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The 50 Greatest Matte Paintings Of All Time [Archive] - DVD Talk Forum
 
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View Full Version : The 50 Greatest Matte Paintings Of All Time


islandclaws
05-31-12, 05:20 PM
List here:

http://www.shadowlocked.com/201205272603/lists/the-fifty-greatest-matte-paintings-of-all-time.html

**********************************************

Al Whitlock was a fucking master. I miss seeing these in films.

nando820
05-31-12, 05:29 PM
Is it bad most of those look more real to me than computer generated backgrounds

obscurelabel
05-31-12, 05:48 PM
I watched the Selznick/Hitchcock Rebecca blu-ray recently and noticed a few matte shots that I hadn't seen before. Quite a lot of sets were built for the Manderley interiors, but there are a few high-angle shots where I can now see that expertly done matte paintings were used to expand the shot.

Fascinating stuff. Now they need to do a feature on the greatest hanging miniatures of all time :)

Shannon Nutt
05-31-12, 05:57 PM
Heh, I had no idea the Fortress of Solitude in SUPERMAN was a matte...I always assumed it was some sort of minature/model. Anyway, suprised this one is not on the list (it's the first thing I thought of):

http://manmeetsscale.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/tractorbeam1.jpg

AnonomusBob15
05-31-12, 08:56 PM
Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man? Fuck yeah.

JumpCutz
05-31-12, 09:09 PM
Whitlock was pure genius.

Here's an Albert Whitlock scrapbook of memorable matte moments...

http://nzpetesmatteshot.blogspot.com/2010/09/albert-whitlock-scrapbook-of-memorable.html

Giantrobo
05-31-12, 10:00 PM
Cute.

Jon2
05-31-12, 10:45 PM
Where's Albert Whitlock's ravine shot from The War Wagon, or Howard Fisher's Krell reactor shots for Forbidden Planet?

PopcornTreeCt
06-01-12, 12:47 AM
These should be in a museum.

Ash Ketchum
06-01-12, 09:28 AM
There was an exhibit and film series devoted to Albert Whitlock at the Museum of Modern Art sometime in the late '70s or early '80s. He came and did a presentation showing before-and-after shots from his films, i.e. without the mattes and with the mattes. I was there. Amazing stuff, to say the least. What I found interesting about some of the paintings when seen up close in the exhibit area was that they didn't offer a wealth of detail. On film, they were seen in the background and a little soft, since the focus was on the main characters in the foreground, so you didn't need that much detail in the mattes. I remember specifically a painting of the prison in FRENZY. It looked just fine on film.

stingermck
06-01-12, 10:46 AM
Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man? Fuck yeah.

:thumbsup:

Why So Blu?
06-01-12, 10:59 AM
Escape From New York, Robocop, The Thing, Bladerunner all have great mate painting work.

GoldenJCJ
06-01-12, 10:59 AM
Heh, I had no idea the Fortress of Solitude in SUPERMAN was a matte...I always assumed it was some sort of minature/model. Anyway, suprised this one is not on the list (it's the first thing I thought of):

http://manmeetsscale.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/tractorbeam1.jpg
Yeah, Star Wars is always the first thing I think if when I hear someone mention Matte paintings.

Although I think my favorite ever is the one pictured for Black Narcissus at #18.

I had no idea a lot of those were matte paintings. It just shows how good those artists were at what they did.

And yeah, it blows away a good chunk of CGI used today!

Hiro11
06-01-12, 11:23 AM
That Cuban mansion shot in Topaz is fucking awesome.

d2cheer
06-01-12, 11:35 AM
Escape From New York, Robocop, The Thing, Bladerunner all have great mate painting work.

Agree. I can't see the link for some reason my work blocks it. You mean none of the above are mentioned?

arminius
06-01-12, 03:03 PM
I remember the Ellenshaws work always being featured in Starlog back way when. Incredible stuff.

nando820
06-01-12, 04:18 PM
Is there a documentary on this subject anywhere? thanks

Decker
06-01-12, 05:23 PM
Surprised the original "Alien" isn't mentioned. When you can make an entire blockbuster film in 2012 based on the brilliant matte painting work done in 1979, you've got something special there.

Why So Blu?
06-01-12, 05:52 PM
Agree. I can't see the link for some reason my work blocks it. You mean none of the above are mentioned?

Funny enough, they aren't, but Whitlock and Gioffre are mentioned. I think James Cameron did a lot of the matte work for Escape From New York, though. Whitlock did The Thing, Gioffre did Robocop, and various others for Bladerunner.

DeputyDave
06-01-12, 06:17 PM
So glad Darby O'Gill made the list as it was the first one I thought of.

DonnachaOne
06-01-12, 06:19 PM
While I love and admire the incredible matte work listed here, I feel it's unfair to diminish the fine work of CG artists working today. CGI backgrounds are an answer to necessity; mattes require static shots, whereas CGI backgrounds allow more kinetic camerawork, and so much CGI background augmentation is so flawless it's easy to forget it's there (you have it in practically every modest-to-big-budget film and TV show shot today). Also, just as there's shoddy CGI today, let's not forget there was a lot of laughable matte work back in the old days as well.

nando820
06-01-12, 07:11 PM
Such as....?

Strevlac
06-01-12, 08:14 PM
While I love and admire the incredible matte work listed here, I feel it's unfair to diminish the fine work of CG artists working today. CGI backgrounds are an answer to necessity; mattes require static shots, whereas CGI backgrounds allow more kinetic camerawork, and so much CGI background augmentation is so flawless it's easy to forget it's there (you have it in practically every modest-to-big-budget film and TV show shot today). Also, just as there's shoddy CGI today, let's not forget there was a lot of laughable matte work back in the old days as well.

I knew someone was going to bring this up. Oh noes, we can't have "kinetic" camerawork. Like that's some kind of flaw.

One of the strengths of matte paintings is that you have to have a locked down camera shot. The focus is on creating a beautiful composition...and "realism" isn't always the goal.

I just don't find anything beautiful or interesting about a CGI shot that's whizzing around all over the place for no particular reason. Big fucking deal.

EDIT: well, you don't always have to have a locked down shot of course. The opening of The Fearless Vampire Killers used a couple of moving mattes for a "moving perspective" shot that isn't in any way realistic, but damn if it isn't a joy to watch.

PopcornTreeCt
06-01-12, 11:46 PM
I feel the same. I think those matte paintings qualify as art, cgi? Never seen anything deserving of that label.

DonnachaOne
06-02-12, 03:37 AM
I make no argument that the mattes are art, far from it, they're beautiful - as I said, I love and admire the incredible work displayed here. I was reacting to the comments above that belittled the work of CGI artists, who I feel are unfairly appreciated. It's not easy, it's not just pushing buttons and clicking a mouse; it's art. Just because the masterful, gorgeous oil painting of an fantastic artist is movie magic doesn't mean the talent of CGI artists can't be.

Since I have Strevlac on ignore, I don't see what he wrote. But since PopcornTreeCt seems to be agreeing with a comment Strevlac made - given Strevlac's contrarian posting history and uninformed hatred of things modern, disagreeing with him means I'm probably right. :)

bluetoast
06-02-12, 03:41 AM
Black Narcissus had some amazing visuals, so that was some great matte work, I wondered how that was created. The Thief of Bagdad (also starring Sabu) has some very well done matte paintings as well.

Ky-Fi
06-02-12, 09:04 AM
So glad Darby O'Gill made the list as it was the first one I thought of.

Just watched that dvd a couple months ago, and was amazed at how great the visual effects all worked together.

I would probably have added Forbidded Planet to that list, as well.