Taking It to the Matte

In just a few years, digital technology has transformed yet another long-renowned cinematic technique: the art of matte painting. Whether filling out the giant ape's jungle habitat in the 1933 King Kong, Scarlett O'Hara's Tara plantation in Gone With the Wind, or the fantasy landscapes in The Wizard of Oz, matte paintings--traditionally done on glass and combined optically with a shot's live-action elements--have been a part of movie effects vocabulary almost since the beginning. But in the w

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