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 500x325

via Dylan Cole

401p9 GEN Rivendell 500x226

via Dylan Cole

9lord of rings by yanick dusseault 500x282

via Dusso

360p5 Rivendell 500x251

via Dylan Cole

MP21 500x295

via Dusso

432 2 MPframe210 4k v01 500x285

via Dylan Cole

573 GEN 4k v02 500x285

via Dylan Cole

Sin City

Sin City Old Town Hooker 01 500x307

via Frederic St-Arnaud

Sin City Hospital 01 500x281

via Frederic St-Arnaud

Star Wars

star wars matte painting 500x281

via Dusso

cpa.2 500x213

via Dusso

nme.2 500x279

via Dusso

cje.1 500x187

via Dusso

The Chronicles of Riddick

cr.001ab MP 500x297

via Dylan Cole

sw030 furia 500x250

via Dylan Cole

Alien vs. Predator

alien vs predator matte painting 500x254

via Chris Thunig

Journey to Mecca

journey to mecca mp 03 500x507

via Frederic St-Arnaud

The Island

mp59.2 500x190

via Dusso

The Punisher

pwz matte 500x209

via Rob Blauser

The DaVinci Code

the da vinci code matte painting 500x342

via Chris Thunig

Superman Returns

189 01 MP 500x267

via Dylan Cole

superman still 2 500x333

via David Luong

FS 191 005 1stfrMP 500x286

via Dylan Cole

Night at the Museum

ca086.001 500x333

via David Luong

Daredevil

rt028p17 500x766

via Dylan Cole

ed088p02q.b 500x345

via Dylan Cole

Pirates of the Caribbean

mp55.1 500x270

via Dusso

mp54.1 500x212

via Dusso

Eragon

mp70.1 500x259

via Dusso

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16 Responses to “30 Incredible Matte Paintings from Famous Films”
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