Home Painting Matte Shot – a tribute to Golden Period particular fx: INDUSTRIAL LIGHT & MAGIC: THE MATTE ART

Matte Shot – a tribute to Golden Period particular fx: INDUSTRIAL LIGHT & MAGIC: THE MATTE ART


 Hello there people.  It is a recent yr and it has been some time since I felt compelled sufficient to place collectively one other gigantic subject of Matte Shot, however right here we’re eventually.  It is at all times troublesome to get into the swing of these items throughout scorching summer time days (and nights), what with quite a few dwelling initiatives needing to be tackled through the good climate, baring in thoughts after all that summer time right here on the backside of the world is a December to March type of deal.

For the primary weblog put up of 2022, I am delighted to current – after a protracted wait – the primary in a multi-part evaluation and tribute to the great world of Industrial Gentle & Magic matte portray.  I’ve gone by as many ILM movies as doable and assembled an enormous catalogue of matte pictures courting from the very formation of the corporate in 1976, by to the final of the normal, hand painted matte work, which as greatest as I can decide, was round 1994, from whence the customary instruments of the expert and extremely skilled matte exponent – brushes, pigments, glass and wedge assessments – all ‘went west’, the normal tools and instruments had been thrown away because it had been, and the demon laptop, sadly, took over.

I used to be at all times an enormous fan of ILM from it is incarnation, and eagerly awaited new releases, typically solely to be thrilled by their expert craftsmanship (with the precise movie in query generally being unworthy).  I cherished the interval by the 1980’s specifically, the place ILM mastered miniatures, mattes and particularly optical cel-animated gags, which had been a specific space of fascination for me till the digital period took all of that inventive ‘handcrafted’ thrill issue out of it. What follows is a breakdown of, hopefully, nearly all – or not less than a terrific many – of ILM’s hand painted matte pictures from these glory days of an amazingly inventive and extremely expert group of artists, cameramen and technicians.  The movies are all lined in chronological order, although the mattes inside a number of the large reveals could also be somewhat out-of-order as a result of difficulties of collating and organising such mammoth illustrated posts.  I am certain you may perceive. 

Oh, and please make an effort to view this put up on a correct sized display screen quite than some idiotic, gimmicky i-phoney toy.  Lots of the pics are excessive def, from BluRay and in some circumstances 4K frames the place doable!  The considered someone simply ‘flicking’ or scrolling by these collections with their finger on a cellular phone display screen might be very disheartening. There’s some nice materials available right here.

Earlier than embarking upon this thrilling journey I ought to make point out of a brand new (printed) publication which has been despatched to me.  Italian digital matte painter and title designer Lorenzo Moneta – a very long time devoted follower of this very weblog – has not too long ago revealed an in depth handbook on the digital matte strategies, Creare Scenografie Digitali, from Dino Audino Publishing, although it is in Italian solely.


***Remaining phrase:  We right here at Matte Shot want to take this chance to increase our sort ideas and utmost help to the individuals and legit authorities of the democratic nation of Ukraine.  

All one of the best.



***This put up, and all 174 earlier blogposts generally known as ‘Matte Shot’, had been initially created by Peter Prepare dinner for nzpetesmatteshot, with all content material, format and textual content initially revealed at http://nzpetesmatteshot.blogspot.com/


Right here is the place all of it started …  in a manky outdated warehouse … in a low-rent industrial zone … in a galaxy not too distant….

I nicely recall seeing this masterpiece some 6 instances throughout it is first run, together with it is opening day round Christmas right here in New Zealand on the lengthy gone mighty Cinerama theatre in Auckland, on that large display screen in 70mm and 6-track stereo!  Wow, what an occasion that blew my thoughts.  Fascinating sidenote was that I – and a handful of faculty mates – had already been launched to STAR WARS a number of months earlier by the use of an imported Tremendous 8mm 400′ digest version, which had been the movie buff’s solely strategy to ‘accumulate’ films again within the day, so we already had a preview of 17 thrill packed minutes of the George Lucas house opera.  Man, did that Tremendous 8 see some projection mileage, in truth I nonetheless have my EMPIRE STRIKES BACK 8mm print.

In all probability probably the most nicely publicised picture ever of a matte painter and his work, was this Starlog cowl image of a younger P.S (Harrison) Ellenshaw posing together with his well-known energy trench matte.

Fascinating reality:  P.S Ellenshaw (Peter Samuel) proven right here at work, was, someday after the discharge of STAR WARS, having lunch at Disney studios within the commissary together with his well-known father, the legendary Peter Ellenshaw, throughout preparatory work for Disney’s THE BLACK HOLE.  A producer stopped by the desk and congratulated Ellenshaw senior on ‘his’ matte work in STAR WARS, to which the elder statesman matte exponent smiled and thanked the producer very a lot for the sort praise – all whereas the youthful Ellenshaw regarded on in shocked disbelief!  It was proper at that second that Ellenshaw jnr instructed his dad:  “Proper…that does it…I am altering my identify!”, and Harrison Ellenshaw was ‘born’. 

On the time, ILM did not have a completely functioning matte division in 1976, nor among the many hundred or so cameramen, mannequin makers, animators and technical employees, a matte painter.  Producer Gary Kurtz had put out feelers to Disney some months earlier, to attempt to come to some association for his or her matte division to provide the painted mattes.  Harrison was employed as a sole sub-contractor below the newly devised firm banner of Grasp Movie Results, purely for STAR WARS, particularly as a moonlighter – with full Disney approval.

STAR WARS would not be half the success it turned out to be with out the invaluable inventive enter of conceptual designer and assistant matte painter Ralph McQuarrie.  The entire ‘look’ and really feel of Lucas’ universe was largely all the way down to Ralph, whose unimaginable conceptual work served the premise of all that was to observe.  I nonetheless personal the unique folio collections of McQuarrie’s idea work from the primary 3 movies which had been offered on the time of every movie’s launch.  Right here we will see Ralph blocking in a Dying Star inside matte.

McQuarrie was a extremely expert technical artist and business draftsman, with STAR WARS being his first cinematic undertaking. In conversations I’ve had with Harrison, he instructed me:  “Ralph was a genius, a terrific artist, a form man, and he turned a very good pal.  There can be no multi-billion greenback STAR WARS franchise with out Ralph.”
The ultimate composite.  

Ralph McQuarrie’s true calling was within the astronomical artwork, with varied planets and galactic views being his airbrush work.
McQuarrie planetary matte artwork with miniature Dykstraflex movement management ships.  Man, did this shot go over a deal with on the large 70mm display screen in 1977 – full with Ben Burtt’s ear splitting sound results coming at us from all instructions. Oscar winner for each visible and audio results, deservedly.

Extra McQuarrie planetary art work.  A few of this matte artwork can be recycled, reframed, re-orientated for subsequent pictures.  Opposite to what many may think, STAR WARS was not an enormous budgeted movie, even for 1977, and deadlines loomed.
McQuarrie art work and movement management escape pod, which if I am appropriate, was the primary accomplished vfx shot to roll off the optical printer, after many months of delays and threats to close the entire ILM store down by the ‘fits’ at Fox, which was largely seen as some hippie hangout stuffed with layabouts.

An incredible pic of Harrison, taken a few years in the past at Lucasfilm, inspecting one among his unique acrylic painted glass mattes, as a part of the in depth, rigorously curated assortment of ILM matte artwork.

Above matte artwork in progress at Disney.  Sadly, George Lucas took it upon himself in recent times to considerably re-jig the unique 3 movies and in doing so, both dropped or altered digitally plenty of the great unique mattes and opticals – similar to this one (substitute shot not proven).  By the way, the latter day alterations to SW typically included idiotic additions and silly background sight gags, to no good consequence.

Discovering town of Mos Eisley.  Ellenshaw utilised a big picture blow up of Dying Valley and hand painted the distant metropolis onto it.

The enormous sandcrawler was only a partial facade for many pictures (and miniature sometimes), although this lengthy shot was a really small Ellenshaw matte portray.

The insurgent hanger, with tough preliminary block-in at prime; Harrison’s matte artwork and the ultimate shot.  For the composite, Harrison used the similar reside motion plate twice – as soon as within the foreground after which once more shrunk within the background.  The quite a few mattes would take something from 4 to six weeks every to finish – typically with multiple being labored on at a time.  The movie had round 13 work, utilized in 17 completely different pictures, although some had been restore patches, to take away undesirable areas of the body and paint over.

The mighty Millenium Falcon and docking bay on the evil Darth Putin’s Dying Star.  The mattes completed at Disney had been all made utilizing their tried and true rear projection composite methodology, utilizing separations.  The pictures composited at ILM had been completed with a completely completely different methodology, that being bi-pack images.  Ellenshaw instructed me that the Disney methodology was much more versatile and allowed extra freedom in assembling plates with the art work.  Not one of the mattes had been completed as unique damaging.

Undecided about this one.  Harrison mentioned he did not recall who painted it.  It might have been Ralph or presumably artwork director Joe Johnston?  In keeping with Ellenshaw, the matte room at ILM – which itself was nothing greater than a drafty, transformed warehouse within the San Fernando Valley – was a lower than very best arrange.  “The second ground was not the perfect place to have a compositing digicam.  The digicam would vibrate at any time when someone walked up the steps.  Not a very good factor.  We had indicators in every single place about how you can stroll softly, however like all signal, after a number of days, no person takes discover of them”.
Harrison was paid the princely sum of US$1050 per week to create the mattes.  From that he paid outdated time Disney matte cinematographer Invoice Kilduff round $100 for every shot he labored on.  Round half the pictures had been made at Disney, with the rest completed at ILM.  Harrison and Kilduff would work nights at ILM on the matte composites.

Dennis Muren – a legend in vfx now – was ‘second cameraman-photographic results’ on STAR WARS below ‘first cameraman’ Richard Edlund and total director of vfx, John Dykstra.  Right here, Dennis takes a lightweight studying from one among Ralph’s wonderful matte work of the ominous Dying Star.
Ralph’s expertly painted Dying Star.
Matte artwork Dying Star with miniature foreground and blue screened stormtroopers and ship.  **I ought to point out that, again within the day, whereas at highschool, I persuaded our fifth Type english instructor (the late Mr Hassan) that as we had been learning the ‘social ramifications and sub-liminal message of cinema on the inhabitants’ (or some such utter bollocks) that we, as a category, ought to go and see STAR WARS.  And…. we did, as a complete class one evening.  I used to be by no means extra ‘fashionable’ with fellow pupils (and even the bullies) for every week or so than I used to be then.  
Occupational Well being & Security is unfortunately missing on the Dying Star!  A bit foolish!

‘Who was c*** who constructed this, I ask you?’

The Elstree set in England of the throne room, and accompanying Ellenshaw matte artwork.

A greater view of what I really feel was one of the best matte in the entire movie, which apparently was very enthusiastically recieved by the director and others.  This specific portray needed to re-painted some thrice earlier than each Ellenshaw and Lucas had been pleased with it.  All the Disney mattes had been composited with an historical Bell & Howell stop-motion digicam, constructed round 1912.  In keeping with Ellenshaw it was fairly easy, but extraordinarily dependable, with rock regular actions together with the one-second turnover between exposures.

The ultimate shot, and finish of the movie.  This nearly bought a standing ovation within the cinema, what with John Williams’ unforgettable Souza-esque march rating contributing a lot to the scene.  Bravo!


With the huge and deserving vital and field workplace success worldwide of STAR WARS, Lucas naturally needed to observe it up, although this sequel wasn’t a patch on the unique, it did have first-class vfx work all through, particularly the cease movement sequences by Phil Tippett (sadly, not lined right here…)

ILM had now moved to a completely new premises up in Northern California, with the outdated LA web site changing into Apogee, with former ILM chief John Dykstra in cost.  Proven above the the make up of the brand new ILM matte division, headed once more by Harrison Ellenshaw (entrance).  From left is matte artist Michael Angelo Pangrazio; matte digicam assistant Craig Barron; matte painter Ralph McQuarrie; and matte cinematographer Neil Krepela.

‘Matte artists of their pure habitat’ (think about that phrase as spoken by naturalist Sir David Attenborough if you’ll).

Ralph together with his trusty airbrush works on one of many quite a few ice cave pictures that open the movie.

Completed portray previous to composite stage.
Above matte artwork as seen within the last movie.

A second view additional again as all hell breaks unfastened.

Certainly one of a number of delicate ‘blink and also you’d miss it’ mattes, with Harrison Ellenshaw’s painted energy generator seen at left.  Comparable pictures additionally used art work similar to this.

Michael Pangrazio’s painted snowscape.  Mike had previosly labored on some low funds flicks and did a spell with Introvision earlier than being employed by Richard Edlund at ILM.  Mike would in a short time show himself to be probably the most gifted artists within the area, with scores of unimaginable and memorable pictures over the following 15 years earlier than transitioning to the digital medium, and far later over to manufacturing design.  Final I heard, Mike was right here in NZ working with Peter Jackson at our WETA Digital on varied movies like KING KONG, AVATAR and others.

Element from above

Mike would break up his time on EMPIRE portray mattes and scenic backings similar to this, to be used with the jaw dropping miniature cease movement sequences.
On the Taun-Taun set, with results director of images Dennis Muren; cease movement animator Phil Tippett; and matte artist/scenic painter Mike Pangrazio.  The arrange seems to be a multi-plane gag, with painted backing, cease movement mid part and separate, extremely detailed glass painted foreground airplane, simply as the nice Willis O’Brien would have completed it.

High left:  Ralph McQuarrie.  High proper: Craig Barron.  Backside left: Mike Pangrazio.
Certainly one of Ralph’s elaborate cloud metropolis work with the Millenium Falcon on the touchdown pad.

The ultimate composite.  I spoke with Harrison Ellenshaw about Ralph and his heavy reliance on airbrush strategies which to me tended to have somewhat an excessive amount of of a slickness and artificially clean high quality about it:  “Ralph used airbrush rather a lot and it helped to create the ‘look’ of STAR WARS, and the general success of the franchise.  A superb mix is an efficient mix.  Personally, I by no means had a lot persistence with airbrush… rattling issues clog and splatter… I do not like them.”

Matte cameraman Neil Krepela makes last changes to the reflex entrance projection rig initiated as a helpful means to composite reside motion plates with matte artwork, ILM’s first use of this methodology, which I perceive Harrison had picked up the concept from his former Disney mentor, Alan Maley, who used it efficiently on the Bond image, THE SPY WHO LOVED ME (presumably one of the best 007 flick of ’em all, although, I digress…).
One other view of Neil with the entrance projection unit.

Harrison at work on one of many many mattes required on EMPIRE.  Round 70 mattes, or partial mattes had been rendered in all by the three artists.

Matte artwork of a special view of the identical swamp.  By the way, susceptible to critical SW fan backlash, I hated that absurd ‘Fozzy-Bear of the wetlands’, Yoda, with a ardour.  I even suppose I laughed out loud when that creature appeared.  It was cringeworthy then and stays so at this time 40 years later, particularly as the favored Muppet television present was nonetheless on the air and the second this Yoda puppet opened it is mouth all doable makes an attempt at credibility went out the window!  Now there’s a whole character that Lucas may have digitally rotoscoped out of the image and changed fairly fortunately with one thing (something!) extra credible.  God almighty, even the unbearable Jar-Jar Binks was a step above the muppet with the Miss Piggy / Fozzy Bear voice – and that’s actually saying one thing!  There…. bought that out of my system!

The completed shot, although oddly optically flopped for some purpose.
One other view, this time painted by Ralph McQuarrie.

One other McQuarrie portray on the matte stand.

Extra splendid Ralph McQuarrie matte artwork.

Shut up element.

I am not solely sure if the matte artwork at left is similar because the finals at proper, but it surely seems shut sufficient.  Matte painted aerial view of Dagobah, rendered by results artwork director Joe Johnston (prime center), with a separate plexiglass  layer of painted clouds by matte artist Michael Pangrazio.

To assist within the architectural points of a number of the cloud metropolis mattes, artist Mike Pangrazio enlisted assist from ILM’s miniatures store to assemble a wide range of constructions which might then be rigorously lit and photographed as excessive decision stills.  These stills can be lower out, organized and instantly mounted upon the glass.  Pangrazio would then paint extra options and lengthen the matte as desired (see under).

The completed multi-plane matte artwork with pasted on photographic components and art work.  The background sky is on a separate glass.

Shut up element the place photographic components and brush work merge.
Twin airplane matte artwork on stand for last images.  I feel that is likely to be matte assistant cameraman Robert Elswit there – now an ace Academy Award successful manufacturing cinematographer, capturing all of Paul Thomas Anderson’s photos, together with my primary fave BOOGIE NIGHTS.

Harrison’s desk with partially accomplished matte artwork at proper.  “Richard Edlund, together with Brian Johnson had been the particular results supervisors on ESB, and I’ll at all times recognize that Richard and Brian left me alone within the matte division to do my job with out interference.  They had been very supportive. prepared to assist out in any method.”

Hanging matte artwork by each Pangrazio (foreground clouds) and McQuarrie (metropolis).

Two McQuarrie variations of Cloud metropolis at completely different instances of day.

Many years later, the unique glass work had been introduced out of storage at Lucasfilm for Harrison Ellenshaw to have a veritable ‘blast from the previous’.
High:  Neil Krepela arranges miniature parts in entrance of a considerable Mike Pangrazio matte portray (under) of the Dying Star.
Ellenshaw at work on the Slave 1 spaceship.  The ship was to some extent a pasted on {photograph}, as had been a number of the background constructions.

Nearer view with portray and picture blended in.
Because it seems within the last scene.

A unique vantage level of Cloud metropolis, as rendered by Ralph McQuarrie.

Ralph together with his Cloud metropolis portray on glass.  Behind that may be a separate painted sundown skyscape that was completed by Pangrazio.

One other extremely detailed inside matte by Ralph McQuarrie that can function a pleasant ‘in joke’ when finalised.  See under…

Remaining shot with not one however three matte painters all shamelessly chewing the surroundings of their collective ‘large second’ on display screen!  Subsequent performing assignments had been, regrettably, NOT forthcoming!
Thespians at giant…. “Stella …. Stelllllllaaaaaa….”

Clockwise from prime left:  Ellenshaw & Krepela put together to shoot a completed portray; The three Amigo’s – Ellenshaw, McQuarrie & Pangrazio; Pangrazio at work on a starfield; Lucas confers with Ellenshaw on the swamp matte progress.

Earlier than and after of Millenium Falcon on the pad.
Because it seems in very excessive rez.

Unique Elstree restricted set and Harrison’s completed portray…

Remaining composite.  Ellenshaw said to me that a terrific many wedge, or publicity assessments would should be made on each matte shot, and perhaps a dozen takes earlier than he bought a passable ‘last’.

McQuarrie’s preliminary tough block in and the completed matte shot under…
Chatting with Harrison is nice.  So many desirable, humorous and generally unpublishable anecdotes.  He instructed me a pleasant one about starting junior digicam assistant, Craig Barron:  “Craig was so enthusiastic.  He completely cherished films.  He would see each movie that got here out.  He was nonetheless a teen then, and would inform me that at some point he would write the particular e book on matte portray.  I would give him a tough time and inform him he would by no means get it completed;  too large a topic and all of that.  I’m thrilled that Craig proved me flawed, when ‘The Invisible Artwork’ was revealed.  Craig is now a member of the Academy Board of Governors in addition to an Oscar winner for results on THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON in 2008.  He owned and ran Matte World for twenty-four years.  He is nonetheless an inspiration to the brand new children who wish to work in movie.”

A second view from a special angle.

In keeping with Ellenshaw, George Lucas would come by ILM earlier than the screening of fx dailies and would stroll by the power checking on progress.  Getting quick suggestions on the matte work in progress proved invaluable to Ellenshaw.
Ralph McQuarrie matte artwork for the climatic duel between good and evil.
Remaining shot in 4K HD.

One other vantage level of the identical gantry mild sabre swashbuckling results sequence.

Remaining shot.

An atmospheric matte painted by Harrison Ellenshaw which could have a miniature of the Millenium Falcon blue screened into the touchdown pad.

Right here is one other of Harrison’s work, which when initially accomplished with laser strikes by the ILM optical division, brought about a light panic at a screening room viewing as soon as it turned rapidly obvious that the optical boys had, in error – and little doubt below immense time strain – composited all the laser animation and explosions over the portray the wrong way up again to entrance and coming out of the constructing!!!  The footage was later recomposited appropriately by the pressured optical division.

Here’s a most attention-grabbing matte portray by Ralph McQuarrie – the quaint set extension.  Including tops to studio units was probably the most frequent makes use of of matte and glass shot work over a century.
The beautifully assembled completed shot seems 1,000,000 {dollars}.

A subsequent shot from the identical sequence with painted set additions.

Matte masters ply their commerce.  There was an actual rush to finish all the pictures in time for the ultimate locking of the damaging for launch printing.  The matte crew labored double shifts so as to {photograph} and end all the pictures.

I by no means fairly discovered simply what this factor is/was?

Painted element.
On display screen last shot.

Extra McQuarrie matte artwork.

Because it appeared on display screen.
Undecided right here… is likely to be a full set with backing or a blue display screen shot?

Matte artwork by Harrison with blue screened Luke.

Harrison’s meticulous, and absolutely headache inducing shaft portray.  Should have pushed the artist to close madness drawing in all of those particulars.

I feel this was one among Harrison’s items.


Sensational advert artwork right here for a thrill-a-minute journey yarn, very a lot of the old-fashioned, RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK (1981) was a brilliant hit, and properly saved the visible results in verify, and strictly on the service of the story, in contrast to movies of this new period which simply do not know when to ‘stop’, to the purpose of ‘sufficient already’.

The primary matte shot is available in just about proper after the principle title card.

Three undetectable painted mattes happen in a row, with views up a deep pit with only a small space of reside motion on the prime.

A second lower from the identical set piece.

The third matte within the sequence from a large, floor stage vantage level, with a lot right here added by Alan Maley’s brush.

A stunning Nepalese panorama which was a full portray by Michael Pangrazio.

Pangrazio at work, and the shot because it seems on display screen, probably with added smoke animation gag and interactive mild from the home windows.  The shot was very darkish within the BluRay version (as are so many on that medium), so I’ve lightened this body considerably.

Early on within the present, a most intriguing results shot happens – that being the Pan Am Clipper.  They discovered a real airplane of the 30’s classic, although one landlocked solely, so a further plate was taken of a wood pier and water elsewhere, with these components mixed with an intensive Alan Maley matte portray.

Alan’s matte painted dock and port, with even the airplane’s Pan American emblem branding painted into the matte.

The completed shot.  I assume some animation or interfearence gag could nicely have been implimented to ensure that the (actual) propellor to crank up and spin over that space of the portray(?)

An particularly memorable results set piece – following an fringe of the seat full scale stunt sequence – was this bit the place a jeep load of Nazi scum go over the cliff to their deaths.  A really giant matte portray measuring some 8 x 4 ft in dimension of the cliff face and valley ground under was created by supervising matte artist, Alan Maley.  The portray was turned onto it is facet for images to permit a body by body monitoring transfer with a equally sideway mounted digicam.  Be aware the decrease proper image of Maley pretending to color an enormous matte with an impossibly tiny brush.  Alan had been within the matte enterprise for many years, having begun again within the late 1950’s in Wally Veevers’ division at England’s Shepperton Studios, portray on movies similar to DR STRANGELOVE and BECKET, in addition to a stint at Pinewood with Cliff Culley the place he painted with Peter Ellenshaw on Disney’s IN SEARCH OF THE CASTAWAYS amongst others.  Peter later discovered a place for Alan at Disney within the US the place he would head the matte division and painted mattes on large results movies similar to THE LOVE BUG, THE HAPPIEST MILLIONAIRE, BEDKNOBS AND BROOMSTICKS and the large results present ISLAND AT THE TOP OF THE WORLD.  Later Maley would offer freelance matte and optical work on among the best of the 007 Bond films, THE SPY WHO LOVED ME.  Alan sadly handed away on the young-ish age of 64, and was longtime pal and mentor to Harrison Ellenshaw.  

Particular person frames from the sequence present the rear projected reside motion roadway plate in addition to the ingenious cease movement animated falling jeep, full with animated Nazi puppets falling out.

Be aware the animated jeep and occupants falling to their demise – all very good cease movement by Tom St.Amand, in opposition to blue display screen..

After all, in case you are viewing this on some laughable i-phoney kind toy, you may by no means recognize, not to mention even see the element as talked about.

4 scenes with matte work used to broaden studio units, miniatures, cloud tank gags and suchlike.  The island was a portray, as had been the views of distant panorama surrounds.
Giant miniature German sub break up screened with matte painted island.

Undecided however seems like a matte portray, once more break up screened with ocean plate.

Modest sized stage set with matte artwork all the best way round.

Bodily set, matte artwork, cel animation and cloud tank gag all at play.
The ultimate matte shot was, and stays, a real winner, and probably the most well-known within the artform.  Right here, artist Mike Pangrazio is seen engaged on what would be the monumental and secretive authorities warehouse, the place the so-called Ark of the Covenent will likely be saved away for later doable navy use.
First a part of pullback to disclose huge storage facility.

A body from the ultimate sequence, with a digicam transfer, the shot stays on display screen for round 30 seconds – an unusually lengthy length for any matte shot.  Matte supervisor Alan Maley said in 1981:  “That shot was troublesome from a matte portray standpoint, as a result of regardless that the portray is 6 ft lengthy, once we begin out on it we’re really specializing in an in depth space that is perhaps 18 inches huge and about 6 inches excessive.  Plus, when the digicam is pulled all the method again, the shot continues to be held on display screen for much longer than one normally likes on a matte portray.  So, Mike needed to paint to a a lot greater diploma than on any of the opposite pictures”.

Element #1

Element #2    I am not sure, however I feel Pangrazio could have organised a format of small cardboard cartons to be nonetheless photographed in preparation for tackling this mammoth endeavor.  I do know that one other later ILM matte artist, Mark Sullivan, did simply that for a fairly related scene within the Coen’s movie THE HUDSUCKER PROXY.

Element #3


The large funds fairy story extravaganza, DRAGONSLAYER (1981) can be ILM’s fourth manufacturing, and one which was loaded with a wide range of visible and bodily results.  The movie itself was extremely boring, although the wonderful ‘go-motion’ animated/puppet work was a present stopper.

As soon as once more, Alan Maley was ILM’s matte portray supervisor – regardless that he’d ‘formally’ retired from films within the late 1970’s.  Right here Alan poses for one more candid ‘joke’ picture, utilizing an impossibly tiny brush to put in an enormous panorama and chateau.  Years in the past through the fx work on Disney’s ISLAND AT THE TOP OF THE WORLD in 1974, the matte division was overloaded so that they employed veteran Mathew Yuricich to assist out.  In my 2012 oral historical past interview with Matt he described the ambiance in that division, which at first left him bewildered and somewhat involved, on the fixed side-swipes and banter going forwards and backwards between Maley and Peter Ellenshaw.  It wasn’t till Matthew cottoned onto the very ‘British’ sense of humour, and pure use of irony and pointed,witty sarcasm (we right here, as former Brit colonials in NZ undoubtedly ‘get it’) – humour which to untrained American ears appeared like a relentless barrage of insults, but was fairly the other.  I can fairly simply think about it.

Underneath Alan had been two painters, the already skilled Mike Pangrazio (left), and the newly recruited Christopher Evans (proper).  Each work right here characteristic in DRAGONSLAYER’s opening sequences.

A lot of mattes characteristic within the movie, normally evening time mountains, rocky outcrops and the like.

A fantastic full DRAGONSLAYER portray on show at LucasFilm, although presumably not used, because the matte under seems to be the ultimate alternative. 

Alan Maley designed this matte to be a entrance projection composite, although with portray and projected plate photographed in separate passes.  Entrance projection permits a stronger, extra evenly illuminated picture of the plate, whereas rear projection can have points with ‘scorching spot’ and illumination ‘fall off’, which might be lifeless giveaways.

Shut up element.

The magnificent completed shot, composited with a digicam pan to the fitting, because the horsemen experience to the citadel.  I feel Chris Evans may need painted this?

A sequence of 4 atmospheric mattes from DRAGONSLAYER.

They raid the citadel at evening.  An Alan Maley matte shot.  Maley said:  “I’ve a terrific principle about matte portray, that if you happen to set it up like a matte shot, it’s going to appear like a matte shot.  However if you happen to shoot it as you’d a traditional manufacturing shot, you are inclined to take the curse of it.  The higher the pictures are, the much less you are going to discover them, and I do not suppose it is best to discover matte pictures in films”.

Earlier than and after from one of many quite a few mountain mattes from the climax.

Appears to have been largely shot as digital units with bluescreen motion and painted environs.

Extra of the identical…


Undecided whether or not this volcano crater and surrounding was a big miniature set or a considerable painted matte?  Seems to be painted to moi.


I noticed POLTERGEIST again in 1982 on a freakin’ dynamite double invoice with John Carpenter’s THE THING at Aucklands magnificent outdated 1920 image palace, The Civic.  To say the 2 flicks blew my thoughts can be placing it politely!  POLTERGEIST was a 100% bonanza of thrills, scares, ghosts, apparitions, obnoxious teen children and corpses, with powerhouse ILM enter in all avenues, from brilliantly orchestrated and assembled opticals, fabulous cel animated gags, creature fx, matte artwork and that is not even all if you recognize the heavy responsibility mechanical and bodily results facet!
The present had a comparatively mild matte portray load, which on condition that ILM was tied up with so many ongoing initiatives that yr, was most likely why.  Michael Pangrazio was matte artist and this was one among his invisible matte pictures that most individuals by no means noticed.  An excessive amount of the housing growth within the valley in addition to the distant hills and sky had been matte artwork.

Here is an actual nifty results shot that is value speaking about.  The forboding financial institution of storm clouds closing in over the suburb and the Freeling home, which is de facto when all of the shitstorm kicks off – in additional methods than one.  The shot is essentially a cleverly rendered matte portray by Pangrazio of the neighbourhood, rooftops and sky.  The primary physique of the encroaching storm cloud comprised of the usual sensible injection of tempura white paint pigment into a transparent water tank and manipulated by resident ‘cloud wrangler’ Gary Platek. In a darkened room, Platek used particular probes to govern the tempura within the water till the proper ‘formations’ of pseudo-cloud had been created, which had been then photographed, quite a few instances till simply the fitting impact was achieved.  The tank components had been then composited into Pangrazio’s portray, with Mike even mixing points of the tank cloud footage with extra delicate matte artwork, together with a shadow shifting throughout the distant hills.  So whereas a terrific portion of the storm cloud was a bodily impact created in a tank, particular areas of the identical cloud financial institution had been in truth 2-dimensional art work, smoothing the perimeters out, however the entire thing ties collectively so superbly, it made for a most memorable shot, and regarded nice in Scope up on the massive theatre display screen again in ’82.  Kudo’s to matte cameraman Neil Krepela and optical man Dave Berry for pulling all of this collectively.

The twister strikes and causes havoc. The left facet of the body is an precise set, whereas the fitting facet – together with the dug out pool, children swings, fence, homes and sky – is a whole matte portray.  The younger actress reached up too excessive and a few roto was wanted to have her arm clear Mike’s matte artwork briefly.  The precise twister was a particular bodily impact created  by Gary Platek within the water tank with tempura paint.

A reverse angle, this time shot on a location elsewhere, however closely augmented with Pangrazio’s matte artwork comprising round 50% of the body, together with neighbouring properties, timber, yard and sky.

A key second in POLTERGEIST the place we be taught simply why the Freeling home has pissed off so many ghouls from the afterlife.  This can be a extremely detailed Mike Pangrazio matte portray, which proved fairly an ordeal because the artist was repeatedly requested to make adjustments and additions.  Official display screen credited director Tobe Hooper and different director Steven Spielberg (although by no means outright credited as such however everyone knows he helmed the image from the sidelines) , made inventive directives at odds with one another and even with how Michael felt the shot ought to look to make it work greatest.  Mike known as the completed shot “Too busy”.

Remaining shot – right here with the late, nice character actor James Karen –  with rear projected reside motion plate and delicate backlit ‘scratched off’ small bits of paint to provide the phantasm of grass shifting in breeze, to match the reside motion.

The movie concludes (or does it?) with the Freeling home imploding and vanishing into the netherworld.  Do not snort… this occurs extra typically than you may suppose!  I do know, as a result of I learn it on the world huge net(!!)  
A number of ingredient shot with reside motion road, miniature home that was actually blown to items with Richard Edlund’s very personal shotgun(!), optical gag sparkles, flashes and delicate matte painted neighbourhood.  POLTERGEIST was up for one of the best FX Oscar that yr, however misplaced out to a different, completely undeserving ILM movie.  Extra on that later…


I loved the unique TREK movies, particularly the primary one from Robert Clever – which I really feel was grossly uncared for.  Anyway, STAR TREK 2-THE WRATH OF KHAN (1982) was a strong present and really entertaining.  Numerous results however solely a handful of matte pictures.

Two ILM artists proven right here, with Christopher Evans at prime left being in cost, whereas ILM beginner, the terribly gifted Frank Ordaz, proven at backside proper.

The important thing matte shot was what they known as the Genesis Cave – reportedly a shot that no person within the matte division preferred and felt uniformly that the composition was all flawed.

Remaining composite.

The identical sequence options some three mattes, with this being a Frank Ordaz rendering.

Some shut up element of Frank’s work.  Ordaz would turn into an distinctive and prolific painter at ILM for the following few years earlier than quitting the movie enterprise to focus totally on gallery artwork and illustration work.

The final of the STAR TREK 2 mattes is that this full portray which options in that very same setting, and labored nicely.


Susceptible to a smack within the mouth, I will be proper up entrance and state I could not stand this film, in fact, disliking it with a vengeance.  E.T – THE EXTRA TERRESTRIAL (1982) was a trite, manufactured piece of shameless, sugary, cinematic commercialism, and worst of all, it stole the FX Oscar that yr from BLADERUNNER – an infinitely extra deserving recipient (and even POLTERGEIST as an in depth runner up was method up there!)  However do not get me began on Oscar injustices…

Among the many matte pictures had been these two, with Michael Pangrazio as chief artist and Chris Evans and Frank Ordaz additionally on portray duties.  Neil Krepela was matte cameraman, assisted by Craig Barron.  I perceive that Frank Ordaz was chargeable for one or each of those mattes.

The diminutive intergalactic irritant extra-terrestrial, discovers the intense lights of the massive metropolis.  A tiny puppet creature, foreground miniatures and a big painted cityscape rendered on hardboard by Chris Evans, all shot in digicam.  Digital camera assistant Karl Herrmann drilled out dozens of tiny holes within the 8 x 4 foot portray and organized a arrange behind involving frosted acetate strips, small followers and lights – all shot at 36fps to create a twinkling impact.  Nothing new there, as studios had been doing that for 50 years, significantly MGM’s well-known Newcombe division who completely mastered the artwork of backlit twinkling lights and neons and so on on 100 Technicolor musicals – by the way one among my fave outdated time matte trick shot strategies that also to at the present time by no means fail to amaze me when watching outdated films.

The unique masonite portray on the wall at George Lucas’ movie manufacturing unit.  The portray was in a position to be backlit with flickering mild results.

E.T marked a serious turning level for ILM – that being the introduction of their first unique damaging latent picture matte composite.  It appears exhausting to consider now, as premier matte artisans similar to Albert Whitlock had mastered that methodology proper all the way down to a high quality artwork, with optimum visible constancy and high quality for many years.  Each Pangrazio and Evans said that they had been nice admirers of Whitlock’s work and realized a terrific deal from Al’s methodology.

A number of pictures on this yard sequence utilised matte painted evening skies, with the moon in varied levels of visibility below cloud for every lower.  The skies had been all painted, and at first tentative makes an attempt had been made to do the pictures as latent picture, with eventual extremely profitable outcomes after quite a few trials and assessments.  Of curiosity, the clouds themselves weren’t painted, however had been in truth items of cotton wool that digicam assistant Barron had rigorously lower out and formed after which caught onto a pane of glass. The pasted on cotton wool clouds can be repositioned for subsequent pictures in the identical prolonged evening sequence to counsel the passage of time.  ILM had been very pleased with the primary technology high quality of the o/neg methodology however felt constrained by the exhausting incontrovertible fact that one have to be completely assured in composition, matte placement and all else when capturing such pictures because the shot is npretty nicely ‘locked in’ as soon as the plate is filmed.  Previous time practitioner Al Whitlock over at Common then again was so skilled within the o/neg methodology, that nothing was inconceivable, even probably the most difficult, mind-boggling latent picture composites had been in a position to be achieved, offered agency selections and utmost management of all steps alongside the best way had been revered.  ILM would use this o/neg methodology on and off for infrequent movies thereafter, particularly for these meant as made for television, and afterward, key matte exponents from the corporate would use it extensively.

The movie involves a conclusion – and about bloody time I say – with a horde of BMX bikesters in full flight (do not ask) headed into the setting solar(!)  All matte painted right here, in layers on particular person glasses to permit depth, plus a solar ingredient at again.  The children had been a mixture of actors on bluescreen stage and a few puppeteered go-motion miniature work.  It labored nicely.

Craig Barron (left) and Neil Krepela (proper) set up meter readings on the multi-plane glass shot arrange.  The shot contains some 3 layers – the primary with a treeline, the second with mountains and hills, whereas the third one at rear was the solar.

One other deep airplane matte multi-element shot, probably utilising the puppet children on miniature BMX’s.

Multi-part vfx shot.  Miniature spaceship and forest surrounds, with the far treeline and distant metropolis and sky painted.


Followers had been ready, and George delivered RETURN OF THE JEDI in 1983, and once more whereas inferior to the primary movie, was an enchancment over the second.  An all out balls-to-the-wall visible results showcase, loaded to the hilt with wonderful and jaw dropping trick work all through.

A mammoth matte shot movie, JEDI had a really busy troop of matte artists, headed by Michael Pangrazio.  Proven above is painter Christopher Evans carrying his trademark brown dustcoat with one among his dramatic mattes on the stand.

Michael Pangrazio confers with matte cinematographer Neil Krepela.

ILM matte artists at all times appear to double as scenic painters as nicely.  High left is Ralph McQuarrie on EMPIRE however not concerned with JEDI; proper is Mike Pangrazio (additionally on EMPIRE), whereas backside left is Frank Ordaz together with his forest painted backing for a key JEDI motion sequence.

Frank Ordaz – one gifted painter certainly and seemingly ready to make use of his brush abilities in matte work and it is personal peculiar necessities with ease.

An invisible earlier than and after JEDI shot.
Even in excessive def, the mixing is great.

An attention-grabbing matte that sadly by no means made the ultimate lower.

A Mike Pangrazio matte painted shot, assembled on ILM’s AutoMatte system.
Pangrazio matte artwork.
Now, not all matte pictures are grandiose show-stoppers.  Usually, they’re utilised to cover, conceal or make things better that are not meant to be within the shot.  That is one such instance by Frank Ordaz the place he was tasked with portray in somewhat sliver of desert to masks out the mechanical rigging holding the craft in ‘the air’.  This type of invisible trickery has without end fascinated NZ Pete.

The ultimate shot, although not in order you’d ever know.
Chris Evans at work with jeweller’s loop, portray in probably the most minute of detailing on the Dying Star matte artwork.

An total view of similar.
An unimaginable Mike Pangrazio rendering of the Dying Star docking bay inside.
The completed scene.

High left we see Mike on the preliminary stage the place he’s understanding essential perspective traces, whereas at proper we see fellow painter Chris Evans serving to out with the scores of painted stormtroopers.

A later view of the identical environs from one other angle, as painted, with astonishing ability by Frank Ordaz this time.

Right here, Frank works on a extremely detailed portray of the Millenium Falcon.

This pic is a piece in progress body, the place a lot continues to be to be completed.  I simply love seeing partially full or blocked in mattes of their early levels.

Shut up is a view to behold.
Ordaz matte artwork element.

Breathtaking brushmanship.
The completed scene as soon as the 2 actors have been dropped in by way of travelling matte.

A Mike Pangrazio rendering of the Dying Star, complimented by foreground miniatures.

Pangrazio applies last touches.
Chris Evans works on the Ewok tree prime village, the place many mattes will likely be used.
The ultimate results of the above Evans portray.

A really good huge view of Ewok-City.
A uncommon sight certainly, of artist Chris Evans sans brown dustcoat, as he works on a fantastic matte.
A splendidly completed completed shot.

This matte appeared, printed method down, within the EWOKS television movies, although it could even have appeared in RETURN OF THE JEDI.

Steps wanted to introduce reside motion characters into an expansive Frank Ordaz matte portray of the Ewok village at evening.  Areas of paint are rigorously scraped away to allow rear projected reside motion plates to be added in separate passes.
ILM’s VistaVision rear projection unit for composite images of matte artwork, as used for the Ewok shot above and under.
A pleasant, crisp image of Frank Ordaz’s Ewok matte artwork previous to RP composites.

Digital camera operator Craig Barron and matte artist Chris Evans.

The ultimate superb consequence.

George Lucas confers with vfx artwork director Joe Johnston on a serious matte painted shot.
Particular person frames from the above illustrated matte composite set piece.

The identical setting as seen in daylight, with matte artwork by Christopher Evans.

Unique full portray, properly framed and on a wall some place.


Extra element from the identical matte.

This one is a Michael Pangrazio portray, and it is a magnificence!
The identical painted matte when mixed with reside motion.

Pangrazio busy at work on a matte that I do not suppose ever made the ultimate edit.

Varied examples of Pangrazio at work on JEDI.

One other of Pangrazio’s mattes that I do not suppose made the ultimate launch prints.

Composite of shot not finally used.


Nearer element…

Even nearer element nonetheless…

Frank Ordaz painted this spectacular craft.

Shut up element…

The shot because it seems, with the evil, unhinged Darth Putin, oh, I imply Vader (or do I?) descending.
A superb matte portray of Endor, rendered by Frank Ordaz.  In keeping with FX supervisor Richard Edlund, initially the movie had solely 15 mattes deliberate, however as soon as the manufacturing noticed the standard of the pictures already completed, which Edlund known as “actually incredible stuff”, they upped the ante and the quantity grew to round 50 pictures.

The miniature set with radar dish additionally utilised a foreground glass portray of timber and foliage to lend depth to the set.
The fx crew put together pyrotechnics to explode the dish.  Be aware Chris Evans’ glass painted foreground.

Imagined to be JEDI pictures however look extra like mattes from the telemovie EWOK movies to me.  In reality it seems suspiciously like a Syd Dutton matte that was completed for a kind of EWOK reveals?

Mike Pangrazio ending off an superior portray of the touchdown bay within the Dying Star.
Here’s a most attention-grabbing pic, of the identical Pangrazio matte in it is early, roughed in levels.

A part of the ultimate shot, which served as a gradual tilt down, with a number of patches of reside motion happening.

The decrease a part of the identical tilt down.  Mike discovered it helpful to attract the viewers’s eye to the reside motion by introducing delicate issues like a big painted circle across the ground and pockets of highlight illumination upon the extras – an outdated trick in matte magic going again many years, and notable in movies like FORBIDDEN PLANET made within the mid 50’s.

A detailed take a look at Mike’s very good work.  Be aware the circle painted round the place reside motion individuals will likely be layered in.

Mike’s workspace was just like the H-Bomb had dropped… however the outcomes communicate for themselves.

Intriguing pic right here of the Dying Star trench, painted by an artist named Richard van der Wendt (I feel?)
Now this shot was very neat, and one I would by no means noticed till only recently.  Chris Evans painted this forest setting for a really fast lower and a battle ensues.

The completed shot is all however invisible as a painted matte.  Properly animated imperial walkers coming by the timber.  Terrific bit of labor right here all spherical!

Chris Evans at work on some planetary artwork – presumably on an precise bodily globe?  Did I point out that JEDI took dwelling one of the best vfx Oscar?  I did?…nicely right here it’s once more.


One other winner in one of the best visible results Oscar stakes, was INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM (1984).  The flick hit all the fitting buttons and was a rollicking, rollercoaster experience proper from the opening lavish musical quantity, with the pleasant Kate Capshaw hoofing and singing Something Goes – in Mandarin no much less (presumably my fave sequence, oddly!), proper by to the eye-popping cease movement mine chase and it is subsequent cliffhanger dust-up.  Sadly, the following two INDY movies had been lower than spectacular, and to my shocked amazement, I hear they’re dragging poor ole’ Harrison Ford out of his retirement village to star in one more(!)  Indiana Jones with hip replacements, a strolling body and all.

Tons of prime shelf visible results all through, and a reasonably wholesome chunk of matte artwork besides.  

Fantastically blended matte artwork, painted by Chrsitopher Evans.

Blue display screen shot with actors dropped into in depth matte painted vista, with destroyed village.  Fires and smoke doubled in as nicely.
The palace the place some unusual stuff occurs and the dinner menu is most undoubtedly to be prevented at ALL prices!  This full portray was rendered by each Pangrazio and Evans, although each had been sad with the ultimate consequence, and thus sought alternate means to current the identical shot .
Photographs taken of the element work as painted onto the preliminary, albeit, unused Pangkot Palace matte.  See under for the way it was finally achieved…
The eventual palace matte shot was completed very in another way, and with wonderful outcomes.  For this incarnation which finally was used within the last lower, Pangrazio ready a fundamental, simplified lower out onto a big 8 foot sheet of black foamcore – traced from a slide of the unique unused portray – onto which had been glued small bits of wire and different odds and ends to lend roof prime particulars.  Pangrazio and Barron would then transport this rudimentary cut-out onto an acceptable exterior, chosen for the probability of a very good sundown.  The cut-out was nailed to some timber stakes which had been pounded into the earth, with an acceptable sky within the background.  A further foreground glass was additionally arrange, onto which the artist painted impressionistic particulars amounting to not rather more than highlights right here and there and a few minor detailing.  Pangrazio himself said on the time:  “The portray itself regarded ridiculously dangerous – simply brush strokes that finish in a black sky, however on movie, I feel it is among the best issues I’ve completed.”  The ultimate capturing was successful, with an actual and vibrant sundown behind the silhouette, and regarded 100% actual.

A later matte portray as Indy and buddies method the palace.

Michael Pangrazio at work on the palace, which was optically flopped within the last lower.

Excessive Def body of the ultimate shot.

An insightful earlier than and after from most likely one of the best matte shot within the movie, the place the tiniest of reside motion plates of the child had been built-in into a powerful Pangrazio matte portray.

Mike’s awe inspiring matte is a sight to behold.  The shot was completed as latent picture, although unusually, the art work was accomplished a very long time earlier than the reside actio bit was shot.
That very same village, beforehand proven firstly as desolate and ‘lifeless’, was once more seen in a extra wholesome state later within the movie by way of matte magic.  Doubles for the principle characters – one among whom was matte painter Caroleen Inexperienced with a wig – stroll all the way down to the village, which did not exists and was simply part of George Lucas’ unfold.  Afterward, Mike Pangrazio furnished the verdant valley and bustling village in paint.
Remaining shot, with a gradual tilt upward.

Some hazard lurks in these caverns, the place at left cameraman Craig Barron is establishing a pressured perspective miniature in opposition to a Frank Ordaz matte portray.

Accomplished shot with miniature foreground, matte artwork cave, steam optical overlay and actors dropped in by way of travelling matte.

An invisible matte shot with the Pangkot Palace simply seen far on the horizon.

Now the motion packed climax was a doozy!  Here’s a piece of pre-vis idea artwork which aided in establishing the search for the numerous mattes required.

The matte painters had been typically ‘press-ganged’ into performing duties exterior the security and heat of the ILM matte room.  Right here we see artists Caroleen Inexperienced and Frank Ordaz atop ladders portray scenic backing for a key vfx shot which concerned actors and miniature deluge.

Chris Evans’ spectacular establishing shot of the cliffs and valley in Sri Lanka.  

The pleasant Caroleen Inexperienced provides some last small touches to Chris Evans’ portray.

The finished scene, with rear projected reside motion on cliff ledge in addition to water in river. The now very well-known director David Fincher was an ILM cameraman for a number of years, and was chargeable for including an genuine, delicate aerial wobble to the shot, to provide the real looking appearence of being taken from a chopper (ie: the flying factor, not the bike!)

The set piece is full of professional visible results, stunts, sound fx enhancing and extra!  Right here is one among a number of downviews which concerned multi-element composite work.  A sensible set, shot in Britain, matte artwork extending the cliff additional, an precise river filmed 2nd unit and a substantial quantity of hand rotoscoped enterprise as characters legs flop over the matte space and a few poor bastards are flung to their demise within the crocodile infested river under!
One other view with matte painted proper half of body.

Presumably all of the ILM artists had an element to play in making all of those cliff face mattes.

Do not look down!

I instructed you to not look down you fools!
The steps concerned in assembling the shot proven above.  The UK reside motion stunt gamers and actor; river plate; maintain out mattes; matte painted rockface; rotoscoped cel animation for falling stuntman; and completed check.
Simply to conclude, this is an in depth up of that aforementioned rejected portray of Pangkot Palace.


Kirk, Spock and Bones are all again for extra in STAR TREK III-THE SEARCH FOR SPOCK (1984).  Once more, an enormous ILM task with a lot mannequin, optical and cel animated work, in addition to some good matte painted pictures.

At left, what seems to be an unfinished model of the planet floor sequence.

The ultimate shot with a lot painted set extension added.

A sprawling planetary vista was created by Chris Evans as an unlimited backing cyclorama of some 25×16 ft in dimension, accomplished with foreground foliage and greenery because the digicam does a large pan round to the actors.

Presumably painted matte artwork.

Caroleen Inexperienced’s lovely other-worldly sundown is picturesque because the Enterprise in flames crashes to the floor.  Nice, delicate cel animated and roto gags for the flaming ship.

Slugging it out as lava flows under.  Not a good suggestion.

Chris Evans’ idea portray for the planet Vulcan.

Both Evans or Ordaz right here at work on a Vulcan establishing shot.

The finished shot.

Extra Vulcan mattes, with Inexperienced, Ordaz, Pangrazio and Evans all probably doing their bit.

Higher half of body painted in later.

The non-denominational Vulcan Temple, with Chris Evans at work.

Flaming sundown over Vulcan.  A quite hanging, full matte portray.


A large hit, NEVER ENDING STORY (1984) was by no means a movie that appealed to me, however seemingly, I used to be in a minority.  Ace British results man Brian Johnson – a two time Oscar winner – supervised all the visible and miniature results in Europe, the place the movie was shot, with ILM sub-contracted to offer a number of matte painted pictures, although personally, I by no means felt the ILM pictures had been anyplace close to their regular customary.  Noteworthy, probably the most sucessful mattes within the movie had been not really made by ILM in any respect, and had been contracted over to veteran vfx man Jim Danforth to do.  Within the pursuits of completeness, I’ve included Jim’s mattes right here as nicely.

I am undecided however this was both a Caroleen Inexperienced or Mike Pangrazio portray, and I am not sure if it appeared within the precise movie?

A simililar shot – one among a number of – although it at all times regarded like a miniature, or not less than a multi-plane type of deal to me?
ILM’s Caroleen Inexperienced (and kitten) at work on a matte conceptual sketch.  I get the impression that Caroleen is ‘feline’ realllll good about her profession at ILM.

Dramatic cloudscape on glass.

Remaining shot.

The ILM artists included Mike Pangrazio, Frank Ordaz, Caroleen Inexperienced & Chris Evans.

Matte composite.  There have been two sequels, and I most popular half 2 really.  Al Whitlock supervised on that, together with his very long time affiliate, Syd Dutton rendering nearly all the many wonderful mattes, although Leigh Took and Peter Talbot within the UK did some work as nicely.  The third movie was forgettable, however had some good pictures by UK painter, Doug Ferris.

ILM matte.

A uncommon pic of one of many giant glass work that ILM produced.

Completed marry up of painted and reside motion.

Nearer take a look at the comb work.

Matte artwork, apparently by Caroleen Inexperienced, with each frames probably early assessments and variations of meant last shot.

The identical scene because it seems within the launch model, with drifting clouds that regarded like the actual factor.

Inexperienced along with her work in progress.

A second lower of the identical sequence.


I’ve at all times felt that the strongest asset in NES had been the completely magical mattes made by outdated time visible fx specialist and matte painter, Jim Danforth.  This matte of the Crystal Valley stays my all time favorite amongst Jim’s many painted mattes.  Composited, as is Jim’s regular desire, by way of rear course of projection plates, the completed picture merely glows with an nearly tangable feeling of marvel that the movie is purporting to current.

One other of Jim’s great mattes – once more, merely magical.

I requested Jim and he was fairly sure these had been his pictures too.

The ultimate matte can be a Jim Danforth shot.

Credit score the place credit score’s due.  Be aware David Fincher’s identify within the credit.


I’ve already completed an intensive protection on each of those made for television movies, and that substantial article might be discovered HERE.

Each EWOK telemovies had been completely loaded with nice matte pictures.  A veritable feast for matte artwork surveyors of all ages, religions, ethnic background.  View right here.

Pangrazio and one of many 60 or so EWOK mattes, nearly all of which had been assembled as unique damaging pictures.

Artist and matte digicam crew make unimaginable issues occur…

Certainly one of Caroleen Inexperienced’s marvellous EWOK ADVENTURE work.


An oddly melodramatic little love story from John Carpenter that had it is moments.  A handful of below-the-radar results pictures from ILM, together with some painted mattes by Frank Ordaz on the finish.

Watch the skies… 

I assume the sky was a painted view by Frank, with miniature spaceship and animated mild results.
Very well completed really, with underside reflecting the desert ground and horizon on it is chrome dome.

Ordaz matte artwork, the place it seems as if Frank painted within the mirrored surroundings, primarily based upon the ultimate behind the scenes picture.

The fairly hanging imagery that Frank has created on his easel.


One other fashionable kiddie flick, THE GOONIES (1985), that was a brilliant hit and appears to have a cult following.  Not dangerous I assume, although I used to be far too outdated to understand it and have a desire for much ‘darker’, grittier cinema.  

Not many fx pictures, and simply a few mattes so far as I can recall, with this shot of the outdated pirate ship requiring some painted in set extension so as to add in additional sails, cave partitions and such.

Once more, Frank Ordaz has portray duties, and right here we will recognize the invisible repair up work {that a} good matte artist can do.  Additionally, the Warner Bros. soundstage lighting and gantry work was in body so this served a twin function.
Christopher Evans discusses his preliminary sketched in define for a proposed matte shot with the vfx director, although the ultimate shot, proven under, I learn used miniatures(?)

The shot when accomplished.  Although the view appears to be similar to that which Evans had roughed in, I feel it was finally completed with mannequin work(?)

I am fairly certain this nicely is generally painted.

Lengthy shot of crusing ship at sea was both matte artwork (probably) or miniature doubled in.

A shot that is not very efficient, and has a definite ‘pasted on’ high quality about it.  Not ILM’s best hour.


***This put up, and all 174 earlier weblog posts generally known as ‘Matte Shot’, had been initially created by Peter Prepare dinner for nzpetesmatteshot, with all content material, format and textual content initially revealed at http://nzpetesmatteshot.blogspot.com/

                                                 TO BE CONTINUED….

I will be again quickly with nice matte pictures from reveals like THE GOLDEN CHILD,  HOOK,  STAR TREK IV,   EXPLORERS,  ENEMY MINE,  THE DARK CRYSTAL,  LABYRINTH and even that god-awful HOWARD THE DUCK (o.m.g, what on earth had been they considering!)


***Remaining phrase:  We right here at Matte Shot want to take this chance to increase our sort ideas and utmost help to the individuals and legit authorities of the democratic nation of Ukraine.  

All one of the best.



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