A matte painting is a painted representation of a landscape, set, or distant location that allows filmmakers to create the illusion of an environment that would otherwise be too expensive or impossible to build or visit. Historically, matte painters and film technicians have used various techniques to combine a matte-painted image with live-action footage. At its best, depending on the skill levels of the artists and technicians, the effect is “seamless” and creates environments that would otherwise be impossible to film (wiki)
From years, digital matte painting is more then a movie feature. Like a part of 2D digital painting and exceeding the professional uses, now is an area for pure imagination exercises. Almost all 2D painters started with matte painting. In fact, you will see that some tutorials are based 100% on digital painting. For such kind of tutorials you need a bit of drawing skills, many hours spend with pencil in front of your paper (yes, the basics cannot be replaced by any digital painting tutorials), studies about proportions and architectural perspective.
Like you can see, Adobe Photoshop (or any other performant paint software) is not a skill saver or a patch for our missing artistic education. Yes, using them you can save time and can make more many things with more low costs, but when you are looking at tutorials or on other matte painting showcases, think at how many hours was spent in background, many of them with unsuccessful results.
6. Extend a live action set with custom matte painting. Video matte paint tutorial by Andrew Kramer. web: www.videocopilot.net
10. Matte painting Environment – Tunnel. Tutorial by Henry H. Pashkov
11. The Making of The Decline of Babel Myth – Jacobsen War. Matte painting tutorial by Frederic St-Arnaud. web: www.starno.net
13. Creating Movie Matte Paintings with Photoshop. Tutorial by By Thibaut Granier.
14. From Speedpainting to Matte Painting2D/3D Production Pipeline. DVD tutorial by Sebastien Larroude. web: www.rainfx.com