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.
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.