David Mattingly

Matte artist, illustrator

Group exhibitions include:
Society of Illustrators; Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington; Canton Museum of Art, OH

Projects include:
Senior matte artist, The Black Hole; Dick Tracy; I, Robot

Publications include:
Alternate Views, Alternate Universes: The Art of David B. Mattingly; The Digital Matte Painting Handbook. More than 1,500 books covers for publishing houses, including Baen, Ballantine, Bantam, Berkley, Dell, Alfred A. Knopf, Marvel Comics, Omni, Playboy, Ace, Penguin, Scholastic, Signet, Tor


Digital Matte Painting

Matte painting has been used since the dawn of motion pictures, and continues to be an important component of making movies: spanning Georges Méliès’s pioneering 1902 film, A Trip to the Moon, to James Cameron’s groundbreaking 3D spectacle, Avatar. While matte paintings were once created on location using large sheets of glass, the digital revolution has extended its use and versatility by combining traditional painting skills with cutting-edge technology. Beyond the technical challenges of creating photorealistic landscapes and interiors, matte paintings have an essential role in capturing the filmmaker’s vision, and remain the most cost-effective way to create panoramic shots without building expensive sets. Additionally, how to best research image banks and libraries will be discussed. Students will explore the principles of matte painting through assignments and exercises.


  • Colorado State University, Ft. Collins; Art Center College of Design; Art Institute of Colorado



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