Nitin Kale speaks to us about his Winning submission for the #mattepaintcontest and discusses his creative process.

Nitin Kale

Nitin is a Matte Painter and Concept Artist At Anibrain/Framestore and was the 1st Place Winner for the Grand Prize as well as the winner for the 1st Weekly challenge in the #mattepaintcontest held in September. We asked him to sit down with us and talk about his entries for the contest and about creating art as a Matte Painter.

1. Hi Nitin, thanks for sitting down with us today.  Congratulations on your success in the recent #mattepaintcontest, really impressive work. What is the story being told in your Grand Prize Winning Entry?

Thanks. I have tried to show a scene from a movie in this image where it shows an establishing shot of a castle situated beside a lake. I have kept it in a cool tone to show it as a calm and quiet place.

2. Nice one, it all came together so well. What was your inspiration for this piece?

I was inspired by movies to create this image, cinematic movie frames usually inspire me the most.

3. Movie buff hey! What got you first started in Art? What is your artistic journey and how did you get to where you are today?

I started with my art journey around 9 years ago. I loved VFX and Animated movies from my childhood and was also interested in Art. The turning point was probably when I saw my first Harry Potter movie at 2002. After watching it I got to know a lot more about VFX and I decided that was what I wanted to do in life. I did not know about Matte painting or how VFX actually worked, but I just loved the backgrounds in fantasy movies and wanted to create those. I did a course in VFX during 2011 in an institute called ASMD in Pune but only learned about Roto, paint and compositing, still not much about DMP. I started a job in 2012 in a local VFX studio and then started my training in Matte painting while working on projects.

"Sunrise" - Nitin Kale

4. Sounds like your passion for the industry is really paying off!  How do you start a new artwork piece, what is your process for getting it started?

I always concentrate on realism. So before beginning I usually gather photographic references for mood and lighting. This could be images on the internet, but recently I have started going on trips and taking my own reference photographs.

5. That's awesome that you are starting to get out there and take your own photos! So how do you get into the zone? What keeps you motivated and inspired?

Films. Whenever I watch films, I get very inspired from the visuals.

6.  Sounds like Film is a huge part of your life and inspiration for your work, that's great. Where do you want to go with you Career from here?
Right now, the goal is to be a better artist. Eventually, the dream is to work as an art director for Hollywood movies.

7. Looks like you are certainly on the right track. Who is your biggest inspiration in the industry, who drives you?

Rafael Lacoste and Dylan Cole are my biggest inspirations.

8. Both very talented Artists!  Who would you you most like to grab a beer with in the world?

Dylan Cole!

9. Good Choice! With being so busy all the time, do you feel burnout?  How do you combat it?

Usually I don't feel burnout, I always balance work with other things in life. When I feel overworked, then I spend time with my wife, talk to her. She always inspires me. And I listen to a lot of music too.

10. That's beautiful, sounds like you've got it figured out you are on top of it! Can you give us your top 3 go-to functions for Photoshop?

1. Colour Selection
2. Levels
3. Selective Colour

11. Right on. In your experience what's the best resource you have found to learn new techniques in Photoshop and in the Industry?

Video tutorials on YouTube. There is so much out there you can learn from these tutorial videos.  (Our Academy features videos created by experienced industry professionals and are a killer way to quickly level up your skills. Check them out!)

12. So if you could have worked on any Film, what would it have been and why?

The Harry Potter films. This is because I love the mood of those movies and they have been my greatest inspiration. But since they have already been made, I would have loved to work on the Avatar movies, because that would be incredible!

13. You're a Wizard Nitin! Where do you see the Industry and yourself going in the next 5 years?

The industry is going great and is only getting busier and bigger!  I would want to see myself as an Art Director in 5 years, that's my goal.

"Cave Entrance" - Nitin Kale

14. Great goal to have.  Tell us what would be your number 1 piece of advice to give Artists trying to get into the industry?

Work hard. Stay motivated. Learn the fundamentals. And balance your work with other aspects of life.

15. Sound advice, thanks! Do you primarily use a Tablet or Keyboard and Mouse for your work?

I use a Wacom tablet.

16. Nice! They are Awesome; all of us here at MattePaint use one and can't recommend them highly enough.  So the big question to finish us off...Star Wars or Star Trek!?

Star Wars!

Good Choice! Well Thanks so much for sitting down with us today and giving us a bit of insight to who you are as an Artist and your artistic style and process. We really appreciate your time!  All the best and Good luck in the next #mattepaintcontest and your future endeavors!

Nitin's "Lost in the Wild" Submission that won 1st place for the 1st weekly challenge in the September #mattepaintcontest

Nitin is a Matte Painter and Concept Artist at Anibrain/Framestore.
You can follow him here:

Artstation | Facebook | LinkedIn