My name is Anthony and I've been working in the film industry for close to five years now, and quite recently in the video game industry too. I'm a matte painter/concept artist and these days that means you have to be able to model, texture, light and render in 3D as well. So this piece is a good example of the matte painting production pipeline you may come across in either the film or game industry.
The idea behind the piece came from two things. Firstly, I love old architecture and churches, and after looking at some photo references it wasn't hard to get inspired. Secondly, I wanted to create a mood with the piece. As artists our job is to tell a story using the core elements of image creation: light, color, composition, contrasts etc. My goal was to create a mood that could create several different storyline possibilities with those two concepts.
References are an artist's best friend. When it comes to creating your artwork, having good references is essential, especially as a matte artist in film. I had the image I wanted to create in my mind, so I went hunting for photos that would help me translate that idea to a final image. These included ideas I wanted to include in my image or useful information like exposure, texture and lighting (Fig.01).
I knew that the courtyard would have repeating architecture so I modeled two cross sections, one with slightly different design features than the other to create a repeating pattern often found in courtyards. The model was relatively simple; there was no complicated modeling. I always approach this stage with the idea that it will serve as a base for me to paint on. I model knowing what I'll be adding in paint, which is important because it stops me from spending too much time and over-modeling, and lets the textures do a lot of the work for me (Fig.02).