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November 13, 2011
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Snow Matte Painting Process by steve-burg Snow Matte Painting Process by steve-burg
This is a "before and after" of the little 3D matte painting test I did.

I used to always try and get the 3D scene to render as "final" with all the bells and whistles like reflections and subtle light and texture effects.

Painting the desired look is much faster :)

The video is here:
[link]
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:icontaodao:
TAODAO Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
it's a good way to design,thank you for share!~really great work!
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:iconspace-commander:
space-commander Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Very cool. I want to try Matte Painting sometime in the next few months.
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:iconkeremgo:
KeremGo Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
Brilliant as always!
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:iconsteve-burg:
steve-burg Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2011  Professional Filmographer
Thank you my friend :)
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:icondinjai:
Dinjai Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Great to see how this was made! Fantastic work!
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:icondavbla:
davbla Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2011  Hobbyist Artist
Very cool...
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:iconasp-in-the-garden:
Asp-in-the-Garden Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2011
thanks for the insights.
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:iconkrodil:
Krodil Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
this is awesome! nice to see snippets of your workflow.
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:iconkaioshen:
Kaioshen Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2011  Student Digital Artist
Pretty sexy mate. You set the depth map to screen right? I could never figure out how to use that damn thing...

Btw that station is itching for a vehicle and machinery parked right in front of it haha
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:iconsteve-burg:
steve-burg Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2011  Professional Filmographer
The depth map I copy into a channel, and use it as a selection. Then I paint in mist using that to fade it out as things get closer. :)

The station needs a LOT of stuff - but I was itching to get something out... and also, I'm doing a freelance job at the same time :eyepopping:
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:iconannisahmad:
annisahmad Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2011
it looks great. may i ask how long this took you and what program you're working with?
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:iconsteve-burg:
steve-burg Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2011  Professional Filmographer
I created the 3D elements in Lightwave, starting with the building. The terrain was a subdivision surface (a flat square low polygon grid) that was deformed with some fractal noise to create mountainous shapes. I used renders of the scene to create my alpha masks for the buildings, mountains and shadows, then produced the painting in Photoshop. I produced 2 versions of the painting - one with the buildings, and one with only the environment. Moving back to my 3D scene, I then projected the 2 images (from the same camera) onto the buildings and the terrain respectively.

I was kind of winging it (I didn't start out with the idea of doing an animation) so the version of the painting with the base removed was done as an afterthought - and it looks it! But it was adequate to achieve the shot you see. (In projection mapping, the scene has to be broken down into layers since a camera move will invariably show unwanted information when the animated camera sees foreground elements stretched across the background).

The total working time was... well, I started this Saturday early morning, and finished the animation at about 1:00 in the afternoon.

The main advantage of this technique is how fast it is - because all the "look development" is done in 2D. To try and texture, light and fully detail something and achieve a similar appearance entirely in the 3D render would take quite a bit more time. So I'm now thinking :lightbulb: this is a good way to do animations and be spared the many hours (or days) of fiddling around with 3D assets. Like any technique, it has its limitations - but I like being able to determine the final look in 2D! :)
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:iconannisahmad:
annisahmad Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2011
wow. thanks for the awesome response.
I'm trying to do something similar in modo/cinema 4d with liveaction footage I shot. Unfamiliar with both programs so struggling at the moment. The insight from this definitely helps! thank you ! the painting part isn't as much of a problem as the 3d. thanks again.
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:iconsteve-burg:
steve-burg Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2011  Professional Filmographer
Modo and Cinema 4D are both excellent programs for doing camera projection. It's a great technique.

My little snow-scape is quite simple, but the same approach is applicable to more complex scenes. I helped a friend out a little while ago with a wrecked overturned Humvee - camera projected onto a very crude 3D block model of the vehicle. I found it worked pretty well to position flat cards in the scene to fix troublesome artifacts. As long as you have an alpha mask, the edges work fine (and in my friend's shot, the camera was hand-held and walking past the wreckage).

I've also started using this for illustrations. If I have a nice reference photo (with enough resolution), but from the wrong angle, I camera project it onto a very basic shape and render a view that matches the angle for my composition. Take that, Google! :D

Good luck with your shot! :)
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:iconannisahmad:
annisahmad Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2011
that last bit about the reference image is a genius idea. hahah. wow. opens up a whole new dimension.
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:iconkaioshen:
Kaioshen Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2011  Student Digital Artist
Ah gotcha, thanks for the tip. :) I understand wanting to get something out, it's always difficult when working on multiple projects. You sometimes feel like they'll never get done between bouncing back and forth
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:iconbroadshore:
Broadshore Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Wicked work Steve!
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:iconsiamon89:
Siamon89 Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
You know tools like depth of field, fog, bloom etc they are always there in the 3d program, but rarely used actually. Because today all of post-process procedures are done in multiple programs like photoshop or after effects. But as you said, painting the desired effect is much more faster, it basically reduces render times dramatically and gives you more flexibility..
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:iconulricleprovost:
UlricLeprovost Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2011
Ha yes ! good job !!!
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:iconminieffects:
minieffects Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2011
Awesome work as always.
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:icondow1:
dow1 Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
cool O_O
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:iconcommandereve:
CommanderEVE Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2011  Student General Artist
I saw this on YouTube just now, great work!
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:iconplaguejester:
PlagueJester Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2011
Oh wow...
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