What Does a Background Painter Do?
Background painters (also matte painters) are responsible for creating backgrounds for animated and live-action films. A background painter may create an entire matte painting, such as a village or skyline, where animation or live action occurs in only a few spots. This requires advanced skills in developing 2D and 3D backgrounds.
Background painters may draw, paint or create backgrounds manually, by computer or both for animated and live action productions. With a strong sense of compositing, design, color, and proportioning, these creative individuals design backgrounds for characters and objects to live in and move through in a natural manner. Some of the different types of software used includes Maya, Photoshop, and Illustrator.
Where Do Background Painters Work?
Background painters work in a variety of environments such as animation studios, film and video production studios, and gaming companies. They may also work in the web design, graphic design or advertising industries.
What is the Job Outlook for Background Painters?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that employment for fine artists, including illustrators, painters, and sculptors is expected to grow 6% for the 2016-2026 decade, which is as fast as average for all occupations. This will add 3,100 positions to the current (salaried) workforce of around 53,400 artists. Background painters working in the animation industry will enjoy employment growth thanks to increased demand for animation and visual effects in video games, movies, and television.
Consumers will continue to demand more realistic video games, movie and television special effects, and three-dimensional movies. This will create demand for newer computer hardware, which will enhance the complexity of animation and visual effects. Additional background painters and animators will be required to meet this increased demand.