Matte Painting for Cinema

A course by Koke Nunez
Matte Painter and Digital Artist. Sevilla, Spain.
On Domestika since 11/09/2015
, Matte Painter and Digital Artist

Learn the basic concepts, techniques, and 2D processes to create movie scenes

  • 96 students
  • Spanish with subtitles
Matte Painting for Cinema

Learn the basic concepts, techniques, and 2D processes to create movie scenes

  • Spanish with subtitles
  • Available from April 2, 2020
  • 96 students
  • Online and at your own pace
  • Audio: Spanish
  • Level: Beginner
  • Available from the app
  • Unlimited access forever

Did you know that the art of creating realistic scenarios in cinema has a name? This discipline is known as matte painting. Before programs like Adobe Photoshop existed, scenarios were performed on a set manually or with models. Luckily, this changed thanks to the appearance of digital techniques that provided realism and more professional finishes. Koke Núñez specializes in this technique, creating impossible scenarios and landscapes for films and for world-renowned clients such as Two Steps From Hell, Warner Bros Music Chappell, Immediate Music, and IKEA.

In this course, Koke teaches you how to create matte paintings that can be part of any film production. Get to know everything related to this art form and see how large productions use it. In addition, learn the techniques used, the use of brushes or the lighting, and the integration of elements in the composition. Let’s create a movie scene!

About this course

Course table of contents

  • U1
    U1. Presentation
  • U2
    U2. Let's start!
  • U3
    U3. Let's do it!
  • U4
    U4. Last touches!
  • FP
    FP Final project
See detail

Koke starts the course by explaining his career path, telling you what he is currently doing, sharing with you his main sources of inspiration and summarizing what he teaches during the course.

First, review the basic concepts of matte painting and take a look at some examples. Then, choose the theme of your matte painting project, sketching the scene and composition through with the thumbnails technique. Determine the distances, elements, lights, and shadows in your sketches, or whether it’s day or night. You’re going to be able to access the necessary resources to prepare your scene.

With your finished sketch, learn to choose the necessary resources for each element and separate them using various trimming techniques. When you have the elements separated and clean, it’s time for correction: learn to merge and integrate the elements on stage, and how to correct perspectives, sizes, positions, among other things.

Next up is the color, light, and shadow corrections so that your matte painting comes alive with realism. Learn how to create the atmosphere of your composition with fog and clouds, depth, and brightness effects. Finally, Koke gives you the last tips to finish your piece and achieve a professional cinematic finish.

What is this course's project?

A matte painting inspired by an existing movie. You can choose between Star Wars, Game of Thrones, and Blade Runner.

Who is it for?

Illustrators, architects, conceptual artists, graphic designers, or photographers who love the world of cinema, TV series, marketing, or video games.

What you need

It is not necessary to have illustration or photography skills. However, you will need basic Adobe Photoshop skills: knowing its interface and the different basic tools that the program offers, such as the use of brushes, clipping masks, layers, etc.

As for materials, you will need a computer with Adobe Photoshop installed. Having a graphics tablet will be really useful, although it’s not strictly necessary.

Koke Nunez

A course by Koke Nunez

Matte Painter and Digital Artist

Koke is a digital artist from Seville (Spain), creator of fantastic worlds and impossible landscapes. He studied graphic design, although it was the following years learning self-taught techniques and software that led him to specialize in conceptual art and matte painting. Koke feels most comfortable using Adobe Photoshop, combined with tools like Cinema 4D, Octane Render, and After Effects.

He has worked in the film industry for clients such as Warner Chappel Music, Two Steps From Hell, Audiomachine, and Dos Brains, as well as doing matte paintings for the DivideTv studio, IKEA, and movies.

Koke is currently working on the Matte Painters team at Core Animations, for the animated movie Moomios, produced by 4Cats Pictures and distributed by Warner Bros Pictures.


  • U1


    • Presentation
    • Influences 1
    • Influences 2
    • What will we do in the course?
  • U2

    Let's start!

    • Basic concepts of matte painting
    • Matte painting: how is it done?
    • Choosing the path
  • U3

    Let's do it!

    • The best composition 1
    • The best composition 2
    • Defining our sketch 1
    • Defining our sketch 2
    • Separating the elements 1
    • Separating the elements 2
    • Separating the elements 3
    • Separating the elements 4
    • Architects of a new world 1
    • Architects of a new world 2
    • Architects of a new world 3
    • Architects of a new world 4
    • Architects of a new world 5
    • Architects of a new world 6
  • U4

    Last touches!

    • Kinematic atmospheres
    • Last details
    • Final advice
  • FP

    Final project

    • Cinematic matte painting

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • Domestika's courses are online classes that provide you with the tools and skills you need for completing a specific final project. Every step of the project combines video lessons with complementary instructional material, so you can learn by doing. Domestika's courses also allow you to share your own projects with the instructor and other users, thus creating a dynamic course community.

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  • The courses are divided into different units, each one includes lessons, informational texts, tasks and practice exercises to carry out your project step by step, with additional complementary resources and downloads. You will also have access to an exclusive forum where you can interact with the instructor and other students, and share your work and your course project, thus creating a community around the course itself.

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Matte Painting for Cinema. A Photograph, , and Video course by Koke Nunez

Matte Painting for Cinema

A course by Koke Nunez
Matte Painter and Digital Artist. Sevilla, Spain.
On Domestika since 11/09/2015
  • 96 students