Thursday, April 24, 2008

Sleep deprevation training

It seems that my sleep schedule is now perfectly acclimated to a job in visual effects. I've been working 17 hour workdays every day for the past two weeks.

My current schedule:

  1. Open eyes to alarm clock going off at 4:30am, snooze cuz I don't know what else to do
  2. get up at 5ish
  3. leave the house around 5:50
  4. carpool w/ Lee Glasgow and Dustin Boston
  5. start work at 6:45
  6. leave work at about 3:30pm
  7. get home at about 4:30
  8. start working on freelance project at 6:00
  9. finish up work for the night at about 1:30 (give or take of course...mostly take take take)
wash, rinse, repeat

Our lonely experience

I read this quote this morning and found it quite insightful. Leave it to one of the great spy novelists to talk about loneliness.

"Coming home from very lonely places, all of us go a little mad: whether from great personal success, or just an all-night drive, we are the sole survivors of a world no one else has ever seen."
- John le Carre

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Hook Island

Here's another sketch I did for a game concept by my brother. It's good that I finished this sketch because it made me realize that not every angle or perspective makes for a good matte painting. I might rework this general concept but I don't think I'll be taking this sketch any farther.


Epiphanies sounds too epic for posts like this but I don't know what else to call them so that's what they'll be. 

In 2007, about 6 months before my daughter was born. I had a breakdown one day. I was frustrated with my web design job and felt as though I might never push myself hard enough to become a matte painter. I began to think that maybe it would be best if I gave up my dream and focused on the reality of life as a designer. 

But thankfully I realized that I would not be setting a good example for my daughter if I gave up. How could I expect her to follow her dreams if I had not?

Every day she gives me new strength to pursue a career in matte painting.  

3d render/sketch

most of this painting is from a vue render, I took the time to re-work and piant over some of the elements. It would be great for a shot from inside a building, looking out windows, but otherwise I'm not sure where to go with it. 

Saturday, April 19, 2008





for practice and to develop custom brushes


for practice and to try to build some custom brushes


for practice.

Friday, April 18, 2008

The Lost World

I need to rework this for my reel as well. This was a  matte created for 's Lost World Contest. This was my second finished matte painting.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

more sketches



Some sketches to help with my education

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


I am re-working this matte now for my 08 reel but this was my first finished matte painting. 4k.

View from the Cave

Another Center of the Earth inspired sketch. This one has a weird perspective to it and was hard to accomplish.

Reykjavik, Journey to the Center of the Earth

Inspired by Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne


Another one of my first skethes

The road to hell is . . .

I painted this after purchasing Perspective for Artists.  I highly recommend it for any artist or matte painter. The book is very technical but there's some great things about horizon and how to make it look like you're walking up or down a path.  This was my first matte painting sketch and I look forward to turning it into a matte.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Every story has to have a beginning

My whole life I've known what a matte painter was. At the age of 8 (? I think) my mother bought me an illustrated childrens book called: Glim the Glorious . I had a hard time reading the book, not because it was above my reading level, or that I couldn't understand some of the words, but because I constantly became lost in the Illustrations. On the back flap of the jacket it gave a bio for both the author, Gayle Middleton, and the illustrator. Michael Pangrazio.

It said that he was a matte painter working for ILM. I didn't know what a matte was but I knew that I loved Star Wars and ILM. I looked up the definition of a matte painter in a visual effects book at our local library and was stunned. At the time I was interested in visual effects and stop motion animation but I remember thinking "that's where it's at, I'm either going to work in visual effects/special effects or be a director". I always loved art as a kid but despite how much I loved creating semi realistic mountains in colored pencil, I somehow thought that I would never be artistically skilled enough to be a matte painter. I wasted alot of good sketch time in those early years.

Fast forward to design school. Somehow along the way I thought it would be a good idea to become a graphic designer. And after I got most of my core classes out of the way and graduating with an associates, I could go to a film school if I felt like I wanted to. It didn't pan out. Film school wouldn't accept my credits and (FORTUNATELY) I had met the love of my life. I started down the path of web design and left my dreams of becoming a matte painter on the shelf, to collect dust. I brushed off the dream a few times a month, looked at it...thought about it...and would subsequently put it back on the shelf to collect more dust.

In 2006 I read "Journey to the Center of the Earth" by Jules Verne. It became apparent to me that there was a side to this story that had never been told. I wanted to turn it into a children's book. Heck, if I'm going to tell the story in my own way I might as well create the illustrations too right? I thought about my "Glim the Glorious" book again and realized that it would be really cool if the backgrounds of my "Center of the Earth" book had a very realistic quality to them.

I dove right into matte painting and concept art. The rest, will be posted here, so that I can document my journey but also hopefully inspire others to follow their dreams.