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Matte Painting Demo 01

Huey Yeng

♦ 28 June 2014 – For VFX & Compositing students,  the submission is on 30th June 2014 and remember to properly label your files and folders.

♦ 23 June 2014 – For VFX & Compositing students,  my email address can be found at the bottom of this post if you need consultation.

♦ 20 June 2014 – A brief walkthrough of the final matte painting work can be read here.

♦ 18 June 2014 – Using Adobe Camera Raw in Matte Painting Workflow is up! Click here to read.

♦ 16 June 2014 – For VFX & Compositing students, do jump to the bottom of this post for your briefing.

UPDATE: The 1080p crop of the final look of the matte painting.

The Final Matte Painting

Today I got the opportunity to conduct a matte painting demo for the Visual Effects & Compositing class of Multimedia University in Cyberjaya.

As a preparation to maximise the two hours guest lecture, I’ve prepare a timelapse video of my workflow which I have uploaded to YouTube (you can download the 1080p version using software such as JDownloader):

The chosen theme for the demo is to recreate a scenery from 1957 from existing architecture where the Sultan Abdul Samad building was the prime candidate for this demonstration.

Below is the latest WIP that I’ve reached at the end of the demonstration:

WIP of the Matte Painting

Students are required to fully understand the necessary elements that needed to be removed and replaced/repaired such as modern tall buildings that haven’t existed yet in the chosen time period.

Also they will be exposed to the process of doing sky replacement to enhance the shot per the director requirements.

Since the class is intended for complete introduction to matte painting role in a VFX film/TVC, the scope of the lecture covers the workflow that I practice in both my personal and commercial work that I did during my internship at Moon FX Sdn Bhd (Mirinda, Besturn, Chipsmore, Digi TVC).

Lastly, a big shoutout to Ng Lynn-Sze for inviting me again for my second matte painting demo session for her students! Not to forget Firdaus for handling the class session together with me.

Remember the necessary practice files can be downloaded from the following link (which I’m in the midst of preparing it).


I can be contacted at huey[dot]yeng[dot] (replace dot with the appropriate symbol since there is lots of automated spam bot attack). Make sure to attached a full resolution JPEG of your current progress saved at 8 quality in Photoshop to strike a nice balance of quality and file size.

As mentioned above, the theme of matte painting is to depict Sultan Abdul Samad building in 1957.

From here, your job is to take photos of the subject matter (it can be either landscape or portrait orientation although landscape is much preferred) and remove modern elements from the selected photo.

To make things easier, do take the photos during cloudy/overcast day to ensure minimal work in accurately repainting the light and shadow part of the buildings.

While most recent TVC/film is shot at 16:9 ratio in 1080p, it is not compulsory to crop your matte painting to that ratio.

Here’s a simple list of what I’m expecting in your PSD file:

  • At least 3000px in either width or height
  • Any Photoshop voodoo tricks that helps in your painting workflow (extra alpha, layer masking, adjustment layer, etc)
  • Layers. Don’t give me flatten image OK?

For the file/directory structure, refer to the screenshot below:


I’ll update the site with tips and tricks related to the matte painting assignment in the coming days and will be reviewing your progress in next week in-class consultation. Happy Photoshopping!

© 2024 Huey Yeng
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