We’ve published a few tutorials on matte painting, but the field is incredibly expansive because it involves not only digital painting, but also photography and photo manipulation, 3D as well as compositing, which is the process of taking a flat, still image and making both depth and animation in preparation for film.
While some matte painters dedicate yourself to on only matte painting, others prefer to work with compositing as well, which gives them greater control over the finished result.
In today’s interview, we sat down with Alexandru Popescu, a matte painter and compositor from London, to talk to him about his artworks.
How did you get started with digital art?
I am one of the lucky few who can say that they turned a leisure activity into their day job. During school, I studied science, from mathematics and physics, to computer science . I graduated the Polytechnic University of Bucharest, Romania, with a specialisation in artificial intelligence and computer graphics. But , I started doing computer art starting from high school, and eventually I got excellent enough to do this on a professional level. It took a lot of work, consequential how to take the right opportunities, and with the help of the splendid public around me, I got to where I am right now.
What are your major influences? Any artists in fastidious who influenced you a lot, or other media such as music and movies?
I was really blown away by the skills of the first matte painters I ran into. I knew straight away I want to do that too. The first ones I came across on the Internet were of course, the web celebrities, like Dusso or Dylan Cole, but as I got more and more interested in the matter I found out that this field has an incredible number of fantastic artists, starting with the traditional masters to the guys that make the incredible worlds we see in all the current movies. Their incredible work is always inspiring.
What film (or series of films) do you reckon had the best visual effects work?
I reckon it would be impossible to resolution this question. There is just so much splendid work in visual effects at the moment, that choosing just one film would be unfair to the others.
From a creative standpoint, is it simpler to work on personal work or client work?
It’s different. With client work, it can be hard to make exactly what the client wants, but in this end that is why you get paid. With personal work I tend to always feel that there is something I could exchange, and sometimes I spend more time on a personal illustration then on a very hard client project.