3DTotal : As a professional matte painter how vital do you think it is to be familiar with 3D packages ? Fred : If you want to stay in the loop of major feature films, you definitely need to be familiar with 3D softwares, especially with camera projections techniques because most of the new movies use a lot of different camera movements. The word matte-painting does’nt mean at all what it was in the past. Actually, camera moves today are so complexe that I have to admit, most of the time, we are using 3D texturing techniques more than camera projections techniques which are more related to matte-painting work. Matte-painters of today becomes environnement-artist instead.
3DTotal : Could you just provide a brief run down of how you go about doing a matte painting outlining the most common elements/techniques involved in their production ? Fred : Usually, you start with a quick sketch of your vision, which is your concept-art. You refine it until you recieve the client approval, and then you start the real matte-painting. First step of the matte painting is the photo session. I work a lot with photos that I take myself with my digital camera. It's also good way to be fast and competitive. I think it’s the most important part, getting good images before you start your work in Photoshop. The longuest part takes place in front of your computer, playing with photos and colors, tweaking images. Of course, naming every layers
and folders in Photoshop it’s a must. Being organized and precise is important. Visualize at the very beginning the final result in your mind and keep push in this way until you are satisfied.
3DTotal : What would be your ideal project to work on ? Fred :My ideal project would be photo-realistic matte paintings on a subject that I really like. Projects with few visual effects are always great to do because it is more a question of quality instead of quantity. Again, I have to admit that I am lucky, because I already work on my ideal projects!
3DTotal : What advice would you give young, aspiring artists wishing to pursue a career in your field? Fred : Go with your passions, never stop drawing and make good contacts in the industry. It’s simple advices but this is all you need!
Thanks Frederic, good luck for the future.