Here is my take on it. It’s pretty close in terms of architecture and lighting, but I had to come up with some of my own details. And because the image from the movie was practically monochromatic, I decided to add a bit of color variation for visual interest, and so it wouldn’t be as much of a direct copy. Anyway, it was a fun little project. I’m freelancing and looking for new projects again, so I may have time for some more personal projects that have been on the back burner for a while.
I also inadvertently came across an article I had written a couple of years ago about the basics of matte painting for the PSD Tuts+ website. It was just a short one explaining a few basic concepts and how Photoshop was used in the process. I’ll post a link to it in case anyone is interested.
The time has come for me to recertify in Photoshop once again. I had thought the deadline was earlier this month, but it is actually on the last day of October, so I will be studying up on the new features in CC and taking the exam soon.
Here is a personal piece I did as a matte painting challenge contest for the CG Channel website. The plate was provided and instructions were given to create a Rivendell-like setting as a matte painting. I shot my own source material for the buildings and used them along with a new sky to create this painting. Video footage was also provided, so I then took my matte painting into AfterEffects, motion tracked the footage, then matched my painting to it. I also added some birds (had to key out the sky) after stabilizing the original clip. There was a good deal of masking and color correcting, then mist was added at the bottom. As I was working on it, I did send it around to get advice from other matte painters and I think that really helped. It may not be perfect, but I was pleased with the result, for a quick comp of the painting. In case you’re wondering, I didn’t win or place in the contest, but it was a great experience nonetheless.
As far as hardware, I’m on the same laptop. It’s old, but it’s still getting me there. But I did update the RAM. Although my Mackbook Pro officially only recognizes up to 4 Gb, I now have 6 and it seems to be all utilized and working fine. The OS has been updated, not the the very latest, but close enough, although I hate having to do that all the time.
A bigger change has been in my work. I’m still doing digital illustration, but I have been doing more film effects work. For the past couple of months, I’ve been doing rotoscoping and plate reconstruction at a local effects studio for two upcoming films, White House Down and Fast and Furious 6 (I hadn’t even realized there were that many). I’m pursuing more work like this in an effort to get more into matte painting, so we’ll see how that goes. The effects industry is in sad shape now, if you have been following the news on that topic. I’ve been looking at some opportunities that would take me away from home for a while, so I’ll keep you posted.