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Digital Matte Painting: Changing a Scene From Summer to Winter
Illustration by John Hersey

Painting the background trees


From:

Digital Matte Painting: Changing a Scene From Summer to Winter

with David Mattingly

Video: Painting the background trees

These background trees still need some additional snow, so we'll do that next. I want to keep some of the contrast that separates these trees from the foothills, so I'm not going to cover them up entirely with snow. I just want to show that the top branches are getting as much snow as you might expect. This little tree is more in the foreground, so I'm going to give it more snow. Sorry for the long silences, but in this part of the project I am repeatedly painting the same sort of thing, and although it's important to put the time in to get this looking right, there isn't much I can say about it, or more details that I can add about my process.

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Digital Matte Painting: Changing a Scene From Summer to Winter
1h 48m Intermediate Jul 03, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In this course, well-known author, teacher, and illustrator David Mattingly demonstrates his production-proven matte painting techniques and shows how to turn a summer daytime scene into a wintry nightscape using Photoshop and After Effects. David shows how to take a plate, or a still shot from a film, and alter key elements to change the season and time of day. Using advance digital matte painting methods, David removes all of the greenery from the mountains, fields, and trees, and covers them with snow. Then he replaces the sky, and adds realistic touches such as chimney smoke, icicles, and night-lit windows. In the final chapters, you'll discover how to create an animated scene that cross-dissolves between the two versions.

Topics include:
  • Making precise selections using the Color Range command
  • Controlling reference material through layer masks
  • Creating custom brushes
  • Painting snow, icicles, and trees
  • Painting through a high-contrast matte
  • Replacing the sky in an image
  • Animating smoke and falling snow
  • Reformatting and rendering a scene in After Effects
Subjects:
3D + Animation Illustration Video Digital Painting Compositing Visual Effects
Software:
After Effects Photoshop
Author:
David Mattingly

Painting the background trees

These background trees still need some additional snow, so we'll do that next. I want to keep some of the contrast that separates these trees from the foothills, so I'm not going to cover them up entirely with snow. I just want to show that the top branches are getting as much snow as you might expect. This little tree is more in the foreground, so I'm going to give it more snow. Sorry for the long silences, but in this part of the project I am repeatedly painting the same sort of thing, and although it's important to put the time in to get this looking right, there isn't much I can say about it, or more details that I can add about my process.

You just need to go through and do it, wherever this landscape needs additional snow. Again, since this is in real time, there will be some sections with just extended painting. I'm going to use that Foliage brush again to break up the edges on this roof. And I'm going to add some more snow to the top of these shrubs to give them a little bit more form. I still need to add snow to these trees back here. Once again, I'm following the pattern of the branches.

I don't want to knock out all of the contrast in these trees because that's what's keeping them closer to us in the foreground. Same with these trees on the right. You can see I'm constantly sampling color off the plate and varying it a little bit. Let's zoom out and see how that's going. It looks like I've got a good coverage of snow. I still need a little bit more on these background trees. I want to raise the size of my brush. I want to get these trees more thickly covered. It seems like I've got a lot of red on the side of this building.

I think I'm just going to paint some pure white into the side. Get rid of that red cast. Now I'm using white in a big soft round brush to glaze over these foreground trees and hedges to unify the tones and take down some of the contrast. We're close to finishing the foreground plant life. Let's zoom out and really examine it. The trees and shrubbery around the chalet now look pretty good. Next up, we're going to add some finishing touches to the chalet and add snow to any uncovered horizontal surfaces.

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