Testing…1…2…

check…CHECK…Ok I’m done pretending to be a sound stage person :-). Howdy folks! I’ve been watching tutorials and gathering all sorts of info about matte painting and the other day I finally decided to give it a try. At first, I wanted to make a version of Shangri-La complete with waterfalls, lush greenery, a lagoon, and god rays galore. After surfing the W.I.P. forums of mattepainting.org and reading some pretty helpful critiques on beginner work, I decided against it lol. I went through a multitude of other ideas; volcano/lava-scape, Turkish garden, alien planet, Mt. Olympus, etc. As I filed through my thoughts I realized that it would be way easier to start with a place that already exists since matte painting involves a lot of photo magic. I really like the look of Venice so I thought I’d just do a little portion of it to apply what I’ve learned so far.

This is a culmination of 7 different photos and it will serve as my under painting. I know that repeating shapes is a good thing to do in a composition but I think I’m probably going to take out those little top peaks of the buildings that are farther back (sometimes they bug me sometimes they don’t…) I might haze them out/ darken them down instead. I’ve been fussing with the focus of the image, I’m not quite sure if I’ll leave it that way.

I saw a guy use the difference clouds filter (which I thought was useless until now lol) with the soft light blending mode to basically make everything blend a bit better and kick off the coloring part. I added another bit of texture and color to the far right building to see what would happen and I kindof like where it’s going. I’m going to continue to tweak the black and white image before I add more color.  I just got a sweet set of grunge brushes  courtesy of psdtuts.com that I’ll use to paint on dirt and water stains and all the stuff old buildings are caked with 🙂 The painting, trickery, and magic will continue and I’ll post more updates as the painting develops.

That’s all for now, stay tuned folks!

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