Making of CGTantra Digital Matte Painting Challenge 3rd Winner by Jan Šarbort
I am a 23 years old graphic designer and digital artist from Czech Republic. Around the end of 2009, I discovered the field of matte painting, and gradually I began to study it and learn it. Third place win in this competition is like a confirmation for me that I took the right direction. I am grateful for it. I think that this competition was very interesting. Here is my work:
After a long time of searching for images and thinking about them, I chose this one. I had a little problem finding pictures that would fit an aspect ratio of resolution 2048x1556. This piece suited the requirement best. Although this photo has many portions to clean, it has the potential to create the composition that I wished.
At first I just wanted to add two hills, many towers and new roofs in the foreground, which would expand the image and add more depth to this matte. I also wanted to erase the industrial part of port and all ships, that would not be here.
I began looking for photo references. After Jason Horley's advice, I found a picture of the sky with good natural perspective. I edited this picture, painted a little bit and transformed it into the night scene. I obviously had to change the direction of lights and the light source after adding the moon. I also found photo references required for the left hill and houses in the foreground. While searching for images I came across a photo, which very well suited to replace entire right side of the city.
After cleaning, erasing strong shadows, blending, airbrushing and checking perspective I have an image, which is ready for day-to-night transformation. I also tested, which towers to use and where to place.
After much needed work; much more than I expected, all night adjustments were made. But I thought something was missing in the picture. And, it was depth. So I added the hills in the background. I was very satisfied with the result. It worked surprisingly well. And later added lights and all the reflections on water...
I added a warm color to the moon light, added more depth to the sky levels, modified the colors of the sky and roofs, improved some details on buildings, fixed levels of the FG, edited artificial lighting on towers and here is the final matte painting.
It was my first day-to-night transformation and it was really a lot of fun!