Wednesday, May 06, 2009

close values , matte painting and realism

one of the main ways that paintings can look "real" is the conservation of value and keeping value areas consistent. here's a great example. it's a matte painting by Peter Ellenshaw and you can see how narrow the value change in the distant background really is. by modeling within this narrow range the reality of the whole image is maintained. it does take great skill to do this and the smallest value change will be enough to indicate a difference.

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Blogger Matthew Scheuerman said...


Thanks for posting this. In fact thanks for all your recent posts. They've been helpful to my matte painting education.

The default suggestion I always hear, when talking about distant backgrounds, is usually "add blue and desaturate it". This post is a breath of fresh air.

I've been narrowing my values based on reference but I've never really layed out swatches to see what the differences in my colors were.

Thanks again.

4:21 PM  
Blogger Tom Dow said...

Where did you find this cool example, Robh?

Awesome how the dome reads as golden with only the teeniest bump in saturated color. Same principle at work there. The bit that I find difficult, as a practical matter, is maintaining those close values with gouache or acrylic which shift as they dry.

1:42 AM  
Blogger A.R.T. aka Autumn Rain said...

this was at the retrospective in hollywood, if I remember correctly. your picture that you took? And thank you for the insight, this will help in pretty much any painting, not just matte painting.

10:15 AM  
Blogger B! said...

great information thanks for posting, this post and the previous few posts have been enlightening.. thanks for giving us a glimpse into your analysis and process.

12:17 PM  
Blogger Brian Yam said...

Thanks for this breakdown Robh! This info makes it so much more clear for me. You're a great inspiration and mentor. Have a good rest of the weekend!

11:53 PM  
Blogger cdeboda said...

Aha! Great info, Robh. Can learn a lot from these kinds of keep em coming, please.

10:28 PM  
Blogger Ty Carter said...

Stunning work as always!

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