It's fair to say that being a game enthusiast helps you develop an eye for art. Reviewing video games all these years has allowed me to appreciate all types of art, whether it's digital, illustrated, or painted. If you don't know already, then Ballistic is the publisher of some of the best quality art books in the world. Recently they have released two new books, which I will be reviewing in the next two weeks. The first is Matte Painting 3.
Matte Painting 3 is a 240 page volume which describes how highly detailed matte paintings are produced. The book is centered around three professional matte painters; David Luong, Damien Mace and Milan Schere. They have worked on some highly plausible projects between them, including Diablo III, StarCraft II, Game of Thrones and Harry Potter.
The book opens up with a foreword from matte painting pioneer Michael Pangrazio, who is now the senior art director of Weta Digital. He provides his own personal experiences with the history of matte painting. The foreword is then followed up with an 8 page Q&A with Michael, which is extremely informative for those who practice matte painting.
The book then proceeds into a biography of David Luong, before showcasing some of his works. It's interesting to note that David is the senior cinematic artist at Blizzard Entertainment, the company behind World of Warcraft, Diablo III and Starcraft II.
The biography of each artist in the book is detailed, describing their workflows, inspirations and past projects. It was delightful reading about David's experience of contacting Dylan Cole who worked on The Lord of The Rings, and getting advice about his work.
After showcasing each of the artists work, they then each provide a few tutorials explaining the process of their work, including the tools used. The tutorials serve as a suitable walkthrough for intermediate artists skilled enough to follow. The walkthroughs are step-by-step and offer a valuable amount of commentary from the artists.
As per usual, there are two editions of Matte Painting 3 to get your hands on, the slip cased edition and the leather cased limited edition. Both are available from Ballistic's own site and many book retailers. Anyone who buys Matte Painting 3 will also gain access to download video tutorials from the artists.
When you consider the rarity of resources on matte painting, it makes Matte Painting 3 a valuable purchase for anybody with a passion for the art.