I am starting to move content from the old studio website to this, my website.  I wrote that content some two years ago, but now I think it’s better to put it somewhere that is available for everyone to read.

About Matte painting – Original article

Painting a matte background can be awesome but it has its tricks. This kind of illustrations and designs are usually meant for games or comic series.  They should show a glimpse of the worlds you might discover when you start reading or playing that game.

So here I introduce some hints to prepare better matte backgrounds:

  • A matte background is… well, matte. That is opaque. It’s not meant to stand out. It shouldn’t have hyper-realistic details or strong colours. On the contrary, it’s mean to have wide areas and rather soft tones.
  • Don’t rush the design process. Like any painting, it takes time.
  • Cloning, Magic Wand and Magic Eraser are your friends.
  • Don’t force images to fit.
  • Be tidy and neat when at work.  Name images and layers clearly and group them in folders, also named clearly.
  • Work from background to foreground, and from general to detail.
  • Keep your elements, whatever they are, alive.

For the preparation work prior to a new image:

  • Collect reference data. Keep a well nurtured library.
  • Take photos of your own.
  • Excel in arts, architecture, and history.
  • Keep in mind different approaches, schools and traditions.
  • Be minute and neat on perspective, light and colour.

And when you go out to the world to offer your precious work:

  • Present only your best work; never more than 5.
  • Sell your design, but don’t be annoying.
  • Don’t underestimate the psychological side of things.
  • Give good explanations and highlight strong points.
  • If there are any weaknesses, explain how to address them.
  • Work together with the Compositor (the person, not the software).


Hope you enjoy it, and please comment if you want similar articles written here.




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