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Digital Matte Painting: Changing a Scene From Summer to Winter

via LinkedIn Learning


Learn about how to turn a daytime summer scene into a nighttime winter scene using Photoshop and After Effects, with production-proven matte painting techniques.

In this course, well-known author, teacher, and illustrator David Mattingly demonstrates his production-proven matte painting techniques and shows how to turn a summer daytime scene into a wintry nightscape using Photoshop and After Effects. David shows how to take a plate, or a still shot from a film, and alter key elements to change the season and time of day. Using advance digital matte painting methods, David removes all of the greenery from the mountains, fields, and trees, and covers them with snow. Then he replaces the sky, and adds realistic touches such as chimney smoke, icicles, and night-lit windows. In the final chapters, you'll discover how to create an animated scene that cross-dissolves between the two versions.


  • Introduction
  • What you should know before watching this course
  • Using the exercise files
1. Revising the Plate
  • Making selections using the Color Range command
  • Integrating an outside reference using layer masks
  • Extracting the foothills
  • Extracting the mountains
  • Color correcting the mountains
2. Painting Over the Plate
  • Creating a custom brush
  • Adding snow to the background trees
  • Adding form to the foothills
  • Painting through a high-contrast matte
  • Adding snow to the rooftops
  • Removing hard shadows
  • Painting icicles with a custom brush
  • Covering greenery with snow
  • Painting the background trees
  • Adding snow to horizontal surfaces
3. Replacing the Sky
  • Preparing the sky for cloud replacement
  • Extracting clouds
4. Creating a Dusk Version of the Scene
  • Adding a blue Multiply layer
  • Lighting windows
  • Adding an orange glow
5. Animating Your Scene in After Effects
  • Preparing the file for After Effects
  • Animating the scene
  • Adding snow using CC Snow
  • Lighting the windows sequentially
  • Animating smoke using displacement
  • Reformatting and rendering the scene

Taught by

David Mattingly

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