Ballistic Publishing Artist Profiles show all

Alp Altiner's career as an artist has led him to work at such pre-eminent companies such as Todd McFarlane, Image Comics, Top Cow Productions, Marvel, DC Comics, Digital Domain, Morgan Creek, Illusion Arts, Hydraulx and Engine Room. Alp is currently a freelance visual effects and visual development artist specializing in concept art, matte painting and 3D modeling, texturing and lighting work for film, television and video games. Alp Altiner’s work is seen in ‘The Exorcist', ‘Van Helsing', ‘The Day After Tomorrow', ‘The Notebook', a NASCAR TV Spot, Crystal Geiser, a Tori Amos music video and ‘BloodRayne II'.

Alp Altiner is a featured author in Ballistic Publishing’s latest tutorial book title d’artiste: Matte Painting. d’artiste: Matte Painting is the authoritative book dedicated to showcasing and teaching the skills behind the art of digital matte painting. Leading Hollywood matte painters Alp Altiner, Dylan Cole and Chris Stoski bring readers through the matte painting techniques used to create breathtaking, photo-realistic sets and backdrops for film, television and video games. d’artiste: Matte Painting is now available from Ballistic Publishing or its resellers worldwide. More>

We speak to Alp Altiner about his career as a matte painter, and what it takes to be a digital matte painter today.

Alp Altiner started drawing at a very early age. Having both parents as working artists, bought various art, and ‘how-to-draw’ type books while growing up. “My dad got me an issue of ‘Spiderman’ when I was around eleven,” remarks Altiner. “That’s when things really changed and I knew I wanted to make a living as an artist some day. Their support helped me tremendously, and I’ve never stopped drawing or painting ever since.”

Altiner studied print design, and multimedia at the Art Institute for a short time back home in Seattle where he grew up, and his first professional assignment was in print design for a local newspaper. As a freelancer, designing the cover, and various interior illustrations.

After multimedia studies he started using computers for all his projects, and also learnt certain programming languages such as DHTML, Java, ASP, and JSP while working for a web design firm as their lead web design artist.

Soon enough Alp Altiner started working in After Effects, and was able to translate his vision both in design and sound in the creation of motion graphics work. At the same time, he started scoring video game conceptual design work, and his first concept designs were several years ago for Monolith Productions, a video game developer in Seattle. “My passion and love for comics led me to take a break from the digital media for a while”, says Altiner, “and when I started getting professional work in comics, I worked in that field for couple of years for publishers such as Todd Mc Farlance, DC, Marvel, Top Cow Productions, and many others.”

Altiner learned a tremendous amount of traditional skills while working in comics from some of the best artists, such as Todd Mc Farlane, Marc Silvestri, Jim Valentino, and various others, which today is helping him with his daily work in conceptual design, not only environments, but characters, general drawing and sketching skills. Besides penciling, and inking, Alp’s first digital work also was done while working in comics, which was the coloring of comic book pages using Photoshop. “After comics, going back into the digital field,” says Alp, “and being introduced to the Wacom tablet was the time I knew what I wanted to do for the rest of my life—draw and paint for a living! I started getting heavy work in the video game field as a concept artist, and started digitally painting on a daily basis. After learning more and more about matte paintings through the Internet, books, and movies, I decided to quit my day job and take some time off to put a portfolio together.”

Altiner sacrificed many months to stay at home to work on his demo reel. After gathering together some new paintings, he began sending his reel to various studios, and very shortly after was offered a matte painting job at Digital Domain!

Earlier on, Altiner used programs such as Photoshop, After Effects, Illustrator, Flash, Director, and others while working as a multimedia artist but never had any 3D software training/experience. Starting work in film, he was surrounded by unbelievably talented 3D artists, and he started showing more interest in CG, and eventually got into it. Altiner's very first CG work was building 3D models, and creating textures for the film ‘Van Helsing'. Not bad at all.

“I currently use Photoshop, Painter, Maya, ZBrush, Shake, and After Effects for my visual effects work,” says Alp. “I mostly use Photoshop and Painter for conceptual design work/2D matte paintings, and Maya for all my modeling, texturing, and lighting related CG work. I'm also getting into ZBrush for various projects.”

Syd Dutton gave Alp Altiner a matte painting position to join the team at Illusion Arts, where he did many conceptual and matte paintings for the movie ‘Van Helsing', as well as other projects. He was introduced for the first time to many original oil paintings done on glass. “It was the most unbelievable feeling seeing these giant paintings done in oils by some of the best painters such as Al Whitlock, Mr. Dutton himself, Rob Stromberg, and Bob Scifo. Believe me, it makes a huge difference seeing these original paintings in person!”

While working at Illusion Arts, Syd Dutton taught Alp the thinking process behind painting photo-realistically, and how to create the illusion of reality both digitally as well as in traditional oil paintings. He also shared many traditional painting techniques with Alp, and how to capture things in the world with a matte painter's eye. “I soon after started painting in oils on my lunch breaks,” he says, “and my passion for matte paintings grew limitless, and I was hungry to learn more, and more.”

“The painting skill certainly grows with how hard you work,” Alp admits, “and how much time you invest in practicing and studying in your free time. Eventually I got more involved in CG in general, and started doing various 3D matte paintings, which required me to build various 3D models, and create projections myself to be mapped onto 3D for complicated camera moves. With 2D projections in 3D I've learned many shortcuts and great techniques while working in film productions.”


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