Matte Painting is the art of creating photo-realistic bakgrounds (and foregrounds) for movies. It could be an alien planet wih a big city or a fantastic landscape, or just changing a summer setting to winter. But the techniques used for matte painting can also be used for illustrations or photo manipulations. In this case Bait got the task of creating a headquarter on the terraformed planet Mars – and with a very short deadline. Instead of spending a week carefully handpainting a huge amount of stone structures, our matte painter bought a roll of wall paper, tared two pieaces off it, roughed it up and draped it over two rows of books.
By doing so he created a simple fjord with mountains on both sides and took a photo from the ground and up. Then handpainted texture into the mountain sides. The bridges started as flat silhouettes, and then shaddows and texture. Then small details, plants, metal, lights, windows, doors, people and so on. Many of these details were later removed and replaced with moving CGI. The final scene lasted no more than 5 seconds in the movie – which is quite common for most grand matte paintings.