and Hues a great matte painter by the name of Brandon Kachel told me both he and Zach came all the way out to Los Angeles with a small amount of cash and worked at Cafe FX, slept in a grimy room, and had a really hard time getting recognized.
Hard work truly does pay off!!
Congrats on the amazing reel. It really shows his level of dedication and long hours have truly paid off. Really awesome content, sweet editing and soundtrack. Slick wicked!!
I am adding some new work and developing a section for stock images for post production purposes, advertising, and video games. Here is a recent spec spot I worked on for GentScholar. It was a lot of fun. My shots were all of the skies and backgrounds in the initial part leading up to the city.
Here is a link to the clients article and below is the video on vimeo.
Old spot I worked on about a year ago. Figured it was time to post it. Forced perspective for the horizon made it difficult to work with but the look worked well. Clients loved the look. Visually they said it was the best spot they had done. Motion Theory was the client (now Mirada). Great guys to work for.
Here is something I worked on for some great guys at junctionVFX and an up and coming producer by the name of Jeff Chan. Great ideas for promotion. He wanted to take a really popular game and see how viral it would go. With some help from junction vfx the idea has taken off like a firestorm. In 2 days almost 2 million views on YouTube. I contributed to the final shot which was pretty crazy. A full vertical panoramic out of a helicopter with views of the skyline and directly beneath. Figuring out the perspective was a little rough, although it certainly helped that the camera move was very quick and intense, and the nighttime atmosphere helped alot as well. A tough shot to bang out but it worked out pretty nicely.
For ease and daily updates I have move the job section to the sidebar widget. It will post daily feeds from google alerts which is actually a great way to search for jobs. It has daily feeds from across the web and you can type in whatever search terms you would like/ and or need/ or is particularly relevant to your work search. For freelancers in the vfx industry this can be invaluable and a great timesaver.
At the top you will see random terms which are usually posted when a matte painter job opens up, such as “looking for” or “opening” or ” position” and such. You may see some random matte painter related articles as well or up to date news.
I am in the middle of trying this out. The feed is working it is just a little out of date.
This is working for the most part. But some stuff needs to be updated and not sure why the google reader will not feed me updated information.
A good way to do this for yourself is to setup a gmail account, and set alerts and notifications. Then you send them to your email. It is very up to date and current and can send you specific job information for your search.Unfortunately there are not a lot of positions for matte painters in the industry, although there is a constant need for them. It is a very specific field and films will usually require just a few mattes at best.
This is an awesome video made by Thilo Ewers who actually won the student award for best VFX short. Check out the video. Really amazingly shot and directed as well using purely environments and amazing reference and great detail. Would be really happy to have finished something like this. A lot of hard work went into this.
Here is the link from the thread on mattepainting.org.
Zbrush has some really amazing features. I am a bit hesitant to go into learning something new when I already have so much on my plate but as careers go it is always good to embrace the new (although zbrush has been around for quite some time now). Come to think of it, if I had started learning it the several years ago that I had the initial desire to do so I would not be having this conversation. At any rate these people have some really great work and I have seen it also used in Underworld Rise of the Lycans by Intelligent Creatures. Zbrush artist Cesar Decol has some great commentary on how it is used in the industry for huge environments here.
So I will begin with a dreamscape sort of fantasy world for this challenge if work does not come and grab all of my attention.
Well things took a different turn! Unfortunately work took precedence and so things like creative escapes take the backseat. So I will start with a simplified route and just create some basic concepts and creations and see how things go.
Santa Monica studio has an immediate need for a Jr. Matte Painter. Although by their description it doesnt sound much like a Jr. position.
Some other places that have postings are Rhythm and Hues. Not sure how long that has been up for though.
Dreamworks Animation is Hiring in Redwood City as well
Congratulations to everyone for their amazing hard work and achievements. These are long hard hours with huge obstacles and this year had a plethora of groundbreaking work. Hats off to all. Keep raising the bar.
VISUAL EFFECTS SOCIETY (VES) ANNOUNCES WINNERS
OF 8th ANNUAL VES AWARDS
AVATAR WINS BIG WITH SIX AWARDS
UP NABS THREE
Los Angeles, February 28, 2010 – The Visual Effects Society announced the winners of the 8th Annual VES Awards tonight at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles, California. The annual event recognizes outstanding visual effects in more than twenty categories of film, animation, television, commercials and video games.
Filmmakers, producers and guests joined more than a thousand attendees from the visual effects industry for the sold-out gala which honored James Cameron with the VES Lifetime Achievement Award and Dr. Ed Catmull with the Georges Méliès Award for Pioneering.
Avatar was the evening’s big winner taking home six awards including Outstanding Visual Effects in a Visual Effects Driven Motion Picture. The animated feature film Up was honored with three awards including Outstanding Animation in an Animated Feature Motion Picture.
The 2010 VES Awards will premiere on Friday, March 5 at 10pm ET/PT on REELZCHANNEL.
The following is the complete list of winners of the 8th Annual VES Awards:
Outstanding Visual Effects in a Visual Effects Driven Feature Motion Picture
Joe Letteri, Joyce Cox, Eileen Moran, Richard Baneham
Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Feature Motion Picture
Jonathan Fawkner, Chas Jarrett, David Vickery, Dan Barrow
Outstanding Animation in an Animated Feature Motion Picture
Pete Docter, Jonas Rivera, Steve May, Gary Bruins
Outstanding Visual Effects in a Broadcast Miniseries, Movie or Special
Disney Prep and Landing – Gadgets, Globes, and other Garish Gizmos
Dorothy McKim, Scott Kersavage, David Hutchins, Kee Suong
Outstanding Visual Effects in a Broadcast Series
Battlestar Galactica Season 4 -Ep. 421 “Daybreak”
Michael Gibson, Gary Hutzel, Jesse Toves, Dave Morton
Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Broadcast Program
CSI Crime Scene Investigation – Ep. 1001 Opening Sequence
Rik Shorten, Sabrina Arnold, Steve Meyer, Derek Smith
Best Single Visual Effect of the Year
Avatar – Neytiri Drinking
Joe Letteri, Joyce Cox, Eileen Moran, Thelvin Cabezas
Outstanding Visual Effects in a Commercial
Audi – Intelligently Combined
Jay Barton, Rafael F. Colon, Ronald Herbst, Chris Fieldhouse
Outstanding Visual Effects in a Special Venue Project
Dance of the Dragons – Eastern
Derry Frost, Michael Morreale
Outstanding Real Time Visuals in a Video Game
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Gulag Extraction
Mark Rubin, Richard Kriegler, Robert Gaines, David Johnson
Outstanding Visual Effects in a Video Game Trailer
Halo 3: ODST – The Life
Robert Moggach, Ryan Meredith, Jens Zalzala, Michael Pardee
Outstanding Animated Character in a Live Action Feature Motion Picture
Avatar – Neytiri
Joe Letteri, Andrew R. Jones, Jeff Unay, Zoe Saldana
Outstanding Animated Character in an Animated Feature Motion Picture
Up – ‘Carl’- No Dad Scene
Ed Asner, Ron Zorman, Brian Tindall, Carmen Ngai
Outstanding Animated Character in a Broadcast Program or Commercial
AMF – The Caterpillar
Robert Sethi, Jamie O’Hara, Becky Porter, Steve Beck
Outstanding Effects Animation in an Animated Feature Motion Picture
Jason Johnston, Alexis Angelidis, Jon Reisch, Eric Froemling
Outstanding Matte Paintings in a Feature Motion Picture
Avatar – Pandora
Yvonne Muinde, Brenton Cottman, Peter Baustaedter, Jean-Luc Azzis
Outstanding Matte Paintings in a Broadcast Program or Commercial
Kaiser Permanente – Emerald City
Ben Walker, David Woodland, Kim Taylor, Ben Walsh
Outstanding Models & Miniatures in a Feature Motion Picture
Avatar – Samson/Home Tree/Floating Mountains/Ampsuit
Paul Jenness, Rainer Zoettl, John Stevenson-Galvin, Simon Cheung
Outstanding Created Environment in a Feature Motion Picture
Avatar – Jungle/Biolume
Eric Saindon, Shadi Almassizadeh, Dan Cox, Ula Rademeyer
Outstanding Created Environment in a Broadcast Program or Commercial
V – Pilot “Atrium and Ship Interiors”
Chris Zapara, Chris Irving, David Morton, Trevor Adams
Outstanding Compositing in a Feature Motion Picture
Shervin Shogian, Hamish Schumacher, Janeen Elliott, Simon Hughes
Outstanding Compositing in a Broadcast Program or Commercial
CSI Crime Scene Investigation – Ep. 1001 Opening Sequence
Derek Smith, Christina Spring, Steve Meyer, Zach Zaubi
Outstanding Visual Effects in a Student Project
They Will Come to Town
I think this article is a testament to the power of the portfolio in the world of VFX. There is a saying, if your work is good enough you can work anywhere in the VFX industry. There are very little bias’s it is simply a matter of talent and work to back it up. Some have the talent, but not the work ethic, others have the work ethic, but it doesn’t get them far if they don’t know how to apply it or seek out the right kind of guidance. This woman has it all and it really shows. Her eye for detail is really superb, and she even has works in famous museums. Very informative article about what it takes to be a matte painter, as well as the numerous challenges along the way, and her struggle to overcome them.
From the article. “This year, her crowning moment came when she received a Visual Effects Society (VES) award for Outstanding Matte Painting in a Feature Motion Picture for Avatar”.
Congratulations! Awesome achievement in one of the most visually spectacular films of the decade.
Here is the full article. Link
In this tutorial, Stas Lobachev will walk you through his creation of “Pandora Afterdark”, a digital matte painting that received a Golden Award and 2nd place in a pre-release competition hosted by CGTalk.ru. You’ll gain a comprehensive understanding of how to develop a concept sketch, work with lighting and color, use references and develop a meaningful artwork with a strong composition and clear message.
In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to take a concept, develop it using linear perspective, then add in value and color perspectives, and then apply photographic references to achieve a realistic matte painting. You’ll then learn how to apply adjustments to achieve realistic scale, and understand the properties of light and atmospherics for realism. Lastly, you’ll learn some great compositional techniques.
I came across these tools for Maya and they specifically deal with projection matte paintings for Maya and make its setup much easier. I have used 3ds Max, Maya, and Cinema 4d and Maya is by far the most difficult to setup. Especially with multiple projections which is what most features use for intensive shots. I suspect that they may come up with something in the future, but for now Cinema 4d remains the easiest to use when it comes to multiple projections, and is fairly inexpensive compared to the others, and it has results that are comparable if not better when you consider the time saved setting up the projections and trouble shooting.
The first link is to a matte painters website by the name of Mike Breymann. Check it out here. It solves the problem of multiple projections and setting up different cameras, and gives the user the ability to create geometry based on the concept or plate and work in z at the same time. He is also a great matte painter and has worked on many notable features.
The second one is a by Steve DiNozzi who has come up with a great tool called ProjectoMatte which you can learn about more here.
Both should prove to pretty useful and valuable when it comes to saving time and money in the projection pipeline.
Some really good documentaries on one of the first matte painters if not the first Walter Percy Day. Has a lot of other great looking documentaries as well.
Thanks to this article for putting it out there.
This looks like a really powerful tool. I have yet to use it though so I am hesitant to say. But from the initial looks and such I would say it is definitely worth looking into. Many hours a day when working on projects are spent creating efficient masks and it definitely eats away at time.
From the Mill Blog. The winner of this has an awesome reel.
“The winner of CG Whiz 2010 was announced last night at a special event at Escape Studios‘ HQ in London. Stu Schwartz from the US was awarded top prize for his showreel, and wins a 12-week visual effects (VFX) classroom course at Escape Studios’ brand new academy in Los Angeles, followed by a four-week placement here at The Mill, and a one-year CG Society subscription.
Second place was awarded to Justyna Galka from Poland for her innovative showreel and third place was given to the UK’s Natalie Rocks for her charming animated film. Both win a selection of Escape Studios’ mentored and online courses.”
Here is a link to the article
And the Supersweet Demo:
Here are the matte painter jobs for the week. Feel free to add any if I have left anything out.
Matte Painting Instructor : Art Institute of California
Pixomondo Bejing Matte Painter Not sure how long this has been up for
Sr/Mid Level Matte Painters: EU-UK is prefered
Roger Gibbons says of his work of more than 15 years.
–“Michael Pangrazio said that we have to remember it’s not art,” says Gibbon. “He said, ‘You shouldn’t fall in love with your work. It’s a production. It’s about creating a story point and giving clients what they need. But on the flip side, it should be creative and give you satisfaction.’”
Does it give Gibbon satisfaction? “The discipline has changed,” he says. “Being part of a shot is creative and, especially if you have a good camera move, making a shot come alive, having that eye, taking the shot to another level. But, purely from an artist point of view, it’s a different form of satisfaction. I think that’s why quite a few matte painters have begun specializing in concept work, because it gives them more artistic freedom.”–