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Creating an Epic Matte Painting Shot

Advanced Techniques with Igor Staritsin

Adding Final Details


In this lecture, Igor Staritsin takes you through the entire process of creating an epic matte shot. He starts by painting a few thumbnails while discussing the fundamental principles of successful environment art. Igor then begins painting the compositional sketch while establishing the mood. Maya is then used to create a base model for the architectural pieces and then the process proceeds in Photoshop to create a detailed environment using a broad range of advanced techniques. Finally, Nuke is used to set up camera projections and to establish the final comp. Along the way, Igor covers necessary aspects of what it takes to be a successful matte painter, what should be taken into account when dealing with landscape paintings and what should be avoided to ensure that a painting is enjoyable to the audience. He also shares several technical aspects of a matte-painters’ job and demonstrates how to use them in order to be more efficient. This thorough lecture and demonstration, by a leading industry artist, will aid artists of all levels interested in achieving professional results in their work.

Duration: 7h 44m

Format: HD 1920x1080

Igor Staritsin

Senior Matte-Painter and Concept Designer

Igor Staritsin is a Senior Concept Artist working in the film and video game industries. He has worked for various visual effect companies all over the globe, including ILM, Method Studios, Digic Pictures, Axis Animation, Warner Brothers, MPC, Pixomondo, Disney, and National Geographic. He has contributed to a wide range of projects such as Star Wars, Ant-Man, Ford v Ferrari, Uncharted, Maleficent, Godzilla, and Game of Thrones to name a few. 

Igor has also been featured in several books, including Ballistic Publishing’s D'artiste Matte Painting 3, with nine of his matte-paintings. He has a background in traditional painting that helps inform his digital art.

  • "Igor is one of the most talented artists I have had the pleasure to work with. He has an incredible artistic eye, pays attention to details and always delivers the highest quality of work. If you want to learn from the best artists - he is definitely one of them!"

    - Oleksiy Golovchenko
    Senior matte painter (Double Negative, MPC)

  • "Igor Staritsin paints with Light. The highest Resolution"

    - Juan Jesus Garcia – Xuasus
    Senior Matte Artist Generalist at ILM

  • "I've always loved seeing Igor design his environments. From the concepts to the finished digimattes, he always has such a strong foundation to build upon. In the end, the art that he produces really transport you into that newly created world."

    - David Luong
    Senior Cinematic Artist II - Blizzard Entertainment

  • "Igor is an experienced matte-painter and concept designer who has been working on many feature films and video game cinematics. His art reflects great understanding of artistic essentials along with his versatile knowledge of the technical aspects in matte-painting. This tutorial is definitely a great introduction for everyone who wants to get into professional field.”

    - Lubos de Gerardo Surzin
    Senior DMP Concept Artis

  • "To create strange new worlds from nothing then bring them to life. Igor Staritsin is a creator and this is his craft”

    - Karl Sisson
    Senior Matte Painter at Weta Digital