Digital Matte Painter / DMP Artist
Missions, activities, skills, training
Digital Matte Painter - Job description
The Digital Matte Painter is a digital artist specialized in creating landscapes, sets, and virtual environments for films or video games.
They bring virtual worlds to life, recreating or modifying real locations in a photorealistic or artistic manner.
Other job titles:
In the film and video game industry, there are other commonly used job titles to describe professionals who create realistic digital backgrounds and visual sets.
- DMP Artist
- Matte Painter Artist
- Digital Background Artist
- Digital Environment Artist
- Environment Matte Painter
- Digital Concept Artist
- Digital Set Extension Artist
- Digital Landscape Artist
- Digital Environment Designer
- Digital Background Painter
- Digital Composition Artist
- Digital Visual Effects Artist
Under the supervision of the Visual Effects Supervisor, the Digital Matte Painter is responsible for:
- Participating in pre-production meetings and exchanging creative ideas.
- Understanding the artistic vision of the Director, Art Director, or Creative Director.
- Researching visual references.
- Developing concept art.
- Creating photorealistic or stylized matte paintings and set elements.
- Integrating matte paintings into 2D or 3D environments using camera mapping (or projection mapping) techniques, primarily using software like Maya and/or Nuke.
- Collaborating with the production team (FX Supervisor, Lighting Artists, Compositing Artists, Shader Artists, etc.).
- Reporting creative or technical issues.
- Meeting deadlines and delivering the expected quality.
- Building a reference library.
- Keeping up with technological advancements and innovations.
What are the skills of a Digital Matte Painter?
- Mastery of perspective, depth, and color.
- Excellent sense of composition.
- Proficiency in digital painting techniques.
- Knowledge of photography principles.
- Understanding of light and motion physics.
- Good understanding of the entire visual effects process.
- Developed artistic sense.
- Attention to detail.
The profession of a Matte Painter requires a high level of creativity to imagine and create original and unique virtual landscapes.
- Precision and organization:
The Digital Matte Painter effectively manages their time and can handle multiple tasks simultaneously. They respect deadlines and pay attention to detail.
- Communication & Teamwork:
Being a Digital Matte Painter requires good teamwork skills to collaborate with the production team. They should be able to communicate effectively both orally and in writing.
The Digital Matte Painter stays updated on new techniques, technological advancements, and artistic trends. They must be willing to continuously learn and expand their knowledge.
- Adaptability and flexibility:
The Digital Matte Painter is open to feedback and guidance from creative and technical supervisors. They can find creative solutions to problems that may arise.
Software used by Digital Matte Painters:
Here are some of the most commonly used 3D modeling, rendering, and 2D composition software in matte painting:
- Corel Painter
- Substance Painter
For working in the gaming industry, experience with a game engine is a plus (such as Unreal Engine or Unity).
How to become a Digital Matte Painter:
For post-high school diploma:
ISART offers two specialized post-baccalaureate programs in visual effects and virtual environment creation:
In Paris and Montreal:
In Paris, Nice, and Montreal:
These programs focus on creative techniques, mastery of film production or video game development processes, and the software used in the industry.
L’admission se fait post-bac et hors Parcoursup.
Depending on one's background and level, parallel admissions are possible.
Sign up for the test !To Apply
What is the best school to become a Digital Matte Painter?
ISART has over 20 years of expertise in the fields of 3D animation, visual effects, and video games.
- Ranked as the top game school in Europe (source: 2022 GAMEducation).
- Ranked among the best schools globally: Top 2 by The Rookies, Top 2 by Figaro.fr, Top 3 by Étudiant.fr.
- 94% graduate employment rate.
- 21 years of experience.
- 1,200 alumni across three continents: Americas, Asia, and Europe.
- Unique blend of creativity, technical skills, and business knowledge.
The teaching team consists of experienced industry professionals with recognized pedagogical skills.
The school maintains close relationships with the film, animation, and video game industry, resulting in internship and apprenticeship opportunities and interactions with industry professionals.
Over 500 partners currently trust ISART's students.
With its facilities (green screen room/modeling workshop/game lab) and equipment (filming, software, rendering farm, Nintendo Switch & PS4 development kits, VR kit) available to students, ISART Digital provides an environment conducive to hands-on learning and experimentation.
Subject to achieving the required results, ISART awards the RNCP Level 7 title of "Expert in Digital Design, 3D Animation, and Special Effects."
To becomeSign up for the test !
After gaining several years of experience and based on their personal aspirations, Digital Matte Painters can progress into roles such as:
- Lead Digital Matte Painter
- Art Director
- Consultant or Trainer
Companies Hiring Digital Matte Painters:
Several companies may recruit Digital Matte Painters, including:
- Animation and film production studios
- Visual effects studios
- Video game studios
- Advertising and production agencies
- Post-production companies
Employment Opportunities in France and Abroad:
Employment opportunities in matte painting exist both in France (permanent positions, fixed-term contracts, freelance) and abroad, including:
- The United States, which is home to numerous major animation, visual effects, and video game studios.
- Canada, which has become a significant hub for the animation, visual effects, and video game industry.
- The United Kingdom, which houses several major studios.
- Australia and New Zealand, which have experienced significant growth in animation and visual effects in the film industry.
Other jobs that might interest you
The Game Artist designs and creates the graphic universe of a video game project by following the artistic direction and taking into account the technical and functional constraints of the game.
The 3D Animator specializes in the animation of characters, sets and objects animated in 3D for cinema (full 3D or digital special effects), video games, virtual reality, advertising...
The Character Designer imagines characters/creatures in 2D or 3D. They utilize artistic, narrative, semantic, and technical skills to bring characters to life for films, video games, animations, and more.
The Lighting Artist creates the lighting for a pre-rendered 3D scene or real-time video game. They enhance characters and environments while maintaining a consistent visual style.
The FX Artist creates special effects (such as liquid, fire, destruction, explosions, clouds, particles, hair, crowd, etc.) in real time or pre-calculated.
He works for film productions, video game studios, TV series, advertising...