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The Digital Matte Painting Handbook Paperback – April 12, 2011

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The Digital Matte Painting Handbook + Beginner's Guide to Digital Painting in Photoshop + Digital Painting Techniques: Practical Techniques of Digital Art Masters (Digital Art Masters Series)
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Editorial Reviews


"The Digital Matte Painting Handbook is the best book of its kind.  Mattingly has created an insightful and inspiring resource for anyone wanting to get into digital matte painting."  
--Dylan Cole, matte artist, concept artist

The Digital Matte Painting Handbook is a thoughtful, detailed and well illustrated reference that is sure to become a standard in compositing and special effects curricula.
--Peter Patchen, Chairperson, Department of Digital Arts, Pratt Institute

This is exactly the kind of book I wish was around when I started 20 years ago.
 --Eric Chauvin, matte artist, owner of Blackpool Studios

, An engaging, well-written book that is designed neither to bore nor to overwhelm...fantastic investment for would-be matte painters. (3D Artist, July 2011).

From the Back Cover

Create Stunning Backgrounds for Film, Video, Games, and Ads

If you want to create digital matte paintings that blend seamlessly into live-action footage, this is the perfect guide. Author David Mattingly was head of the Disney Studios Matte Department and has been a matte artist on major motion pictures such as The Black Hole, Dick Tracy, and I, Robot. In this unique how-to book and DVD, he teaches you his stellar techniques.

You'll start with rough concept sketches in Photoshop and learn to add perspective, create light and shadow, add texture, and color-correct. Then you'll switch from Photoshop to Adobe After Effects and Autodesk Maya to composite your matte in 3-D and camera-project it. The result? A skill set suitable for Hollywood! Artists of all levels will want this professional handbook on their desks.

  • Get up to speed on the Photoshop workspace, tools, and custom brushes

  • Master the essentials—composition, perspective, drawing, color, and form

  • Create a castle and add illumination, dark shadows, and craggy texture

  • Change daylight into night or summer into winter

  • Prepare your Photoshop files for use in Maya camera projection

  • Learn industry- and classroom-tested tools and techniques

Create a futuristic city over a moving plate

Make scenes go from day to night

Set up a vision of Hades in After Effects 3D space

Contains all the files needed to complete the projects in the book as well as companion videos to help drive home concepts.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Sybex; 1 edition (April 12, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470922427
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470922422
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.9 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #123,728 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

David Burroughs Mattingly was born in Fort Collins, Colorado. After high school, he attended the Colorado Institute of Art , Colorado State University and later transferred to Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. After school, he worked at Walt Disney Studios, ultimately becoming head of the matte department. He worked on "The Black Hole", "Tron", "Dick Tracy", Stephen King's "The Stand" and most recently "I, Robot" for Weta Digital in New Zealand.

David teaches digital matte painting at two of New York Cities finest arts schools, School of Visual Arts and Pratt Institute. Each semester he adds new assignments to keep the students up to date with the latest advances in matte painting. Student are required to produced five finished matte paintings over the course of the semester, including a moving matte in After Effects 3D space, and 3D camera projection in Maya.

Along with his work as a matte artist and teacher, David is well known for the over 1000 science fiction books covers he has produced. He has worked for most major publishers of science fiction and fantasy, including Baen, Bantam, DAW, Del Rey, Dell, Marvel, Omni, Playboy, Signet, and Tor. For Scholastic Inc, David painted 54 covers for K.A. Applegate's "Animorphs" series. He illustrated the popular, New York TImes best selling "Honor Harrington" series for author David Weber. He is a two time winner of Magazine and Booksellers "Best Cover of the Year" award, and winner of the Association of Science Fiction Artists "Chesley" award. Other clients include Michael Jackson, Lucasfilm, Universal Studios, Totco Oil, Galloob Toys, R/Greenberg Associates, Click 3X and Spontaneous Combustion.

David lives in Hoboken, New Jersey, and is married to Cathleen Cogswell. They share their home with three cats, Jackson, Glinda and Annie.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Stephen on April 21, 2011
Format: Paperback
"How did they do that?", always comes to mind when I see an amazing background, set or stunning landscape that doesn't exist anywhere when I'm watching a movie.

Matte Painting was the art of painting on glass, but is now created digitally. A matte is used to incorporate a digitally painted representation of a landscape, set, or distant location that allows filmmakers to create the illusion of an environment that would otherwise be too expensive or impossible to build or to extend an existing set to make it appear larger and more impressive.

Anyone who has thought about a career in digital matte painting and wanted to seek out the techniques and skills needed to get into this film making art, no longer has to just imagine how it's done. The Digital Matte Painting Hand book by David Mattingly will teach you. You get to unlock the secrets to an amazing array of techniques that are essential to any artist who wants to learn the craft. From initial concept to a vast number of advanced techniques used in Photoshop, After Effects and Maya you'll be guided through the matte painting process. Everything is unveiled and nothing is left out here. There are wonderful chapters about understanding perspective and applying this essential part of creating convincing and accurate buildings and time saving techniques in Photoshop that will make your task less stressful and highly rewarding.

Never before has a book on Matte painting revealed so much and well described as with the Digital matte Painting Handbook. It delivers what it promises. Unlike other books on the subject that show nice finished paintings, but offer precious little in how they were created.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Barbicane on April 14, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Matte painting has always fascinated me. As far back as my movie-watching memory can take me, I've been interested in that effects process probably more than any other. Good, bad or indifferent, I loved everything about them. Nearly 30 years ago, I had the enormous pleasure of meeting Al Whitlock, a gracious man who took the time and trouble to give me a thorough tour of his studio at Universal, pulling out painting after painting---even showing his sample reel to a gaping admirer. It wasn't really a was for me something more like a pilgrimage. In all the time since then I've eagerly wanted to try my hand at matte painting (I am by profession an illustrator)---and have had perhaps three or four opportunities to do so (though a couple of these entailed having a chance to traditional glass mattes, which was pretty cool). But...I really knew nothing at all about the technical processes---especially those required for digital matte painting. Everything I knew was strictly academic. Now, thanks to Mattingly's extraordinary book the veil has been lifted from many mysteries. I'm several hundred miles away from his classroom, but his evocative, easy-going style and crystal-clear explanations make me feel as though he is looking over my shoulder. I may never have a chance to do a real matte painting for a real movie...but I'll sure be ready if the opportunity ever arises!

In addition to being a first-rate course on digital matte painting, this book is a great general introduction to painting with Photoshop. For the professional, it seems that every page contains a new technique that is as applicable to ordinary illustration as it is to matte art. I was particularly impressed by the chapter on perspective---a subject all too often overlooked by both traditional and digital artists.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Bryn Barnard on April 18, 2011
Format: Paperback
David Mattingly has set a high bar for how-to books: thoughtful desisgn;clear, concise, entertaining prose,; well-considered illustrations, and useful tutorials to help artists begin to master this complicated craft. A very useful explanatory DVD is part of the package, too. Mattingly marries the knowledge of Rennaissance perspective learned at his alma mater, Art Center and old school matte painting (he started out at Disney painting mattes on glass) with the latest digital wizardry. An understanding of Photoshop and other visual software is essential, so this is not so much a book for beginners, but for relatively accomplished digital artists looking to expand their skill-set. Mattingly teaches at SVA and Pratt: this book is born from the experience of an accomplished illustrator and teacher.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Paul Chadwick on April 18, 2011
Format: Paperback
Step-by-step, screenshot-by-screenshot instruction based on Mattingly's years teaching the subject at the School of Visual Arts in New York. Lively writing, and an obviously comprehensive knowledge, make me suspect this will become the preferred text for matte painting courses. Mattingly seems to have encountered every sort of trouble a student might have, and addressed it.

Mattingly began at Disney under Peter and Harrison Ellenshaw, and so retains some of the old-school aesthetics of matte-shot design from the era of the Ellenshaws, Whitlock, and Yuricich. That's good to see in a book of digital technique.

Requires basic fluency in Photoshop, After Effects, and (to a lesser extent) Maya, so if you're a rank newbie at these, this should probably wait until you've been introduced to at least the first two.
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