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By David Mattingly | Friday, March 28, 2014

Digital Matte Painting is Just Good Painting!

Matte painting is just good painting!

Matte painting is meant to fool the viewer’s eye. It is a special effects technique that combines live-action footage with painted imagery that dates back to 1907— the very dawn of filmmaking. Mattes were originally painted on a sheet of glass, which was suspended in front of the camera. Today, with digital imaging, artists can work in Photoshop, and combine their paintings with a live-action plate in programs such as After Effects, Maya, or Nuke.

The tools and techniques I advocate aren’t just helpful for matte painting, but form the building blocks of all good paintings. If you want to learn the tools and techniques I use for creating a strong digital matte painting, here are five artistic principles to set you on the right path:

By Lauren Harmon | Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Painting happy little trees: Deke's Techniques

Painting happy little trees

Explore Deke’s Techniques at lynda.com.

As Deke notes, one of the most obscure features in Adobe Photoshop CC, the 14.2 update specifically, is its ability to automatically generate trees. But it’s actually quite cool. You can make trees of all shapes, sizes, colors, and species. In this episode of Deke’s Techniques, Deke McClelland shows how to fill a basic background with “happy little trees” with the new Tree pattern.

Along the way, he’ll share a shortcut to this fabulous feature (accessible through the Fill dialog) and show how to adjust all the controls inside the Tree dialog box. He dials in a custom foliage color, rearranges the limbs, randomizes a tree’s appearance, and scales the trees individually within the artwork.

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