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Matte Painting | June

Monday, July 12th, 2010 | Posted by Sanaa Khan

The 5 Fugitives of the Shoalin Temple

Dengfeng, China 1732

The air is humid, and the sun is disappearing through the purple haze of the horizon. The wind is picking up, carrying the leaves and the smell of the young forest up in the air. The stone on the ground is very soft, reflecting centuries of people walking by. There is not much around to see at this altitude but mountain peaks poking through the cloud layer. Everything is dead quiet.

The sun doesn’t have much time left. Blood shut red, boiling, descending slowly. All the monks are waiting patiently, on their knees, praying. Tonight, there will be blood. It’s not the first time the Temple of Shaolin gets attack by the Emperor’s troops. In the distance, we see the dust being kicked up by the troop’s fierce upcoming. The clouds are getting darker and the spirits are awakened. The clouds are starting to take shape around the temple as what appear to be the five claw dragon, it’s the son of heaven. This giant cloud made dragon, snaking around the temple in wind blasts, leaves and debris flying around, it’s almost impossible to see. Five monks are now standing, waiting in fighting stance, eyes closed. The first fire arrow is fired from the troops. The Temple caught fire. With this wind, the temple doesn’t stand a chance.

One of the Emperor’s samurai knight is charging towards the first standing monk. The monk is standing still, eyes closed. Both, the samurai and its horse are fully armored, charging, focused, no fear. The samurai’s ten-foot spear is pointing at the monk, trying to maintain an accurate target with the horse running full speed. The monk’s left hand is starting to point towards it’s opponent. Left forearm block to miss lead the spear, the monk leans in full weight forward and palm hit the horse’s chest with his right arm. Fluid like water, the impact of a brick wall. The shock wave blows a circle of dust of five meters in circumference. With all of its momentum, the horse rotate mid air and lands of its back, crushing the samurai knight with its thirteen hundred pounds of exhausted flesh.

The fight went on until the lasting five monks decided to retreat in intent to protect the very last bits of information about their culture that didn’t get burned by the fires, which was their own personal knowledge, stored in their mind and souls.

CGC Matte Painting guidelines | The 5 Fugitives of the Shoalin Temple

The matte painting is an establishing shot of the Shaolin temple at dawn. In the distance we see mountain peaks poking out of the cloud layer. In the clouds we read what appear to be the son of heaven, the five claw Chinese dragon, snaking its ways around the temple and the mountains.

1) We must be able to read the Son of heaven’s dragon shape in the clouds. The dragon, in its spiritual form, is made of clouds and wind.

2) The aspect ratio of your final image should be: The same as the one used in Crouching Tiger…

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