Mind-Blowing Matte Paintings From Classic Movies

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Before 3D modeling came along, filmmakers had to rely on simpler means to give the illusion of a lavish set: paint. To create a dystopic city or elegant hall without spending the entire budget on a physical set, matte painters would create impeccably detailed backgrounds for the characters to look out into or even directly interact with. Reddit user Rowsdower_Rowsdower put together a compilation of some of the best photorealistic landscapes from classic films, many including photos of the artists at work. Here are some of our favorites from the collection.

Batman, 1989

Citizen Kane, 1941

The Wiz, 1978

Dick Tracy, 1990

Earthquake, 1974

Ben Hur, 1959

Planet of the Apes, 1968

Raiders of the Lost Ark, 1981

Mary Poppins, 1964

The Greatest Story Ever Told, 1965

Ghostbusters II, 1989

Vertigo, 1958

The Sting, 1973

Torn Curtain, 1966

The Empire Strikes Back, 1980

Return of the Jedi, 1983