Learn how to create stunning matte paintings with these After Effects video tutorials.

Matte painting is an incredibly fun and challenging way to get the most out of After Effects. Matte painting brings all of the amazing tools inside After Effects together. However, it’s no easy task. To help you become a better VFX artist, here are a few ways to create stunning matte paintings in After Effects.

1. “Pulp-Adventure” Matte Painting

Created By: GWSFilms 

Notable Technique: Using Rotoscoping to Blend Footage

In this video tutorial from GWSFilms, we take a look at how to create a “land of the lost” style matte painting in After Effects. Most notably, the tutorial shows how to blend rotoscoping with fake matte painted objects. The tutorial also covers a few rotoscoping techniques like adding grain and changing the hue and saturation of certain effects to better blend a composition.


2. “I Am Legend Spoof” AE Breakdown

Created By: TheVFXBro 

Notable Technique: Separating images in 3D space.

In this AE video tutorial from the VFXBro, we take a look at how to create a dystopian-style matte painting like the ones found in I Am Legend or The Walking Dead. The tutorial shows us how to take a still photograph and create motion from it. In order to do this, you will need to individually select certain portions of the image and push them forward and backward in space.


3. Adobe After Effects – Set Extensions

Created By: Video Copilot

Notable Technique: Using color grades to blend footage.

In this video tutorial by Video Copilot, Andrew Kramer shows us how to create a 3D set extension in After Effects. This video shows us how to blend pictures with live-action footage to create seemingly realistic set extensions. The tutorial also shows the hidden value of using color grades to hide your seams.


4. Set Extensions VFX Tutorial

Created By: MrKlay

Notable Technique: Using the 3D camera tracker to create realistic movements.

In this After Effects video tutorial from MrKlay, we take a look at how to blend live-action footage with images using the 3D camera tracker effect. This technique also shows how to use the Curves effect to seamlessly blend footage.

Have any tips for creating realistic matte paintings or set extensions? Please share in the comments below!