The Invisible Art – Legends Of Movie Matte Painting Book Review

Posted By yonghow on March 31st, 2013

The Invisible Art – The Legends Of Movie Matte Painting is a fascinating journey into the incredible artistry of matte painters, whose work has magically transported us to exotic worlds and places limited only by their imagination.

The book charts the evolution and advancement of the craft from the black & white films of the early/mid 1900s like Citizen Kane, Androcles and the Lion right up to more recent works like Star Wars Episode 1.

(above) The Colosseum is bought back to its former grandeur with matte painting in Ridley Scott’s Gladiator.

The book is replete with big and high quality reproductions of the original matte painting plates, and next to them to the completed prints as seen in the cinema for an easy but dramatic comparison. The effect is nothing short of magical.

(above & below) Matte painters paint us a galaxy far far away in these memorable scenes from the original Star Wars films.

These days the matte painting department is more commonly called Digimatte, because most, if not all of the paintings are now digitally realized, often augmented with CG models and lighting as well. While the technology has changed, the artistry continues and it’s humbling to see how the painters back in the day worked with relatively limited means to create such spellbinding movie magic.

“The Invisible Art – Legends Of Movie Matte Painting” art book details :

Dimensions – 11.9 x 10.1 x 1.2 inches
Hard cover, 288 pages
Color, in English

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2 Responses to “The Invisible Art – Legends Of Movie Matte Painting Book Review”


Did they paint the whole picture to the exact replica? In that case then it’s beyond hyper-realism. ’0′


  1. Josef von Brockdorff

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