Friday, 9 February 2018


This blog is aimed for anybody who is seriously considering becoming a digital matte painter (DMP) but is not sure on how to go about it or is after more direction. This was something I encountered when graduating and would have greatly appreciated at the time.

I'm a DMP working in television and film since 2011. Some of the projects I've worked on include Kill Command, Independence Day Resurgence and The Dark Tower, to name a few..

Something to be mentioned is that this is not to say that there isn't or wasn't information at the time I realised that this was my desired career path but is merely intended in being a brief history into how I went about becoming a DMP which maybe useful information to some.


  1. Hey Michael,

    Thanks for posting about your journey into becoming a digital matte painter! Reading through your posts were very helpful and inspiring. I honestly appreciate all the tips and advice you were able to give, as you may know there still isn't much online guidance into assisting new matte painters. So this blog is very much appreciated. I recently just graduated from a vfx program in Canada and still have a few questions that couldn't be answered by my mentors.

    I really hope I'm not bothering you (and also please don't feel obligated to answer back) but I had few questions about dealing with a first job- this first one which I feel like you answered already is, what sort of obstacles did you face at your first job? how much more knowledge did you have to require to become a reliable member to your DMP team? And what sort of preparation did you wish you had when going into your first job?

    Overall I'm just bit anxious about starting a new job as a junior and not being able to deliver -- although i'm confident in my work ethic, i'm just worried that i haven't learnt everything i need to know to become a successful matte painter. (last question promise) but i was wondering what sort of goals did you set for yourself to continue to become an accomplished artist?

    Again I'm sorry for bothering you, I really just wanted to thank you for the advice your were able to give.

    Warm regards,


  2. Hi Sole

    Apologies for the delayed reply.

    I worked for a small UK based studio for my first job in DMP who at the time worked heavily on TV projects. I was required to work fast and efficiently in this job due to time restraints and cost. Working fast and efficiently is something I can't emphasize enough the importance of.

    I find that second question slightly inaccurate. Through a lot of practice and self development before even landing my first job I was key to my team from very early on. Working in a smaller studio makes it easier as you aren't learning a complex pipeline which bigger studios tend to have, in addition there is less competition in a smaller studio so this makes it also easier. Joining a larger studio right off the bat, especially as a junior may take longer.

    Before going into my first job I wish that I learned more about areas outside of DMP. What springs to mind most is comp. Creating slap comps and picking up comps is something that you have to do on a regular basis. I've even had to fix a comp before. Other such areas as matchmove and a more comprehensive understanding of CG would have also been useful looking back.

    That's understandable feeling that way. It really depends. I was expected to know a lot in my first job but I was prepared for that. For me a solid understanding of DMP and CG was required. In another studio they may just be happy if you know DMP well or are better at CG and have some experience in DMP, it depends.

    The reason I got into matte painting was from being inspired by others work. I in turn want to inspire others by the work I produce and encourage people to also find a career in DMP. This means referencing other artists work on an almost daily basis for inspiration and drive to reach a level close to that.

    Feel free to ask any more questions.



  3. Hi Michael,

    No worries about the late reply, I'm very happy you were able to reply back! Thank you very much for the continued insight into your DMP journey. I really appreciate all the information you were able to answer back. I will do my best to further my knowledge in all those aspects that you mentioned. Luckily I had some comp training during my studies but I will definitely continue learning everything I can about it. And I feel very much the same way about matte painting; it is very important to be inspired by others and then to be able to give back in some way would be an amazing experience.

    If I have anymore questions that I have lingering (which I know there must be but at the moment nothing is popping up) I will definitely do so, I appreciate your help and time.

    Thanks again! I hope to speak to you again soon and all the best,