Boost your matte painting skills with this high-end guide

3D World technical editor Rob Redman looks to see if Ballistic's Matte Painting 3 lives up to the series' reputation.

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Ballistic Publishing has gained a strong reputation for the quality of both the production and the content of its books, and this publication continues that tradition. Matte Painting 3 is part of the d'Artiste series of coffee table art books and is packed with inspirational art chosen by the three writers, each of whom is a high-end artist in the field of matte painting.

David Luong, Damien Macé and Milan Schere delve into a single project each, explaining their working methods and the tools they use. There is a lot of detail here, although it's not quite to the click-by-click level, which I think is a good thing. More importantly the authors explain why they make the choices they make, lending their experience to the reader, which makes for a much more transferable skills session.

The three projects are different enough to appeal to a wide range of artists and readers, with variations in toolsets and pipelines used - so no matter what software you choose, you should be able to learn a thing or two.

The same applies if you don't use any software but are instead reading purely out of curiosity; there's a lot you can learn without following along. That said, every purchaser also gets access to the accompanying video downloads where you can see the artists in action, which is a new addition to the series.

The book itself is, as always, printed beautifully on good paper stock, letting the images appear clean and bright, something that's important for content that has been created on-screen and can look muddy in print.


Matte Painting 3

Score: 8/10

A great-looking volume on matte painting that adds value with video content.

Words: Rob Redman

This article orginally appeared in 3D World issue 176 - on sale now!

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