In this course, we will go over the technical and creative skills to create matte paintings for Animation.

Using industry standard software such as: Photoshop, Maya, Nuke, and Houdini. 
Students will receive individual feedback on their work as well as practicing these techniques to create portfolio level work.

Interactive Zoom sessions take place every Thursday 8pm PST

Video recorded feedback on your individual assignments

Access to Matte Mentors Community Board. Interact with your fellow artists and instructors to create a more personal experience.



Course curriculum


    2. Animation through the years: Traditional Studios

    3. Animation through the years: New Media/Games Cinematics/Etc.

    4. History of Matte Painting and Background Painting

    5. What is Matte Painting?

    6. Walking thru a shot in an Animation pipeline

    7. Reference Library

    8. Photoshop 101

    9. Let's create a digital painting

    10. Lasso Speed Painting

    11. Assignment 1: Digital Painting and Lasso Speed Painting

    12. Upload Assignment 1

    13. Q & A Zoom Sessions

    1. Creating a Matte Painting Shot

    2. MAYA 101

    3. NUKE 101

    4. Launched on your shot

    5. Beginning setup in Maya

    6. Onto your Nuke setup

    7. Photoshop - Painting your projection

    8. Clouds

    9. Dealing with Gradients

    10. Photoshop - Quick sketch and using Photos

    11. Compositing your first Shot

    12. Houdini 101

    13. Houdini VDB Clouds

    14. CLARISSE 101

    15. Clarisse VDB Clouds

    16. Maya VDB Clouds

    17. MAYA and HOUDINI for Layout with VDBs

    18. Stylizing and finishing up shot

    19. Assignment #2 - Static Matte Painting shot

    20. Upload your Assignment #2

    21. Q & A Zoom Sessions

    1. Cityscape Establishing Shot

    2. Aspect Ratios and Camera Lenses

    3. Projection Camera vs Shot Camera

    4. Setting up the scene

    5. 3d Assets and Simple Texturing/Modeling

    6. Going from BlockIn to Assets

    7. Lighting and Fog/mist in Maya and Clarisse

    8. Lighting up the City

    9. Renders AOVs and Layers

    10. Projection Camera and Layers

    11. Review of Assignment

    12. Assignment #3

    13. Upload Assignment #3

    14. Q & A Zoom Sessions

    1. Creating Multiple Matte Paintings for Several Animated shots

    2. Assets

    3. Landscape Drone Reference

    4. Maya Scattering with Mash

    5. Clarisse Scattering and Assets

    6. Clarisse Scattering with Texture maps

    7. Getting started on your multi-shots

    8. Nuke and Photoshop

    9. Assignment #4

    10. Upload Assignment #4

    11. Q & A Zoom Sessions

    1. Shot 1 and 3 Setup

    2. Reference Board

    3. Scattering with Houdini

    4. Scattering with hand painted mask

    5. Scatter Grass on Rock Cliff

    6. Combining Projections

    7. Assignment #5

    8. Upload Assignment #5

    9. Q & A Zoom Sessions

    1. Promoting Yourself

    2. Branding Yourself

    3. Making a Breakdown Clip of your Matte Painting

    4. Career Beginnings

    5. Career Trajectory and Portfolio

    6. Q & A Zoom Sessions

    7. Upload Assignment #6 - Rework and Enhance any of your shots

About this course

  • $375.00
  • 75 lessons

Sign Up Today for our 6 Week Class

Student Testimonials

“This class was such an amazing learning experience and really helps you expand your knowledge on industry standard programs. I had a wonderful experience learning from Eric, he was very understanding of all experience levels and made the class feel really comfortable!”

“It has been a truly wonderful experience to have Eric as an instructor. He has provided guidance and thoughtful feedback throughout our class. Eric cares about the students and want us to be successful. I definitely feel more confident in my skills after doing the assignments. I would highly recommend it to anyone who wants to learn matte painting/set extension for animation!”

“Super glad that I had the opportunity to take Eric’s course. His attention to detail and passion for the subject shines through the course material and projects. This class gave a very comprehensive breakdown of matte painting—giving us exposure to industry standard programs, allowing us to practice 3D skills, providing repetition through projects and demos to improve digital painting skills, and walking through how to tie all elements together. I learned so much across each discipline within Matte painting, and was challenged in a way that allowed me to feel my growth throughout the course. The quality of the course is topped by Eric’s instruction and I would highly recommend anyone who is interested multiple parts of the CG pipeline and learning 3d and 2d take this class. ”

Meet Eric


Eric has been a Matte Painter in the Animations Industry for nearly two decades. Currently, he works at Walt Disney Animation Studios and was previously at Dreamworks Animation. Eric has taught various Matte Painting classes for several years at various institutions. Some films that he worked on are: Wish, Strange World, Frozen 2, Encanto, How to Train your Dragon2, Kung Fu Panda, and many many more. He has worked as a Matte Painter, Lead, and Supervisor.

Eric Bouffard

Matte Painter


Final Project in the Matte Painting for Animation: Stylized Worlds