Step 3 – Block in Composition
Final Matte Painting and Projection
Using your concept painting as a guide you can take it to the next level of finished matte painting.
I like to start with the background and work my way forward, but doing it in another order works as well.
Start by gathering all the photos you'll need for your painting.
Here are my favorite sites for photos: Google.com , Smugmug.com , Flickr.com , cgtextures.com
Step1 - Break your concept painting into layers and starting with the sky place your photos in the background.
Work your way forward by moving to the next layer and repeating this process.
Step 3 - Plan out your camera move. Depending on how big of a camera move you want, you'll decide how many layers and 3D geometry you need. So import your final painting as an image plane attached to a camera in Maya, and block in 3D geometry to match the landscape of you painting.( I like to use Maya, but any other 3D software or Compositing Program with a 3D camera will work.) Try to keep a realistic scale of objects relative to each other. Then duplicate that camera. Name one "Projection Camera" and the other "Render Camera." Animate the render camera.
Here are some screen shots from my maya scene:
Step 4 - Break up your Photoshop File into layers and save a color and alpha Targa image for each layer.
For this example I only used 4 layers but you can use more for better paralax.
Step 5 - Create a Projection Shader for each layer in Maya.
In maya create a new Surface Shader node and in the color input create a file as a projection.
Create a new Shader for each layer. Once you've done this for every layer, render from your render camera to see the results. Look for any holes in your layers and extend any layers if needed.
Here is the result of my render using only 4 layers:
I hope you've enjoyed this tutorial if you have any questions or comments please feel free to leave them below and I'd be happy to answer them.