How I became a Matte Painter

If you've just started learning matte painting you might be wondering what the best way is.

How I became a Matte Painter

If you've just started learning matte painting you might be wondering what the best way is.

Let me start by sharing my own story...

I didn't actually start in Photoshop. I wasn't even thinking about matte painting or concept art!

I was studying a games degree in 2008 and one evening I was looking for software to create environments easily and found Vue!

It didn't take long for me to get lost in the excitement of creating environments. I went online looking at tutorials from other artists like Vladimir Chopine from Geek-At-Play and Dax Pandhi from Quadspinner.

I immediately wanted to be as good as these guys were, I mean... who wouldn't! Just look at that image! ??

One of Dax Pandhi's renders

So... I started reading all the doc's and testing every slider in Vue, staying up past 2 a.m. adjusting sliders, re-rendering, comparing the results and repeating.

I was hooked!

Although I was not very good... ?

One of my first ever Vue renders

Eventually I managed to befriend Dax who, whether he liked it or not, was about to become my Vue mentor. I would call him on skype to ask about this setting or that slider when I was supposed to be doing University assignments...

But playing around in Vue was just too addictive! To this extend all I can say is to find a mentor. This can be anyone, there are so many artists out there and so many of them are happy to help others!

After ~9 months with Dax's help I had reached a point where I was a competent Vue artist.

The final render of my first job after 9 months using Vue

5 years later...

Fast forward several years and I'm still in my bedroom trying to get good enough into the VFX industry. And if this sounds like a long time, it's because it is a long time. Excessively long in fact.

I want to help you break in much faster.

Of course, I did eventually get into the industry and then started MattePaint years later.

Since starting MattePaint, I've dedicated my spare time to developing artists through tutorials, articles, tools and yes, even personal mentoring, to help artists achieve great results, much faster.

I've directly helped over 20 artists in the last year get into the big studios and achieve their dreams.

So, here's your first step...

If you haven't yet already, join our Facebook community, our discord server and even our sub-Reddit. We post a lot of news in these groups and I make sure to comment on almost every post in the groups with helpful feedback.

If you want free credits (who doesn't!?) you can connect discord and Reddit through your MattePaint account here ? Connect Discord + Reddit

Make sure you introduce yourself to the community and share some of your recent work for feedback!

Keep an eye out for tips and tutorials that I post now and then, usually they are centered around specific issues I observe artists having.

p.s. checkout where I'm at now. (yes, it's Game Of Thrones)

Happy Painting!
Conrad Allan