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Matte Artist Syd Dutton


Born December 1944

Matte paintings are used to replace location shoots and to provide fantastical scenes.
They can range from the mundane to the magnificent.
Actual film footage of actors is later superimposed over the matte and a composite image is created.
At it's best, the matching is seamless.

Matte Images used with permission of the owner of Matte Shot,
a blog on matte artists and their work
HERE

Episode captures by the Treasure Chamber illustrate the seamless artistry of Syd Dutton's matte paintings


Of his years working on Beauty and the Beast as a matte artist, Syd Dutton told us:

 "Beauty and the Beast was one of my favorite television series to work on, maybe my favorite."



Sydney Richard Dutton began his career in the mail room at Universal Studios. While delivering mail, he was introduced to the art of matte painting via daily visits to the studio of veteran matte painter Albert Whitlock.

Fascinated by Whitlock's approach to realism, Dutton began nearly a decade in the department, beginning as Whitlock's assistant matte artist.  Whitlock taught him the basics of painting photographically and how to give life to a painting.

After Whitlock's retirement in 1984, Dutton, along with his colleague, Director of Photography Bill Taylor, decided to buy the department's equipment and formed Illusion Arts with the talented staff they had worked with at Universal Studios. Illusion Arts closed at 2009.  Dutton joined Zoic studios that year.

He is an active mentor to many current matte and visual/special effects/digital artists.

Links

painting glass
Dutton painting a matte on glass
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Syd Dutton works on a Season 1 matte B&B painting

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(left) Syd Dutton (r) and Bill Taylor, partners in Illusions Art
set walls
Set B&B walls, some with mattes attached
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Iconic 'Chamber of the Winds' matte.
Matte sequences were shot on 35mm film, while the rest of episode was videotaped.
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Set and matte painted for it.

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Set and mattes  of  Whispering Gallery bridge

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Matte of the chimney over the Mirror Pool in 'Ashes, Ashes'
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The long staircase - set, lighting and final version 
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Shooting boat scene from 'To Reign in Hell'
This was later superimposed on matte
of underground lake
Episode captures of matte art scenes
gallery
Very dark view of multi-level gallery in pilot episode
ouat
Same gallery later in pilot episode
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Gallery in 'Shades of Grey'
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Overlooking gallery in 'Song of Orpheus'
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Distant view of bridge in 'Terrible Saviour'


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Close up of bridge in 'Terrible Saviour'
 detail

Detail behind bridge in 'Terrible Saviour'
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Bridge in 'Labyrinths'
trial

Bridge in 'Trial'
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Bridge in 'Walk Slowly'

Tunnels and Culverts





brick
Brick tunnel in 'Beast Within'
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Tunnel in 'An Impossible Silence'

3 way
Three way culvert in 'A Children's Story
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Tunnel view in 'Terrible Saviour'
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Another tunnel image in 'Terrible Saviour'
culvert
Culverts in 'To Reign in Hell'
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Signature wet tunnel first seen in 'The Alchemist
bbridge
Brooklyn Bridge in 'Masques'

ny night
NYC night backdrop in pilot episode
pilot
Iconic scene with NYC backdrop in pilot episode
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NYC backdrop in 'A Distant Shore
The Spiral Metal Staircase
ouat
Looking down in pilot episode
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Looking up in pilot episode
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Expanded view in pilot episode
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Looking up in 'A Happy Life'

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Tunnel scene in pilot episode
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Iconic running scene from pilot episode

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Iconic tunnel still in 'Terrible Saviour'

The Stone Spiral Steps
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 'Dead of Winter'
outsiders

'Outsiders'
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Bottomless steps in 'Legacies'


chimney

Chimney over Mirror Pool in 'Ashes Ashes'

The Pipe Chamber
in 'Impossible Silence

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pipes1

is pipes 3

Other scenes


warehouse
Warehouse interior in 'Beast Within'
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Network of steps and tunnels with a pool
in 'The Rest is Silence'


The Long Stone Staircase


fever

 'Fever'
promises
'Promises of Someday'

stairs trih
 'To Reign in Hell'
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More steps and arches from 'To Reign in Hell'
reckoning

Very precise view in 'The Reckoning'
The Waterfall

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'A Happy Life'
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'Remember Love'
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'God Bless the Child'
orphans
'Orphans'
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'A Time to Heal'
The Nameless River
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First view in 'To Reign in Hell'
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Second view, same episode
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More colourful view, same episode

The Abyss
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'Terrible Saviour'
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'Fever'
brothers
'Brothers'

The Chamber of the Winds
from DS
 'Dark Spirit'
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'A Happy Life'
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 'Temptation'

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