The Invisible Art

I stumbled across The Invisible Art a few weeks ago. The book outlines a comprehensive history of matte painting in film. Matte painting is a hyperrealistic painting of a environment or object that is composited into a motion picture image to provide additional or fantastic sceneographic design (see wikipedia ). The matte painting work is so skillfully done that it is seamlessly integrated into the film.

The book is a bit of a dry read unless you are really into filmmaking or production design but it is interesting to flip through in order to trace the history and, most importantly perhaps, see examples from well-known scenes in a number of films that leave you going: "That was a painting?"

With digital technologies we take this skill for granted. I wonder if these painters worry about their careers in the same way that poster artists do?
gregory turner-rahman