Production Design: Testaments of One Fold and One Shepherd (2000)
Here is an example of using matte painting to extend a set and complete shot. As co-production designer I had designed this set, an ancient mayan-style temple facade, with side walls surrounding an inner court area (to hide the rest of Kauai in the background). The facade rose to about 26 or so feet, although the final temple design would appear to rise much higher. Once construction was complete, the VFX supervisor Craig Barron and the folks from from Matte World Digital came to location and took the following photo from a construction crane:
After wrapping principle photography, they then did a beautiful matte painting and set extension from the locked-off camera plate:
BTW the painting is featured in the excellent book, The Invisible Art: The Legends of Movie Matte Painting:
It was a fun and extremely challenging experience for me to design a set I knew would never be finished without the help of VFX magic. Let’s just say I learned a lot about patience and my personal limitations of talent and knowledge. It was an honor to meet Craig, one of the true greats of matte painting, he having painted the famous secret government warehouse at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark, among others.