Category Archives: traditional FX

Peter Ellenshaw matte painting for Spartacus, Stanley Kubrick

On one hand, you have Stanley Kubrick, one of my favorite director. I remember having watched Shining again and again when I was younger because I thought this movie was just perfect !
On the other hand, you have Peter Ellenshaw, one of the greatest matte painter of the History of the Art. He’s done so many incredible painting that we could take hours to talk about him…
On the movie Spartacus, Ellenshaw realized an amazing painting of Rome, and I wanted to share some photos of it with you.
Look how detailed the painting is ! It’s definitely a wonderful peace of Art !

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Recreating Skull Island – 1933 Style

Many years ago, before the GoogleGlass, the iPad Mini, even before the computers, there was already people in charge of creating some amazing environments for movie (can you believe this Nick ?).
One of the most famous StopMotion animation movie is probably King Kong, done in 1933. As you know, King Kong lives in a very unfriendly island, called Skull Island, and for the purpose of the movie, SFX team had to create a lot of jungle environments.
This video, proposed by Peter Jackson and his friends who went through the History of Visual Effects, explains how to recreate Skull Island, in the 1933 King Kong movie style, only using traditional techniques like Glass painting, models, miniatures trees, paper leaves…

More Star Wars Traditional Matte Painting

I already put some traditional matte painting from Star Wars in the Gallery, but I just found new one I didn’t know ! I had to post them here ! I know, we always keep referring to Star Wars, which has been now done 35 years ago, but hey, it’s so cool to see Chris Evans adding small details to the Death Star, or Mike Pangrazio to paint parts of the Millenium Falcon ! Hope you enjoy it !

Just click on the pictures to enlarge them.

Few minutes with Mark Sullivan

Let’s talk about Mark Sullivan, remember, the incredible matte painting of the tree for “Hook”. He is one of my favourite matte painter. He started working in traditional way, and evolved through the digital technique. His work is really inspiring. His credits include Indiana Jones and the last Crusade, The Abyss, Backdraft, Hook, Star Wars episode 1 and 2, Apocalypto… Continue reading Few minutes with Mark Sullivan

Few minutes with Paul Swendsen

When someone ask me why I decided to become a matte painter, my answer is always the same : because the matte painting made at ILM during the 80’s are amazing ! And when someone ask me what movie I enjoyed the most when I was a kid, my answer is always the same : Willow, directed by Ron Howard.
That’s why I’m so proud to share with you today an exclusive interview with one of the most inspiring Matte Painter, who actually worked at ILM in the 80’s, on Willow. Let’s take few minutes to talk to Paul Swendsen.
Thank you so much Paul for your very detailed answers. It’s a real privilege to have the opportunity to listen to your amazing stories.

Continue reading Few minutes with Paul Swendsen

Emilio Ruiz del Rio – Set decorator

Before falling in the digital land, SFX artists developed lots of different techniques to create amazing environments for films. We already spoke about the glass painting, which was about painting the missing environment on a glass that we put between the camera and the set. But sometimes, we had to create more than just a painting, and we used miniatures. Emilio Ruiz del Rio is one of the most famous miniatures maker. Let’s have a look inside his world.

Emilio Ruiz del Rio was a Spanish film set decorator and special effects and visual effects artist.
His filmography includes work on over 450 films from studios in Europe and the United States like Conan the Barbarian, Spartacus, Mr Arkadin ou Pan’s Labyrinth. You’ll see his Filmography here : IMDB

Continue reading Emilio Ruiz del Rio – Set decorator