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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 Colleen Wheeler | Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Blending textures onto a face in Photoshop: Deke's Techniques

This week’s free Photoshop technique from lynda.com instructor Deke McClelland takes an ordinary portrait shot and maps two different textures onto the subject create an exotic effect. The process doesn’t require any masks, but rather relies solely on advanced blending techniques. (You know it’s advanced when Deke mentions the Hard Mix blend mode and the Luminance Exclusion slider bar.) Using blend modes and layers means your effect can be adjusted to suit your taste with no fear of underlying pixel destruction. And no fear of missing dinner either, since Deke explains it all in just over ten minutes.

If you can’t get enough of blending with faces, lynda.com members should be sure to check out this week’s exclusive members-only video, Rendering a face as a cave painting, in Deke’s Techniques in the Online Training Library®. But if jumping into a Photoshop technique that involves the words ‘hard’ and ‘exclusion’ makes you think you’d better get your blend mode–bearings first, take a look at Chapter 28, Deke’s Blend Modes Revealed from Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Mastery course. And we’ll see you all again next week with another free technique from Deke.

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