Matte Artist

A matte painting is a large painting, usually on glass, that depicts a scene or a location, and a matte artist is someone who paints it.

Matte painting is a highly specialized field, requiring a great knowledge of painting techniques as well as color theory and application. Mattes have to look real for the camera, but not necessarily to the naked eye, so the artist has to be able to create illusions that can blend with live action seamlessly.

Very often, mattes are used to create a background of buildings or scenery into which the live actors will be placed. Mattes can also eliminate things from the shot that shouldn't be seen. For example, in Raiders of the Lost Ark, the seaplane Indiana Jones gets on near the beginning of the film was not actually near the ocean. A matte was used to take out the studio surroundings and replace them with rolling water.

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