Filmmaking Basics/Matte Painting/Tux Paint (long)

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This school is:
Wikiversity Film School - Narrative film production
Crystal Clear app package graphics.png
This course is:
The basics of narrative filmmaking
This lesson is:
Lesson: Creating a matte painting
Pages of this Lesson:
Introduction to Matte Painting

Assignment #1 - using Art Rage Free or Adobe Photoshop or the free GIMP or Corel Painter:

1A - Matte Painting for "Seduced by the Dark Side!"
1B - Building your own starter pages (optional)

Assignment #2 - using Tux Paint:

2A - Matte Painting for "Out For A Walk"
2B - Starter page sets for Tux Paint
2C - Building your own starter page set for Tux Paint (optional)


How to create starter pages for matte paintings
This is only for people who want to make their own custom starter pages.

The orginal movie frame

Still test frame from a locked camera
When you want to use a matte painting for a scene, you start by grabbing a test frame. The movie camera is locked down therefore the position of the physical movie set will never change in the frame by even a single pixel.
From the test frame, it is very easy to decide what part of the physical movie set you want the audience to see and what part you want to hide behind the matte painting.
Therefore, it will be very easy to build a mask which protects the good part of the physical movie set so your matte painting will never cover this up.
Creating the mask is the critical part of preparing a starter page for Tux Paint.

A sample frame

Out For A Walk still frame.png

A still frame from the movie.

A blank piece of paper

Window Sizes
First you select your page size. This depends on the window size which you set for Tux Paint.
Popular window sizes are 800 by 600 pixels, 1024 by 768 pixels, 1280 by 1024 pixels. For these, the actual page sizes are 608 x 472 pixels, 832 x 664 pixels, 1088 x 664 pixels.
Once you have created the blank page at the proper size (in a program like Photoshop), put the still test image on the page. I put the image of the space station window in the middle but you might prefer the space station window on the top or the bottom. Do not increase or reduce the size of the still test image. It must be 100% of the actual size.

Place the picture

Out For A Walk Photoshop 1024.png

The frame is on the blank page.
Out For A Walk path for the mask.png

Create a path

In Photoshop
You need to create a mask. If you use Photoshop, the easiest way to do this is with a path. You can easily create a path with the pen tool. This path marks the boundry between the good part of the physical movie set and the area around it which must be covered by the matte painting.


Soften the edges

Out For A Walk mask anti-alias options.png

Using anti alias makes the mask softer at the edges.

Turn the mask into a channel

In Photoshop
Once we have the path marking the boundary of the physical movie set, we need to turn this into a channel. This is a two step process.
The first step is to turn the path into a selection (marching ants). Then this selection must be saved as an alpha channel. Finally, you save the picture which now has a red, green, blue and alpha channel.
This save picture will be the first starter page you need. Next you need to create the bankground starter page (which is a companion to the regular starter page.)
Making the background starter page is surprisinly easy. You simply removed the alpha channel and save the picture with the same name plus "-back".
Now you have the pair of picture you need for the starters for Tux Paint.

Four channels

Out For A Walk channels for the mask.png

The first starter page now has a red, green, blue and alpha channel.
The final product
To create a matte painting in Tux Paint,
you need a matching set of starter pages.
Matte Painting 600 800.png

The Starter Page Set (part 1)

The masked image
First you select your page size. This is the frame size which you set for Tux Paint.
Then you put a frame from the movie on your black piece of paper. In this example, I put the picture in the middle. You can put it anywhere you want. It just has to be exactly full size and never reduced or enlarged. In my case, the original footage (Scene: "Out for a Walk" on the DVD-Data disk "24 Unedited Scenes" from the Star Movie Shop) is 320 pixels by 240 pixels.
Then I create a mask. As you can see, this hides the part of the picture which must be replaced by the matte painting.
This is only half of what you need to do matte painting in Tux Paint. See the other half on the right.
Matte Painting 600 800-back.png

The Starter Background Page (part 2 of 2)

The whole picture
Again, I place the frame from the movie on the window. But this time, I do not add any masks. (Actually, I just copied the other picture and threw away the mask.)
Since there is no mask, you see the en tire picture including the background which will be erased.
The trick is to give this image the same name as the first image but add the letter "-back" to the name.
This is the second half of the set that you need to create a matte painting of a space station. (Remember I am showing you only minatures. Click on the picture to see the original at full size.)
Three sets of Starter pages
Out For A Walk Tux Paint Screen Shot test.png

Three examples

Matte Painting 600 800.png Matte Painting 600 800-back.png Out For A Walk 1024 768.png Out For A Walk 1024 768-back.png Out For A Walk 1280 1024.png Out For A Walk 1280 1024-back.png

Three sets of two pages.
Here are sets for window sizes of 800 pixels wide, 1024 pixels wide, and 1280 pixels wide.
Click on the picture
These are only miniatures. To see the actual starter pages, click on the pictures above.
Inside Tux Paint
Once the starter pages are loaded, ,br>the kids can begin painting.
Out For A Walk Tux Paint Screen Shot test.png

In Tux Paint

The good part is protected
When you put both parts into Tux Paint Starters folder, you can paint without messing up the good parts.
Sample Matte Painting 600 800.png

A simple matte painting

A very simple space station
Here ia a completed matte painting created by a slightly senile old man with absolutely no artistic talent. Therefore, any kid should be able to do better.


Out For A Walk screen shot Tux Paint finished.png

Another Example of a Matte Painting

A more complex matte painting
This matte painting is a bit more complex. (But who ever heard of a space station made of bricks? A five year old kid can do better than this!!! Send me your finished matte paintings using the starter pages above in Tux Paint.)

Done!

Sample Matte Painting 2.png

Save the picture

Show me!
When you save the picture, it goes into a special folder. Make a copy of the picture and send it to me.
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Send me your finished matte painting

When you are finished with your matte painting, please email a copy to me.

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