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Digital Matte Painting 5: Camera Projection in Maya

via LinkedIn Learning


Transform a 2D matte painting into a 3D scene, complete with a moving camera, shifting perspective, and an animated background.

What really makes a matte painting come to life? A technique called camera projection can transform a 2D matte painting—like the fiery castle built in previous installments of this series—into a 3D scene, complete with a moving camera and shifting perspective. In this, the fifth and final installment of Digital Matte Painting Essentials, David Mattingly shows how to use Maya's powerful toolset to add perspective and animation. First, you'll break out the layers of the painting, create rough geometry inside Maya to match the forms, and then project texture onto those forms to give them depth. Then you'll learn how to add an animated camera, special effects, and create a fully realized 3D environment from the painting.


  • Introduction
  • Using the exercise files
1. Getting Started with Camera Projection
  • What is camera projection?
  • Preparing the textured castle for camera projection
  • Isolating the first two layers
  • Isolating the rest of the layers
  • Preparing individual files of each layer
  • The CastleAll layer
2. Setting Up Your Maya File
  • Maya basics
  • Creating a projection camera
  • Adding the image plane
  • Positioning the grid
  • Setting device and film aspect ratios
3. Adding Geometry to Match Your Painting
  • Adding a box for the base of the castle
  • Matching the camera to the painting
  • Positioning the next four boxes
  • Creating the rest of the castle geometry
  • Modeling the hill
  • Adding the sky
4. Projecting Your Textures
  • Projecting the first texture
  • Projecting the castle walls
  • Projecting the rest of the textures
5. Adding an Animated Camera
  • Animating the camera
  • Rendering the scene
  • Fixing two common projection problems
6. Advanced Camera Projection
  • Installing filmBackAtYa
  • Adding cylinders for the front towers
  • Adding spheres for the domes
  • Vertex modeling
7. Toning and Animating the Background
  • Preparing the file for After Effects
  • Retiming the plate
  • Colorizing the plate
  • Adding a moving sky
  • Displacing the smoke
  • Rendering out the moving background
8. Adding Video and Special Effects
  • Bringing the moving background into Maya
  • Great websites for stock video
  • Adding flames
  • Rendering out glowing smoke
  • Creating an alpha channel
  • Adding special effect glows
  • Creating a lava waterfall
  • Render settings
  • Final render
  • Goodbye

Taught by

David Mattingly

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