CGNetworks Feature :: Reader
Frederic St-Arnaud demonstrates the process of realistically integrating 2D and 3D CG elements into a 2D photo-based matte painting.
Concept and Sketches
The main idea must be clear in your mind at the beginning of a project. In this project my main idea was to create a matte painting depicting the aerial view of a futuristic city. I wanted something with a lot of details, so I decided to create a huge building under construction in the middle of the frame. This was my basic idea and other decisions such as the palette, the general atmosphere of the scene, the lighting and the rest would come later.
To find a visual theme for the building, I used reference in books and did a lot of sketching on paper. I decided to do a cylindrical building to provide contrast between the forms of the other buildings and the new construction, and also to give an impression of a new sort of skyscraper, something more high-tech.
As usual, the modeling for this matte-painting was quite simple. I build simple objects such as cubes, rectangles and cylinders and place them on a grid which represents the ground and this helps me to find the horizon line. I create highways and bridges according to the original image to give an impression of a bigger city. All the 3D elements are polygonal objects made in Softimage XSI.