30 Incredible Matte Paintings from Famous Films


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Matte painting is a visual effects process which combines 3D rendering in programs such as 3DSMax, Maya, and Fusion, along with hand-painted and photostock elements to create a seamless visual environment.  For feature films, this matte painting environment is then used along with camera techniques to composite the actors into a virtual 3D scene while maintaining natural lighting and realistic environments.  Matte paintings have been used in many films, from the Wizard of Oz, all the way up to James Cameron’s smash hit, Avatar.

This post will showcase 30 incredible matte paintings from the most talented matte painters around, including Dylan Cole, Dusso, and Frederic St-Arnaud.  Movies showcased include Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Pirates of the Caribbean, The DaVinci Code, and Sin City.  This post isn’t necessarily an endorsement of the film, but instead, focuses on the stunning visual effects displayed.

If you’re wondering why there are no matte paintings from Avatar here, most of the matte paintings have not yet been cleared for release.  However, you can check out some DVDs from the artists involved over at The Gnomon Workshop, who recently saluted the artists of Avatar.

Enjoy the artworks, and special thanks to all the artists for creating breathtaking works of art that leave us dazzled film after film.

Quick Navigation (Scrolls to Movie)

The Lord of the Rings

573_22_MP_4k_v01
via Dylan Cole
via Dylan Cole
via Dylan Cole
via Dusso
via Dusso
via Dylan Cole
via Dylan Cole
via Dusso
via Dusso
via Dylan Cole
via Dylan Cole
via Dylan Cole
via Dylan Cole

Sin City

via Frederic St-Arnaud
via Frederic St-Arnaud
via Frederic St-Arnaud
via Frederic St-Arnaud

Star Wars

via Dusso
via Dusso
via Dusso
via Dusso
via Dusso
via Dusso
via Dusso
via Dusso

The Chronicles of Riddick

cr.001ab_MP
via Dylan Cole
via Dylan Cole
via Dylan Cole

Alien vs. Predator

via Chris Thunig
via Chris Thunig

Journey to Mecca

via Frederic St-Arnaude
via Frederic St-Arnaud

The Island

via Dusso
via Dusso

The Punisher

via Rob Blauser
via Rob Blauser

The DaVinci Code

via Chris Thunig
via Chris Thunig

Superman Returns

via Dylan Cole
via Dylan Cole
via David Luong
via David Luong
via Dylan Cole
via Dylan Cole

Night at the Museum

via David Luong
via David Luong

Daredevil

via Dylan Cole
via Dylan Cole
via Dylan Cole
via Dylan Cole

Pirates of the Caribbean

via Dusso
via Dusso
via Dusso
via Dusso

Eragon

via Dusso
via Dusso
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30 Incredible Matte Paintings from Famous Films