Old School Star Wars Matte Painters Give 3D Artists A Run For Their Money…
Nowadays, if filmmakers want to take us to an environment that doesn’t exist or one that is too difficult to shoot, they can use the magic of CGI realize their vision. But before the days of CGI, rock star matte painters were getting the job done and done right. Their work, especially on the Star Wars trilogy, still stands the test of time.
World of Oddballs recently featured some of the artists who brought our space fantasies to life.
1. Harrison Ellenshaw
After launching his career at Walt Disney Studios, Harrison joined Industrial Light and Magic to produce backgrounds for Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back. In 1982, he was the visual effects supervisor for Tron and 1990 he returned to his stomping grounds, Disney, to work on Dick Tracy. His father was also a matte painter and both were nominated for an Academy Award for their work on Disney’s 1979 sci-fi nod to Star Wars, The Black Hole.
2. Ralph McQuarrie
The most notable work of conceptual designer and illustrator Ralph McQuarrie, who is undoubtedly the most famous matte painter of all time, were the original Star Wars trilogy, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, and the original Battlestar Galactica TV series. His brilliant work for Star Wars has been published and displayed in exhibitions and many of his unused designs have been used for the animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars and, currently, Star Wars: Rebels. I personally consider McQuarrie to be the next most important creative contributor to Star Wars after George Lucas.
More Jaw-Dropping Matte Paintings On The Next Page!