Atlantis the Lost Continent (1961)

Director: George Pal
Cinematography : Harold E. Wellman
Art Direction : George W. Davis / William Ferrari
Makeup Department: William Tuttle
Special photographic Effects: A. Arnold Gillespie /Robert R. Hoag
Matte painting supervisor:Lee LeBlanc
Matte artist: Matthew Yuricich
Visual effects (animation) Project unlimited: Wah Chang / Jim Danforth/ Gene Warren

Matte paintings made at MGM matte department under Lee LeBlanc.

Atlantis1 Atlantis2 Atlantis3 Atlantis4 Atlantis5

That was a reused matte painting of the Roman circus painted by Peter Ellenshaw for Quo Vadis? (1951) It was also a MGM film, so they just add the triangle hole painting on the floor.

Atlantis6b Atlantis7 Atlantis8

Miniatures  made by Arnold Gillespie unit.

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Mutant creature makeup by William Tutle.



La Guerra Gaucha (1942)

Director: Lucas Demare
Cinematographer: Bob Roberts
Production Designer: Ralph Pappier
Matte painting: Ralph Papier


The landscape on the upper  part over the cannon was painted on glass.


Pappier painted several  cloudy skies for that war-epic film.

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Germany VFX. Mattes and miniature tricks

Germany film Industry was, since the early days, a powerful source of creativity and technological advances. Prior to WWII German films possessed a visual uniqueness that was a huge influenced on other countries. Cinematographers and art directors developed lots tricks to achieve fantastic effects required for German directors. Many of those artists and technicians moved from Germany to other countries due to the War.

Glass shots and miniatures were in use at German films from the silent era, but importunely I haven’t found any information about German matte painters. At that time matte and miniature artists were uncredited, and only head of department used to get credit on the films, usually trick cinematographers like Eugene Shufftan.

German Films  with traditional VFX work, mattes and miniatures:

Die Nibelungen: Siegfried (1924)

Metropolis (1927)

Munchausen (1943)

Mahabharat (1965)


Director: Babubhai Mistri
Cinematography: Narendra Mistry/ Peter Pereira
Special Effects supervisor: Babubhai Mistri
Art Department: A.A. Majid

FX artist, art director and director, Babubai Mistri was a pioneer on Indian Film Industry using forced perspective tricks with miniatures or split screen effects.

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Munchaussen (1943)


Director: Josef von Báky
Cinematography: Konstantin Irmen-Tschet / Werner Krien
Production Designer: Otto Guelstorff/ Emil Hasler
special photography effects: Konstantin Irmen-Tschet
Special effects: Ernst Kunstmann
Optical cinamtography: Theo Nischwitz


Foreground miniature painting, probably a glass shot

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The baron gets invisible by means of trick cinematography.


Miniature balloon makes a trip from Venice to the Moon.

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Richard III (1955)

United Kingdom

Director: Laurence Olivier
Cinematography by Otto Heller
Production Design: Roger K. Furse
Art Direction: Carmen Dillon
Special photographic Effects: Wally Veevers
Matte painting: Bob Cuff, George Samuels, Albert Jullion

RichardIIImatte2 RichardIII-matte1 RichardIII-matte3 RichardIII-matte4 RichardIII-matte5Richard III matte6


El Clavo (1944)


Director: Rafael Gil
Cinematography: Alfredo Fraile
Art Direction and miniatures: Enrique Alarcón
Glass shots and Backdrop painting: Enrique Salvá
Glass and backdrop painting assistant: Emilio Ruiz

Clavo1 Clavo2  Clavo4 Clavo5 Clavo6a Clavo7

Not sure if this street view is a matte painting or a foreground miniature. Enrique Alarcon was an expert on the use of hanging miniatures like the ceiling at the image below.




Conrad Tritschler


Born Conrad Joseph Tritschler 1867 in Carlisle, England, UK
Immigrated to the United States in 1923.Died June 9, 1939 (age 72) in London, England

Tritschler was a successful scenic artist working at  British stage theatres. you like it1902

Mr Tritsçhler went to United States of America to work for Richard Walton Tully productions on films like  Trilby (1923) and Flowing Gold (1924)  where  he painted sets and backdrops.

Conrad Tritschler Trilby

Sometime during the late twenties and early thirties he went to work for Howard Anderson Company to make glass and matte paintings.

Working for Anderson, Conrad Tritschler was responsible for White Zombie’: glass paintings, such as the exterior and upper interior of Legendre’s castle. In an interview,  director Victor Halperin once described the combined technical processes of Anderson and Tritschler: “We had sets built up to a certain height  maybe 25-30 feet high, and they worked in and fited in paintings to finish the rest of the interior of the castle where much of the main action took place. You couldn’t tell one part from another. It looked like all interior stone. Individuals walked in the front when they were searching for the castle, and they’d see the castle off in the distance on top of a huge rock, and that was all painted. We saw the individuals move and the waves of the sea in the foreground, so we could combine them in the same camera shot.”



- The Count of Monte Cristo (1934)
- White Zombie (1932)
- Don Q son of Zorro (1925)
- Flowing Gold (1924)
- Trilby (1923)



The Magic Bow (1946)

United Kingdom

Director: Bernard Knowles Cinematography: Jack Asher/ Jack E. Cox Art Direction:Andrew Mazzei Special photographic effects: Philippo Guidobaldi Matte painting: Albert Jullion magicbow1 magicbow6 magicbow7 Camera movement from matte painting to small set. magicbow2mattes Scenic paintings probably by Albert Whitlock who was scenic artist and background painter at Gainsborough Pictures during that time. magicbow02 magicbow03 magicbow04

Lord Jim (1965)

United Kingdom

Director: Richard Brooks
Cinematography: Freddie Young
Production Design: Geoffrey Drake
Director of photography second unit: Skeets Kelly
Camera operator second unit: John Grant
Special effects: Cliff Richardson
Visual effects: Wally Veevers
Matte painting / Scenic painting: Peter Melrose


Miniature work made under Wally Veevers supervision.

LordJim1 LordJim2

Peter Melrose matte paintings.

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Two samples of Melrose Scenic paintings.

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Peter Melrose talked about  his work on Lord Jim at “Little shop of horrors” magazine.

“I met with Wally Veevers while working on a film at Shepperton Studios […] George Samuels and Albert Julion, two superb painters, had recently died. Wally asked me to come and paint the mattes for a film called LORD JIM (1965), and I accepted with some trepidation since the film, being shot in 65mm Ultra Panavision, called for some very exacting work. The first matte I had to paint for LORD JIM was, in fact, the opening shot. It depicted a coast guard tower in the Hong Kong harbour, but it wasn’t quite as straightforward as that since a lot of work on the background to eliminate modern looking buildings was required also. When it was shown at rushes (or dailies as you say), Freddie Young, the lighting cameraman on the film, was heard to say ‘I don’t remember shooting that building’. Wally was delighted that even the DOP hadn’t recognized the shot as a painting, and so, of course, I was in!”

Posted in 60s

Marooned (1969)

United States

Director:John Sturges
Cinematography:Daniel L. Fapp
Production Design:Lyle R. Wheeler
Special Effects:Chuck Gaspar
Visual Effects:Lawrence W. Butler/ Donald C. Glouner/ Robie Robinson
Miniature effects: Terence Saunders
Dir of photography: second unit: W. Wallace Kelley

Rotating Earth painting.


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Cat´s Eye (1985)

United States

Director: Lewis Teague
Cinematography:Jack Cardiff
Production Design: Mentor Huebner/Giorgio Postiglione
Special visual effects: Barry Nolan
Creature supervisor: Carlo Rambaldi
Creature operators: Frank Schepler, Paolo Scipione, Steven Willis
Foreground Minitures: Emilio Ruiz
Model makers: Angel Arriola, Jacinto Soria

Rambaldi creature.

CatCreature CatCreature1 Catcreature2

Carlo with his creature.


For achiving the desired effect they buil oversized set. Director Lewis teague explained why. “Even though extraordinary things have been done with opticals in the recent years they are usually identifiable; audiences are usually sophisticated enough to spot them. In a total fantasy film, you can accept opticals; in Return of the Jedi you know there are opticals so if you identify a particular shot as a process shot, you’ll accept it. But Cat’s Eye, which is a fantasy in a contemporary, realistic setting, I tried to make all the effects as realistic as possible. So I’m avoiding blue-screens and matte shots like the plague.”

CatFangoria fx2 CatsFangoria fx

For the second segment they used foreground miniatures with Emilio Ruiz del Rio.

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Model maker Jacinto Soria working on the building facade.


North by Northwest (1959)

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Cinematography: Robert Burks
Production Design: Robert F. Boyle

MGM FX Department:
Special Effects Supervisor:A. Arnold Gillespie
Matte painting supervisor: Lee LeBlanc
Matte artist: Matthew Yuricich
Matte camera operator: Cliff Shirpser

Sculptor: Henry Greutert
Storyboard artist Mentor Huebner

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Scenic painting used for the United Nations Set.


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Topaz (1969)

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Cinematography: Jack Hildyard
Film Editing : William H. Ziegler
Art Direction : Henry Bumstead
Special photographic effects : Albert Whitlock
Storyboard artist: Thomas Wright (uncredited)
Some images from a VHScopy of the German TV documentary.
1. the plate.


2. the composition with the painting.


3.The image filmed on location


4. The plate with the matted out areas which the painting will be covering.

5. The final image with the painting.


6. The set showing how the columns where only partially finished by the scenic artists.


7. The final image with the painted upper part of the columns, the ceiling and the distance buildings.


8. The Hacienda shot. Everything was painted except the small portion marked on red , even the water which had some animation with little flickering lights in it.


Some more invisible matte shots, painted by Maestro Albert Whitlock.


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Frenzy (1972)

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Cinematography:Gilbert Taylor Leonard J. South
Film Editing : John Jympson
Art Direction : Syd Cain
Matte supervisor : Albert Whitlock

Some images from a VHS copy of the German TV documentary.
The set of the jail.


The plate with the unwanted areas matted out.

The painting at Universal Studios.


Detail of the painting.

Frenzy Jaildetail

The final composition


The other painting that Al Whilock made for Frenzy. The original plate was shot at Pinewood Studios back lot. Whitlock painted the rest , as theCovent Garden market in London.

Frenzy dockpainting

The painting.


Family Plot (1976)

Director: Alfred Hitchcock

Cinematography: Leonard J. South
Film Editing : J. Terry Williams
Art Direction : Henry Bumstead
Matte supervisor : Albert Whitlock
Matte painter: Syd Dutton
Matte camera: Bill Taylor
This is the first painting Syd Dutton made on his own, under Al´s supervision.


Detail of the painting.

Family Plot-76 (detail)

Romania. FX Mattes and ministures.

It has not been easy to find the material to make this section. Romanian cinematography is not very well known out of its own borders.  As in other countries, mattes and miniatures FX were in used during the 40s, 50s and 60s. During those sad post-war years Romania was under the influence of  the U.R.S.S, being part of the eastern Europe. The continent was divided in two and that means that most of Romanian films didn’t make it out of countries under the Soviet influence. Anyway I have found several Romanian films on You Tube and I’ve been able to get some titles and names to make this small site and show some samples of traditional FX on Romanian films.

I have found several films with FX people on its credits. Most of it for composition and photografic effects, and some miniature artists like Enache Harabor  or Pavel Daveschiba. I’ve also get some credits for trick painter which I think could be for matte painting.

The white Moor (1965)

Director: Ion Popescu-Gopo
Cinematography: Grigore Ionescu
Production Design: Ion Oroveanu
Composition tricks: (supervisor)Al Popescu / (assistant) Pascu Davidson
Tricks painter: Mihai Simonis


Dacii (1967)

Director: Sergiu Nicolaescu
Cinematography: Costache Ciubotaru
Production Design: Viorel Ghenea/ Liviu Popa
Tricks composition: Al Popescu (assistant) Pascu Davidson
Sculptor. Enache Arabor
Painting: Mihai Simonis / Aglahia Ciochirca

They certainly had hundred of extras for that epic film, buy I suspect that’s  a trick shot, probably a matte painting.

Rapirea Fecioarelor (1968)
Director: Dinu Cocea
Cinematography: George Voicu
Production Design: Marcel Bogos
Special composition effects: Al Popescu /Pascu Davidson
Painter: Al Mocanu


Tinerete Fara Batranete (1968)

Director: Elisabeta Bostan /Nicolae Codrescu
Cinematography: Julius Druckmann
Production Design: Ioana Cantuniari / Liviu Popa
Scenographic painting:Ludmila Alexandrovskaia
Special effects: Iosif Dragan
Miniatures: Pavel Daveschiva

For the filming of two sizes figures, they used photographic tricks with small character matted in , and in camera perspective tricks.

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Mihai Viteazul / Te last crusade (1970)
Directed by Sergiu Nicolaescu
Cinematography :Mircea George Cornea .
Production Design :Zoltán Szabó / Nicolae Teodoru
Visual effects: Alexandru Popescu
Visual effects assistant: Pascu Davidson
Effects painter: Alexandru Mocanu / Aglaia Ciochirca

Again an epic battle with hundred of extras, but also enhanced with a  matte painting of far away armies.

00 01 02


Veronica (1972)
Director: Elisabeta Bostan
Cinematography; Iulius Druckmann
Production Design: Giulio Tincu
Special makeup effects artist: Barsukov Serghei
Model maker: Pavel Daveschiba
Special photographic effects: Boris Aretki
Scenic effects: Ludmila Alexandrovskaia

A musical fantasy for children, with miniatures, flying kids matted in, foreground miniatures and other perspective tricks.

veronica0 veronica1 veronica2 veronica3 veronica4

MaMa (1976)
Director: Elisabeta Bostan
Cinematography: Ion Marinescu/ Konstantin Petrichenko
Production Design by: Ioana Cantuniari/ Zoltán Szabó/ David Vinitsky
Miniatures: Enache Harabor

Totul pentru fotbal (1982)

Director: Andrei Blaier
Cinematography: Costache Dumitru-Fony/ Alexandru Groza
Production Design: Gheorghe Balasoiu
Model maker: Enache harabor
Photographic effects: Pascu Davidson
Scenic effects: Stefan Maritan


Saltimbancii (1983)

Director: Elisabeta Bostan
Cinematography; Nicolae Girardi/ Ion Marinescu
Production Design: Dumitru Georgescu/ David Vinitsky
Model maker: Enache Harabor
Special effects supervisor: George Aisenberg
Visual effects: Pascu Davidson / Oltita Curta

Foreground miniatures for a fire scene.

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Foreground miniatures for a fire scene.

Flash Gordon (1980)

Director: Mike Hodges
Director of photography: Gilbert Taylor
Production Design: Danilo Donati
Special effects supervisor: George Gibbs
Special photographic effects: Frank Van der Veer/ Barry Nolan
Matte paintings: Louis Lichtenfield / Robert Scifo
Art director-models: Norman Dorme
Special effects-models and skies: Richard Conway


Flash.Gordonmatte00 Flash.Gordonmatte01 Flash.Gordonmatte02 Flash.Gordonmatte03 Flash.Gordonmatte04 Flash.Gordonmatte05 Flash.Gordonmatte06

Mentor Huebner

 Mentor Huebner (July 19, 1917 – March 19, 2001) was a leading Hollywood production illustrator who did storyboards, production art and creative concepts for more than 250 films, including King Kong (1976), Blade Runner (1982) and Francis Ford Coppola’s Dracula (1992).

His early work was uncredited on Fiddler on the Roof (1971), The Time Machine (1960), Ben-Hur (1959), North by Northwest (1959), Forbidden Planet (1956), Quo Vadis (1951) and Strangers on a Train (1951).

As a fine artist, Huebner painted landscapes, seascapes, cityscapes and portraits, creating some 2000 paintings and exhibiting in 50 one-man shows. He also taught art as an instructor at Chouinard Art Institute.


for  full information visit his site.




Two illustrations for King Kong (1976)


Some illustratios for Planet of the apes (1968)

PlanesApes art1 Planet Apes-art2

Illustration made for Blade Runner (1982)


Ben Carré


Born in Paris, 1883, he painted backdrops for Opera Covent Garden and the Comedie Francaise. At age 22, he went to Gaumont Studios where he was responsible for design sets, paint backings and special effects.
At 1912 he went to New York to work at “Eckair Film company”, Two years later he began his collaboration with Maurice Tourner working as art director for 31 of his films.
His career as art director was never an obstacle to his real vocation, painting. He liked painting the bakings and the glass shots for his movies, which drove him to accepted some matte paintings assignments for other movies.
At 1937, he abandoned his art director career favoring his painting jobs. He worked at MGM for years, painting bakings for movies like Marie Antoniette, The Wizard of Oz, An American in Paris or Singing in the rain.
Extract from the book “Architecture in the movies, Juan Antonio Ramirez”


Portrait of Ben Carré, photo by Mark Morris taken in 1972 as he looked out the window to his backyard in the house that he designed.

Portrait Ban Carré

Scanned images from the program booklet of the Thames Television Exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum in 1979 “The Art of Hollywood”.  Courtesy of Mark Morris.
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- Marie Antoinette (backing painting)
- Wizard of OZ (backing painting)
- Singing in the rain (backing painting)
- An American in Paris. (backing painting)
- when a man loves (1926) (matte painting)
- Dante´s Inferno (1935) (matte painting)

art director
Great Guy (1936)
Let’s Sing Again (1936) (as Ben Carre)
The Mine with the Iron Door (1936)
The Black Camel (1931)
The Woman from Hell (1929)
Old San Francisco (1927)
The Better ‘Ole (1926)
Don Juan (1926)
Mare Nostrum (1926) (uncredited)
Lights of Old Broadway (1925)
The Masked Bride (1925)
His Supreme Moment (1925)
A Thief in Paradise (1925)
In Hollywood with Potash and Perlmutter (1924)
Thy Name Is Woman (1924)
What Fools Men Are (1922)
Queen of the Moulin Rouge (1922)
Bob Hampton of Placer (1921)
Dinty (1920)
The Last of the Mohicans (1920)
Go and Get It (1920)
For the Soul of Rafael (1920)
The River’s End (1920)
Stronger Than Death (1920) (as Benjamin Carré)
Victory (1919) (uncredited)
The White Heather (1919)
Woman (1918)
Sporting Life (1918)
A Doll’s House (1918)
Rose of the World (1918)
Exile (1917)
Law of the Land (1917) (uncredited)
The Undying Flame (1917)
The Whip (1917)
The Velvet Paw (1916) (uncredited)
The Rail Rider (1916) (uncredited)
The Hand of Peril (1916)
Pawn of Fate (1916) (uncredited)
Trilby (1915)
Hearts in Exile (1915)

Production Designer:

The Phantom of the Opera (1925) (uncredited)
In Old Kentucky (1919)
The Blue Bird (1918)
Barbary Sheep (1917)
The Poor Little Rich Girl (1917)
La vie de Bohème (1916)
Camille (1915/I)

A Night at the Opera (1935) (associate art director) (as Ben Carre)
River’s End (1930) (set designer) (uncredited)
The Iron Mask (1929) (artist)
The Phantom of the Opera (1925) (consulting artist) (uncredited)
The Red Lily (1924) (scenic designer) (as Ben Carre)
The Wonderful Thing (1921) (set designer)

Set Decorator:
Hot for Paris (1929)
The Iron Mask (1929)
Soft Cushions (1927)
The Boob (1926) (settings) (as Ben Carre)


Henri Ferdinand Bellan


16 June 1897Date of Death1976

Since 1920, when he left his studies in the Vienna Art School and went to work in Berlin, he has been associated with the following productions as co-designer: .’Anne Boleyn’, ‘Sumarun’, ‘Madam Dubarry’, ‘Congress Dances’, ‘Thief of Baghdad’, ‘The Drum’, ‘Four Feathers’, ‘Dark Journey’, ‘Perfect Stranger’-to name only a few.
He also has a great reputation as a scenic artist and has painted the most gigantic tapestries and mural paintings in so short a time as to be considered almost miraculous.

Self portrait of Ferdinand Bellan



1919 Madame Dubarry
1920 Sumurun
1920 Anna Boleyn
1924 Die Wunderlich Geschichten des Theodor Huber (Set design)
1926 Liebe “Die Herzogin von Langeais” (Set design)
1926 Das Tanzende Wien. An der Schonen Blauen Donau. 1 (Set design)
1927 Das Tanzende Wien. An der Schonen Blauen Donau. 2
1928 La Passion de Jeanne d’Arc
1929 Meine Schwester und Ich (Set design)
1929 Cagliostro
1930 Die Marquise von Pompadour
1931 Schachmatt (Set design)
1931 Hilfe Uberfall
1931 Congress Dances (Der Congress Tanzt)
1932 Knights without Armour
1933 The Private Lives of Henry VIII
1934 Madame Dubarry
1935 The Dictator
1935 Les Nuits Moscovites
1935 Don Quixote
1936 Tarass Bulba
1936 Things to Come
1936 Whom the Gods Love
1937 Fire over England
1937 Dark Journey (set designer)
1937 The Return of the Scarlett Pimpernel
1937 Knight without Armour
1937 I Claudius (Mosaic settings)
1938 The Drum (associate art director)
1939 Goodbye Mr Chips
1939 The Four Feathers
1940 Thief of Baghdad (associate art director)
1940 Manon Lescaut
1941 Major Barbara (assistant art director)
1941 That Hamilton Woman
1941 The First of the Few
1943 Millions Like Us
1945 Caesar and Cleopatra
1945 Perfect Strangers (associate art director)
1945 Maria Chapdelaine
1947 An Ideal Husband
1947 Night Beat (Set design)
1948 Anna Karenina
1948 Bonnie Prince Charlie
1949 The Third Man (assistant art director)
1949 The Angel with the Trumpet (scenic artist) (uncredited)
1950 The Mudlark
1950 The Adventurers
1950 Pandora and the Flying Dutchman
1950 Maria Chapdelaine (The Naked Heart in USA) (Set design)
1953 Salome
1953 Melba Director L Milestone
1954 Malaga
1955 Summer Madness (assistant art director)
1956 Alexander the Great
1957 A King in New York
1957 Dangerous Exile
1957 A Farewell to Arms
1959 Holiday in Spain
1960 The World of Suzie Wong
1963 Cleopatra (scenic artist) (uncredited)
1964 Becket (scenic artist)
1964 The Magnificant Showman
1965 The Agony and the Ecstacy
1966 After the Fox
1967 The Honeypot
1966 The Quiller Memorandum (scenic artist) (uncredited)
1967 Casino Royale
1968 Great Catherine (scenic artist)
1969 Anne of the Thousand Days (scenic artist) (uncredited)
1969 The Assassination Bureau (scenic artist) (uncredited)
1969 Where’s Jack
1971 Nicholas and Alexandra
1974 Conversation Piece


Robert A. Woolfe

Date of Birth 26 April 1920, Springfield, Massachusetts, USA
Date of Death1 November 2004, Santa Monica, California, USA (Leukemia)

Worked as a scenic artist at MGM for 16 years under George Gibson, and at NBC for around 18 years. When the studios stopped in house scenic art departments many artists, such as Robert Woolfe, found work freelancing at Amusement Parks. Other than Disney, he was allowed to use his style. He freelanced working for Disneyland, Legoland, Magic Mountain, Knotts Berry Farm, Hershey Park. He also has many paintings in private collections all over the world.

You can find samples and information about the artist on his Facebook site.


- Black Rain (1989/I) (scenic artist)
- “Lidsville” (scenic artist) (17 episodes, 1971)
- World in a Hat (1971) TV episode (scenic artist) (as Robert Woolfe)
- Alias the Imperial Wizard (1971) TV episode (scenic artist) (as Robert Woolfe)
- A Little Hoodoo Goes a Long Way (1971) TV episode (scenic artist) (as Robert Woolfe)
- Fly Now, Vacuum Later (1971) TV episode (scenic artist) (as Robert Woolfe)
- Have I Got a Girl for Hoodoo (1971) TV episode (scenic artist) (as Robert Woolfe)

Delmer J. Yoakum

Delmer Yoakum was born in St. Joseph, Missouri. He studied at the Kansas City Art Institute, Jepson Institute and University of Southern California. His occupation was that of a Painter – Designer – Motion Picture Artist (21 years). Among his many accomplishments during his long career, he painted the Grand Canyon Dioramic Scenery, Primeval World Dioramic Scenery, portions of Pirates of the Caribbean and It’s a Small World at Disneyland. He also painted scenery for movies like “The Shoes of the Fisherman” for which he recreated the Vatican interiors (MGM Studios). He created the city of Jerusalem for “The Robe”, after which he created a fantastic 600 foot cyclorama that backed the safari camp set of “Snows of Kilimanjaro”. Other films he created Dioramic scenes for included “Some Like it Hot”, “The King and I”, “Niagara” and many others. During his term at 20th Century Fox, he worked on every one of the Marilyn Monroe pictures. He also painted a portrait of Elvis Presley, for one of the singers films while at 20th Century Fox. That portrait (like much of his movie studio work), is missing. It is suspected to be hanging at Graceland, but that has not been confirmed.


-The Shoes of the Fisherman (1968)
-Some Like it Hot (1959)
-The King and I (1956)
-The Robe (1953)
-Niagara (1953)
-Snows of Kilimanjaro (1952)


Two images from “The Shoes of the Fisherman”

Fisherman1 fisherman2

Two images of the scenic paintings from The Robe.

RobeScenic RobeScenic2

Columbo (1972)

Director of photography: Harry L. Wolf/Geoffrey Unsworth
Art Direction : Archie J. Bacon
Special Photographic effects: Albert Whitlock

Dagger of the Mind (1972)

columbodagger1 columbodagger2

Étude in Black (1972)


Short Fuse (1972)


McMillan & Wife (1971)

Series creator: Leonard Stern
Cinematography: Robert B. Hauser / Milton R. Krasner /Stan Lazan
Art Direction: Kenneth A. Reid / Alexander A. Mayer /Archie J. Bacon/ John P. Austin
Special photographic effects: Albert Whitlock

Once Upon a Dead Man (1971)

Death Is a Seven Point Favorite (1971)

McMillanSevenpoint1 McMillanSevenpoint2

Blues for Sally M. (1972)


Death of a Monster… Birth of a Legend (1973)

McMillanDeathMonster1 McMillanDeathmonster2 McMillanDeathmonster3 McMillanDeathmonster4 McMillanDeathmonster5

That painting was sold on Internet some years ago.


Cartagine in Fiamme (1960)

Dir: Carmine Galone
Art director: Guido Fiorini
Photography: Piero Portalupi
Costume desig: Veniero Colasanti
Special Effects: Ottavio Mannini/ Giovanni Corridori
Scenic painter: Italo Tomassi

Matte painting: Unknown

Fimed at Cinecitta water tank, scenic artist Italo Tomassi was in charge of painting the view of Cartaghe city.

cartago paint backing

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Huge  background painting at Cinecitta water tank.



The only matte painting on the film. I wonder if Italo Tomassi was also commissioned to do that trick painting.

cartago matte1

¿Dónde vas, Alfonso XII? (1959)

Director: Luis César Amadori
Doir Fotography: José F. Aguayo
Art Direction: Enrique Alarcón
Matte painting: Antonio De Miguel
Scenic artist:Emilio Ruiz
Sets & miniature construction: Francisco Asensio.

Miniature theater balcony with some painted spectators. Some other balconies were cut out to let see some real actors placed far away from the miniature.

Alfonso XI.Miniat

Two matte paintings by Antonio De Miguel.

Alfonso XII.matte2Alfonso XII.matte

Cotolay (1966)

Director: José Antonio Nieves Conde
Doir Fotography: Mario Pacheco
Art Direction: Enrique Alarcón
Matte painting: Antonio De Miguel
Scenic and miniature artist:Julián Martín
Special Effects: Manuel Baquero

Enrique Alarcon design for the hanging miniature.


Foreground miniature of the Cathedral.

Cotolay Maqueta

Another foreground miniature of a chapel.


Matte painting by Antonio De Miguel.



Antonio De Miguel


Antonio de Miguel was scenic artist painting backdrops for many films until he started to work under art director Enrique Alarcón.  For more than a decade he was assistant of Alarcón painting miniatures and mattes from time to time. In the late seventies, he became an art director and although he was an excellent painter he didn’t execute matte paintings for their films, he asked Emilio Ruiz to do it.

Two illustrations made by Antonio de Miguel.

 Ade miguel 3  de miguel 2


1988 Hermano del espacio
1987 El pecador impecable (second decorator)
1986 La mitad del cielo (assistant set decorator)
1986 El amor brujo (assistant decorator)
1985 Los pazos de Ulloa (TV Mini-Series) (assistant decorator)
1983 Truhanes (art director)
1983 Mar brava (art director)
1983 Polvos mágicos (art director)
1983 Pájaros de ciudad (art director)
1982 Muerte en el Vaticano (art director)
1981 Carlota (art director)
1981 Duelo a muerte (art director)
1980 Despido improcedente (art director)
1979 Operación Ogro (art director)
1978 Cartas de amor de una monja
1976 A la legión le gustan las mujeres… y a las mujeres, les gusta la legión (assistant set decorator)
1975 Leonor (assistant set decorator)
1970 ¡Se armó el belén! (assistant set decorator)
1969 Sangre en el ruedo (assistant set decorator)
1968 Un día es un día (assistant set decorator)
1967 Mónica Stop (assistant set decorator)
1967 Oscuros sueños de agosto (assistant decorator)
1966 Cotolay (assitant decorator/ matte painting)
1966 La mujer perdida (assistant set decorator)
1965 La vida nueva de Pedrito de Andía (assistant set decorator)
1965 Persecución a un espía (set decorator trainee)
1965 Currito de la Cruz (assistant set decorator – uncredited)
1965 Samba (assistant set decorator/Matte painting)
1965 El secreto de Bill North (storyboard artist)
1964 Búsqueme a esa chica (assistant set decorator)
1964 La nueva Cenicienta (assistant set decorator)
1964 Como dos gotas de agua (assistant set decorator)
1963 La verbena de la Paloma (assistant set decorator/ Matte painting)
1960 Alfonso XII y María Cristina: ¿Dónde vas triste de ti? (assistant decorator / Matte painting)
1959 ¿Dónde vas, Alfonso XII? (asistant decorator/matte painting)

Ines de Castro (1944)

Spain- Portugal

Dir:Manuel Augusto García Viñolas, José Leitão de Barros
Dir Fotography:Enrique Guerner (Heinrich Gärtner)
Art director: Pierre Schild / Antonio Simont /Francisco Escriñá
Matte painting: Pierre Schild
Miniatures: Jose Maria Moreno
Scenic artist: Enriqure Salvá / Emilio Ruiz

Matte paintings by Schild.

InesdeCastro1a Inesdecastro2a Inesdecastro3a Inesdecastro4a  Inesdecastro6a


The ceiling is probably a foreground miniature built by Jose Maria Moreno.


Skazka o tsare Saltane / The tale of Tsar Saltan(1967)

Director: Aleksandr Ptushko
Cinematography: Igor Gelein/ Valentin Zakharov
Production designer: K. Khodatayev / Aleksandr Kuznetsov
Special Effect camera: Aleksandr Renkov
Matte painting artist: Zoya Moryakova

Miniature ships combined with real sea.


Army of giants arising from the sea waters.


Perspective tricks.

Tsar2 Tsar3

Some samples of matte paintings by Zoya Moryakova.

Tsar saltan Z. Moryakova painting

TsarMatte2 Tsarmatte3 Tsarmatte4

Kamennyy tsvetok / The Stone Flower (1946)

Director: Aleksandr Ptushko
Cinematography: Fyodor Provorov
Production designer: Aleksandr Ptushko
Settings architect: Kh. Uger
Preproduction artworks: Mikhail Bogdanov/Gregor Myasnikov
Special Effect/ Matte painting: Unknown


There are many and beautiful scenic backdrop paintings.

1 3 4 6 7 9

And several composition tricks.

2 8

and of course a couple of matte paintings.

stoneflower1 stoneflower3


Korolevstvo krivykh zerkal / Kingdom of Crooked Mirrors (1964)

Director: Aleksandr Rou
Cinematography: Leonid Akimov / Vasili Dultsev
Production designer: Arseni Klopotovsky / Aleksandr Vagichyov
Make-up artist: Anatoly Ivanov
Second operator: A. Antonov
Most probably the matte paintings were done by art director Arseni Klopotovsky who in addition to his work as a set designer was also responsible for matte paintings and miniatures on many films.

mirrors1 mirrors2 mirrors3 mirrors4 mirrors5 mirrors6 mirrors7 mirrors8 mirrors9 mirrors90 mirrors91 mirrors92

Two giant guards at the palace gates, probably done as in camera trick using false perspective.


Starik Khottabych / Flying carpet (1958)

Director: Gennadi Kazansky
Cinematography: Muzakir Shurukov
Production Design by Isaak Kaplan / Berta Manevich
Visual Effects:
combination shots camera operator: B. Dudov / M. Pokrovsky
combination shots cinematographer: Mikhail Shamkovich
Art Direction:Mikhail Krotkin / A. Alekseyev/ M. Kandat

Art director Mikhail Krotkin is credited also at several films as a special effects artist, so there is a chance he was in charge of the matte paintings tricks.

flying carpet 1956 -0b flying carpet 1956 -1b


flying carpet 1956 -2a flying carpet 1956 -2b flying carpet 1956 -2c flying carpet 1956 -4

There are some composition tricks to combine different sizes characters. That´s s a very common optical trick on Russian films from that period.

flying carpet 1956 -7

For the football sequence, they used a huge backdrop painting for the stadium stands and the public.

flying carpet 1956 -6 flying carpet 1956 -6b


Kompozitor Glinka / Man of Music (1953)

Director: Grigori Aleksandrov
Cinematography: Eduard Tisse
Art Direction: Aleksei Utkin
Special Effects: Grigori Aizenberg (combination scenes photographer)
Matte painting: L. K. Aleksandrovskaya / I. Gordienko / F. Krasny (combination scenes designer)

Matte artist assistant: Zoya Moryakova

Extraordinary Venetian miniature with pyrotechnics matted in.

Some frames of the Venetian miniature


Miniature building matted in with combibed fire works.

Two more samples of combined shots

Perspective trick with a miniature temple on the foreground
Another view of the foreground miniature trick.

Some samples of matte paintings.


Ilya Muromets /The sword and the dragon (1956)

Director: Aleksandr Ptushko
Cinematography: Yuli Kun / Fyodor Provorov
Art Direction: Yevgeni Kumankov
Special Effects art director: Yevgeni Svidetelev
Special effects cinematographer: Aleksei Renkov / Boris Travkin
Matte painting: Zoya Moryakova

One of the many combined shot used on that film.


A background miniature.


One of the many fantasy characters using his terrific blowing power.

The wind effects of the powerful ogre.

Another samples of the Russian expertise on background miniatures.


The flying-fire-wreathing dragon.

ilyadragon1ilyadragon2ilyadragon3 ilyadragon4

Two matte paintings of distant city walls.


Zolushka / Cindarella (1947)

Director: Nadezhda Kosheverova, Mikhail Shapiro
Cinematography: Yevgeni Shapiro
Art Direction: Nikolai Akimov / Isaak Makhlis
Special Effects:
A. Alekseyev …. special effects designer
Vitali Chulkov …. special effects operator (as V. Chulkov)
Boris Gorbachyov …. special photographic effects (as B. Gorbachyov)
Mikhail Krotkin …. special effects designer (as M. Krotkin)
G. Shurkin …. special effects operator

Miniatures combined with real sets on a very naive and fairy tale style.
zoluska1 zoluska3 zoluska4 zoluska5 zoluska6


Nice make-up effect for the human-mouse carriage driver.


zoluska7 zoluska8 zoluska9


Russia. VFX Matte and miniatures

Visual effects artist got credit on Russian films as combined filming artist.  They were responsible for matte paintings and miniature tricks.  Most of the Russian Film Studios have their special effects department usually with a technician in charge of  FX camera operator and an artist for the matte paintings and miniatures.

I have found very little information about these artists and technicians. If anyone has information about any Russian artist of matte paintings or miniatures it will be welcome.

So far I have only a few Russian matte artists, Zoya Moryakova , Natasha Nikitina,  Edward Malikov, Mikhail Krotkin ,   Arseni KlopotovskyLyudmila Aleksandrovskaya, and  Tatyana Nikitchenko

After the Russian Revolution, some artists from this country went to German and France, where they developed a career in the Film Industry. Some of those artists became art directors as Eugene Lourie (hanging miniature expert) and Pierre Schildneck ( who became also matte painter after working with Percy Day in France and later went to live in Spain). Some others like Nicholas Wilke established in France as model makers specialized on hanging miniatures. You can find some samples of their works following the links.

“The same specialization as in Hollywood has been pursued in the Soviet Studios. The special effects department is very important and several young cameramen and designers specialize in “combined shots”, the Russian term for shots using painted or three-dimensional models, rear projection, traveling mattes, and so on. ”
From the Book “Le decor de Film” /”The History of Film design” by Leon Barsacq published at 1970.

The term “Combined shot” is commonly used for special effects work on Russian films.

1946 – Kamennyy tsvetok / The Stone Flower 

1947- Zolushka

1953- Kompozitor Glinka/ Man of music

1956- Ily a Muromets

1956- Starik Khottabych /Flying carpet

1963- Korolevstvo krivykh zerkal / Kingdom of Crooked Mirrors

1963 – Mechte Navstrechu / Encounter In Space

1967 - The tale of Tsar Sartan

Tony Common


Scenic artist Tony Common has been working for British TV and film industry for many years. He painted backdrops for BBC productions with Ken Hill and Eric Critchley. Also executed matte and glass paintings mostly for commercials.


2013- The Blue Black Hussar (Documentary) (graphic designer)
2003- Don’t Look Back! (scenic designer)
1986- Highlander (scenic artist)
1986- Olivia: Soul Kiss (Video short) (assistant art director)
1985- Neat and tidy ( art director)
1984- Company of Wolves (scenic artist)
1979- Alien (scenic artist)

Battle of Britain (1969)

Director:Guy Hamilton
Director of photography: Freddie Young
Production design: Maurice Carter
Special effects: Glen Robinson /Nick Allder/ Cliff Richardson
Optical effects: Wally Veevers/ Ray Caple

Battle01 Battle02 Battle03 Battle04 Battle06 Battle07 Battle08 Battle09

Camera VFX Martin Body explaines that shot:
..this shot was one of Wally’s ‘sausage factory’ shots – ie: stills of the aircraft glued to a large sheet of glass with the background plate duped in the camera. Pass one would have had the aircraft stills front lit against black with just the raw negative stock in the camera (Kodak 5251), passes two, three and four would have the aircraft stills back lit against white with the raw negative and RGB separation masters bi-packed in the camera. Camera moves had to be repeated exactly for each pass on a camera dolly and head fitted with synchronised Selsyn motors operated from a central controller. It was, if you like, the forerunner of the Motion Control rigs commonly used today”.

The Jewel of the Nile (1985)

Director:Lewis Teague
Director of photography: Jan DeBont
Production Design: Richard Dawking/ Terry Knight
Production illustrator: David Negron
Special effects supervisor: Nick Allder
Special optical effects: Robin Browne
Matte artist: Ray Caple

Matte painting illustration by David Negron

Nile illustration-Negron

Mattes by Ray Caple


Chuka (1967)

Director: Gordon Douglas
Director of photography: Harold E. Stine
Art Direction: Tambi Larsen/ Hal Pereira
Special photographic effects: Paul K. Lerpae
Photography: second unit: Irmin Roberts
Matte painting: Jan Domela

chuka002 chuka004 chuka005

That  painting of the Indian camp is reused from the film North West Mounted police (1940)


Thunder in the East (1952)

Director: Charles Vidor
Director of photography: Lee Garmes
Art Direction: Roland Anderson/ Hal Pereira
Special photographic effects: Gordon Jennings/ Irmin Roberts
Process photography: Farciot Edouart
Matte painting: Jan Domela
Thunder-East1 Thunder-East2 Thunder-East3 Thunder-East4

Labors of Hercules (1958)

Dir: Pietro Francisci
Cinematography: Mario Bava
Film Editing: Mario Serandrei
Art Direction: Flavio Mogherini
Dir Fotography FX: Mario Bava
Matte painting: Amedeo Gigli

Two matte paintings by  AmedeoGigli, filmed on location by Mario Bava


Bava was also resposible of  filming miniatures. The image below right is a foreground miniature. The third image is a perspective trick with a man on a rubber suit over a table top miniature, close to camera properly aligned with the far away actor, creating the effect of a gigantic monster.


Sword and sandal Films “Peplum”

 Since the times of silent movies, epic films have been made in the ancient ages. Some of them adapted stories from the Bible or ancient mythologies, especially Greek and Roman.

Hercules, Ursus, Maciste, Goliath, Perseus, gladiators, and amazons, all these characters found their place and their moment to shine, especially in the decade of the 60s on  “sword and sandal” films, also known as “Peplums” or “muscleman epics”

Sword and sandal films (or peplums from a Latin word for a sort of tunic that was easy to make and favored by the costume departments for these films) are a genre of adventure or fantasy films that have subjects set in Biblical or ancient ages, often with contrived plots based very loosely on mythology or history. Most movies are based on Greco-Roman history and mythology, or the surrounding cultures of the same era (Egyptians, Assyrians, Etruscans, Minoans) The greatest productions of this film genre were made between 1958 and 1964.
Hollywood industry made epic films like “Quo Vadis” (1951)”Ben-Hur”(1959) “Spartacus”(1960) or “Cleopatra” (1962). Most of them were filmed in Italy and Spain.

Legions of low-budget films followed the American big epic spectacles, often using the remains of costumes and props.
Most of those cheap spectacles were also filmed in Italy and Spain as co-productions.
You can see miniatures, matte paintings, colorful scenarios, men in rubber monster suits, and some full-size creatures. For today’s audience standards most of these effects look campy, but there are some interesting miniature and matte paintings and also some of the first animatronics monsters, mostly made by Italian artists like Carlo Rambaldi, who years later became one of the most well-known creature makers for films.

This place is dedicated to the Special effects in these movies, usually made on a low budget, but with lots of enthusiasm, and imagination.

- Attila (Pietro Francisci) (Matte shots: Ivor Beddoes)
- Teodora, imperatrice di Bisanzio/ Theodora, Slave Empress(Riccardo Freda)

- Mio Figlio Nerone/Nero’s Mistress (Steno) (Fotografic effects: Mario Bava)

- Le fatiche di Ercole /Hercules /Labors of Hercules /(Pietro Francisci) (Dir Photography FX: Mario Bava/Matte painting:Amedeo Gigli)
- Rebelión de los gladiadores/The Warrior and the Slave Girl (Vittorio Cottafavi) ( Matte shots: Emilio Ruiz)
- Los ultimos dias de pompeya/The last days of Pompeii. (Mario Bonnard) (Matte shots: Emilio Ruiz )
- Sheba and the gladiator / Nel segno di roma(Guido Brignone) (Matte shots: Joseph Natanson)
- Hercules unchained / Ercole e la regina de Lidia/ ( Pietro Francisci) (Dir Photography FX: Mario Bava)
- Goliath and the barbarian /Terror dei barbari/ (Carlo Campogalliani)
- La battaglia di Maratona/ Giant of Marathon (George Tourneur) (Fotografic effects: Mario Bava/ Matte painting: Amedeo Gigli)
- Cartagine in fiame/Carthage in Flames ( Carmine Gallone)
- Erode il grande /Herod the great (Viktor Tourjansky) (Matte shots: Joseph Natanson)
- La regina delle Amazzoni /Colossus and the Amazon queen (Vittorio Sala)(Matte shots: Joseph Natanson)
- Vengeance of Hercules /Goliat and the dragon (Vittorio Cottafavi) (FX animation: Jim Danforth)
- Las legiones de cleopatra /legion of the Nile (Vittorio Cottafavi)(Matte shots: Emilio Ruiz)
- Giants of Tesalia/ I giganti della Tessaglia (Ricardo Freda) (Creature FX: Carlo Rambaldi)
- David e Golias/ David and Goliath ( Ferdinado Baldi)(FX: Carlo Rambaldi)
- Gli amore di ercole /The loves of Hercules(Carlo Ludovico Bragaglia)(Creature FX Carlo Rambaldi)
- L’assedio Di Siracusa /Siege of Syracuse (Pietro Francisci)(Matte shots: Joseph Natanson)
- Salambo /The Loves of Salammbo (Sergio Grieco)
- Il sepolcro dei re / Cleopatra’s Daughter(Fernando Cerchio)
- La regina dei tartari / The Huns (Sergio Grieco) (Matte shots: Emilio Ruiz)
- El coloso de Rodas / Il Colosso di Rodi (Sergio Leone) (Matte shots: Emilio Ruiz)
- Trionfo di Maciste /Triumph of the son of Hercules ( Tanio Bocio=Amerigo Anton)(Matte shots: Joseph Natanson)
- Teseo contra Minotauro/The Minotaur (Silvio Amadio) (Matte shots: Joseph Natanson/(Creature FX: Carlo Rambaldi)
- Atlas against the cyclops ( Antonio Leonviola)(Matte shots: Joseph Natanson/(Creature FX: Carlo Rambaldi)
-Goliath contro i giganti/Goliath Against the Giants (Guido Malatesta) (Creatures FX: Carlo Rambaldi)
-Hercules in the Center of the Earth /Hercules Vs the vampires /Hercules in the Haunted World (Mario Bava, Franco Prosperi)
- Hercules conquest Atlantis /Hercules and the captive woman / (Vittorio Cottafavi)
- La reina del Nilo / Nefertiti, Regina del Nilo (Fernando Cerchio)
- I tartari /The Tartars (Ferdinando Baldi)
- Il gigante di Metropolis /The giant of Metropolis (Umberto Scarpelli) (matte shots: Joseph Natanson)
- Costantino il grande/ Constantine and the Cross (Lionello De Felice)(Matte shots: Joseph Natanson)
- Il gladiatore invincibile/ The Invincible Gladiator(Alberto de Martino) (matte shots: Emilio Ruiz)
- Maciste, l’uomo più forte del mondo/Mole Men Against the Son of Hercules (Antonio Leonviola)
- Maciste alla corte del Gran Khan/ Samson and the 7 Miracles of the World (Riccardo Freda) (Matte shots: Emilio Ruiz)
- Francis of Assisi (Michael Curtiz) (matte shots: Joseph Natanson)
- La schiava di Roma/ Slave of Rome (Sergio Grieco, Franco Prosperi)(Matte shots: Emilio Ruiz)
- Le vergini di Roma/ Amazons of Rome (Carlo Ludovico Bragaglia, Vittorio Cottafavi) (Matte shots: Emilio Ruiz)
- Los siete espartanos / seven gladiators (Pedro Lazaga)(Matte shots: Emilio Ruiz)
-Giulio Cesare, il conquistatore delle Gallie / Caesar the ConquerorTanio Boccia =Amerigo Anton)(Matte shots: Joseph Natanson)
- Una Regina per Cesare/A Queen for Caesar ( Víktor Tourjansky)(Matte shots: Emilio Ruiz)
- Maciste contro i Mostri/ Fire Monsters Against the Son of Hercules (Guido Malatesta) (creature FX: Carlo Rambaldi)
-Vulcano, figlio di Giove/ Vulcan, Son of Giove (Emimmo Salvi)
- Ponzio Pilato / Pontius Pilate (Gian Paolo Callegari)
- Marte dio della guerra/The Son of Hercules vs. Venus (Marcello Baldi)
- Los titanes/ Arrivano i titani /The titans (Duccio Tesari)(Matte shots: Emilio Ruiz, Joseph Natanson)
- Giuseppe venduto dai fratelli/The Story of Joseph and His Brethren (Irving Rapper, Luciano Ricci)(Matte shots: Joseph Natanson)
- L’ira di Achille/Fury of Achilles ( Marino Girolami)(Matte shots: Joseph Natanson)

Maciste contro i Mongoli / Hercules Against the Mongols
- Los invencibles / Invencible seven. (A. de Martino)(Matte shots: Emilio Ruiz)
- Perseo l´invencibile /Medusa vs. the Son of Hercules/El valle de los hombres de piedra (Alberto De Martino) (Dir FX Amando De Osorio/ Cretures FX Carlo Rambaldi/ Matte shots: Emilio Ruiz)
- Brenno il nemico di Roma/Brennus, Enemy of Rome (Giacomo Gentilomo)
- Giacobbe, l’uomo che lottò con Dio/ Jacob: The Man Who Fought with God (Marcello Baldi)(Matte shots: Joseph Natanson)
- Le gladiatrici / Thor and the Amazon Women (Antonio Leonviola)
- L’eroe di Babilonia/The Beast of Babylon Against the Son of Hercules (Siro Marcellini)(Matte shots: Joseph Natanson)
- Combate de gigantes/Ercole, Sansone, Maciste e Urus gli invecibili (Giogio Capitáni)(Matte shots: Emilio Ruiz)
- El valle del ecco tonante /Hercules of the desert (Tanio Bosccio=Amerigo Antón)
-Maciste en el infierno de Gengis Khan /Hercules Against the Barbarians (Domenico Paolella)
- Hercules contra los hijos del sol /Hercules Against the Sons of the Sun(Osvaldo Civirani)
- Ercole sfida Sansone/ Hercules, Samson & Ulysses (Pietro Francisci)
- Ursus il terrore del kirghisie /Hercules, Prisoner of Evil (Antonio Margueriti=Anthony Dawson)
- Ercole l’invincibile/Hercules the Invincible (Alvaro Mancori)
- I predoni della steppa/Terror of the Steppes (Tanio Boccia)
- Maciste nelle miniere del re salomone/ Samson in King Solomon’s Mines (Piero Regnoli)
- Maciste gladiatore di Sparta/The Terror of Rome Against the Son of Hercules (Mario Caiano)
- Il conquistatore di Atlantide/The Conqueror of Atlantis (Alfonso Brescia)
- I grandi condottieri/ Great Leaders of the Bible ( Marcello Baldi)
- Anthar l’invincibile/Devil of the Desert Against the Son of Hercules (Antonio Margheriti)
- Il triunfo di Ercole/Hercules vs. the Giant Warriors (Albert Di Martino) (Matte shots: Emilio Ruiz)
- Una spada per l’impero/ Sword of the Empire (Sergio Grieco) (Matte shots: Emilio Ruiz)

House of Usher (1960)

Director: Roger Corman
Cinematography by Floyd Crosby
Production Design by Daniel Haller
Special Effects: Pat Dinga
Photographic Effects: Butler and Glouner & Ray Mercer
Matte painting: Unknown ( probably Albert Whitlock)


usher1 usher2 usher3 usher4 usher5

Master of the World (1961)

Director: William Witney
Cinematography by Gilbert Warrenton
Production Design by Daniel Haller
Special photographic effects: Butler and Glouner INC, and Ray Mercer ASC
Special effects: Gene Warren, Tim Barr, Wah Chang (Project Unlimited)
Special effects technician: Marcel and Victor Delgado.
Special props and effects: Pat Dinga
Albatros model maker: Howard Weeks
Matte painting: Unknown (probably Bill Brace)
Miniature maker: Jim Danforth
Process photography: Bob Hansard

Master of the World.Matte1 Master of the World.matte2

Master of the World.3Master of the World.5Master of the World.6Master of the World.4Master of the World.2


The Albatross composited over the London miniature made by Walter Percy Day for “Henry V”(1944)

The Raven (1963)

Directed by Roger Corman
Cinematography by Floyd Crosby
Production Design by Daniel Haller
Special effects: Pat Dinga
Photographic Effects (as Butler-Glouner, Inc.)
Matte painting: Unknown. Probably  Albert Whitlock

Raven01 Raven02 Raven04

Some of the paintings were resused from “The Terror” (1963)

Raven03 Raven05


Lawrence Butler& Donald Glouner VFX


Lawrence W.Butler
Date of Birth
30 July 1908, Akron, Ohio, USA
Date of Death
19 October 1988
Lawrence W. Butler is the son of special and optical effects director William Butler. Lawrence began his career working with his father; he then went to work with Alexander Korda in England where Butler did the special effects for The Thief of Baghdad (1940) and Jungle Book (1942) . Following WW II, Butler became the head of Columbia’s special effects department for close to thirty years. Later he was  awarded with  one Oscar for  Marooned (1969). In 1976, he and Roger Banks were awarded a special Oscar for their scientific and technical contributions dealing with “the concept of applying low inertia and stepping electric motors to film transport systems and optical printers for motion picture production.”

Donald Glouner Date of Birth
30 July 1908, Akron, Ohio, USA
Date of Death
19 October 1988
Lawrence W. Butler is the son of special and optical effects director William Butler. Lawrence began his career working with his father; he then went to work with Alexander Korda in England where Butler did the special effects for The Thief of Baghdad (1940) and Jungle Book (1942) . Following WW II, Butler became the head of Columbia’s special effects department for close to thirty years. Later he was  awarded with  one Oscar for  Marooned (1969). In 1976, he and Roger Banks were awarded a special Oscar for their scientific and technical contributions dealing with “the concept of applying low inertia and stepping electric motors to film transport systems and optical printers for motion picture production.”

Donald Charles Glouner was a special effects cinematographer, whose specialties were matte/processes effects and montage sequences. He worked mainly at Columbia as associate of Lawrence Butler, the head of Columbia special effects department. Eventually the team formed the Butler-Glouner Co., an independent effects studio that was in business until 1973. He was awarded with an Oscar for Marooned (1969)
Donald Glouner died July 16, 1994, age 80. He was the younger brother of cinematographer Martin Glouner (1909-1983) and the uncle of Emmy winner cinematographer Richard Glouner (1931-1998).

Butler and Glouner Inc. used very often matte paintings, always uncredited. The only one confirmed (by Craig Barron) is Albert Whitlock paintings for “The Pit and the Pendulum”. Some other matte shot are similar on style and could have been painted by Whitlock.
At some titles Butler and Glouner worked together with FX company Project Unlimited (Gene Warren, Wah Chang, Tim Barr) with whom Bill Brace collaborated paintings mattes. It is very probably that Brace was responsible for the matte paintings on “Master of the World”.

-Thumb Tripping (1972) … Opticals
-Butterflies Are Free (1972) (photo effects)
-Doctors’ Wives  (1971) (photographic effects)
-The Love Machine (1971)Special Effects Company (photographic effects)

-The Dunwich Horror (1970) Special Effects Company

-Hornets’ Nest (1970)  Photographic Effects

-Marooned (1969) (Special photographic effects)

-The Comic (1969) (special effects)
-More Dead Than Alive (1968)  Special Effects Company
-Head (1968) Photographic Effects
-The Ghost in the Invisible Bikini (1966) Special Effects Company
-Ambush Bay (1966)  Photographic Effects
-Pajama Party (1964) Special Effects Company
-Bikini Beach (1964) Special Effects Company (photographic special effects)

-The Comedy of Terrors (1964) (special photographic effects)

- X (1963) Special Effects Company
-”The Outer Limits” (1963)  Special Effects Company

- The terror (1963) (special photographic effects)

-Beach Party (1963)  Special Effects Company (photographic special effects)
-Operation Bikini (1963) Special Effects Company

-The Raven (1963)  Special Effects Company
 - The haunted palace (1963) Photographic  Effects   (as Butler-Glouner, Inc.)
-The Premature Burial (1962) Photographic  Effects  (as Butler-Glouner, Inc.)
-Tales of terror (1962) Photographic  Effects(as Butler-Glouner, Inc.)
-Taras Bulba (1962) (additional photographic effects)
- Master of the World (1961) Special Effects Company
-Pit and the Pendulum (1961)  Photographic Effects

-13 Ghosts (1960)  Photographic Color Effects (as Butler-Glouner, Inc.)

-House of Usher (1960) Photographic  Effects (as Butler-Glouner, Inc)

Alfred Hitchcock mattes and miniatures


Some of the material I uploaded several years ago was in a Free Hosting Service.  Unfortunately, that service is now Closed. Uploading all that material into the new web site is a very time-consuming task and It will be done slowly. The links to those pages are closed. Sorry for the inconvenience.

The  Alfred Hitchcock Files ” VFX, miniatures and matte painting”

Title /  year Company Visual  Special effects Matte painting Miniatures / Scenic art
Family Plot (1976) Universal  .  Albert Whitlock .
Frenzy (1972) Universal . Albert Whitlock .
Topaz (1969) Universal . Albert Whitlock .
Torn Curtain (1966) Universal . Albert Whitlock .
Marnie (1964) Universal . Albert Whitlock .
The Birds (1963) Universal  Ub Ivers Albert Whitlock .
Psycho (1960) Shamley productions -Paramount . . .
North by Northwest(1959) MGM . Lee Leblanc / Matthew Yuricich .
Vertigo (1958) Paramount  John Fulton/Paul Lerpae/
Farciot Edouart/ Wallace Kelley
   Jan Domela .
The Wrong Man (1956) Warner Bros . . .
The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956)  Paramount   John Fulton / Farciot Edouart   Jan Domela .
The Trouble with Harry (1955) . Paramount   John Fulton .
To Catch a Thief (1955) Paramount  John Fulton / Farciot Edouart    Jan Domela .
Rear Window (1954) Paramount   John Fulton / Irmin Roberts . .
Dial M for Murder (1954) Warner Bros . . ..
I Confess (1953) Warner Bros . . ..
Strangers on a Train(1951) Warner Bros Hans  F. Koenekamp . .
Stage Fright (1950) Warner Bros . . .
Under Capricorn (1949)  Transatlantic pictures.W.Bros .  Mario Larrinaga. .
Rope (1948) Transatlantic pictures.W.Bros . . .
The Paradine Case (1947) Vanguard Films-Selznick Releasing Organization Clarence Slifer  Spencer Bagdatopoulus .
Notorious (1946) RKO Pictures Vernon L.Walker /Paul Eagler  Albert Maxwel Simpson ? .
 Spellbound (1945) Vanguard Films
Selznick International Pictures
Clarence Slifer  Jack Cosgrove .
Lifeboat (1944) T.C.FOX   Fred Sersen . .
Shadow of a Doubt (1943) Skirball Productions
Universal Pictures
. ..
Saboteur (1942) Frank Lloyd Productions
Universal Pictures
John Fulton John De Cuir
Russell Lawson
Jack Cosgrove
Suspicion (1941) RKO Pictures Vernon L.Walker Mario Larrinaga  ?
Chesley Bonestell  ?
Mr. & Mrs. Smith (1941) RKO Pictures Vernon L.Walker . .
Foreign Correspondent(1940) Walter Wanger Productions Paul Eagler / Lee Zavitz . .
Rebeca (1940) Selznick International Pictures . Jack Cosgrove
Albert M.Simpson
Jamaica Inn (1939) Mayflower Pictures Corporation Harry Watt Walter Percy Day .
The Lady Vanishes (1938) Gainsborough Pictures . Albert Jullion? Albert Whitlock
Young and Innocent(1937) Gaumont British Pictures . Albert Jullion? Albert Whitlock
Sabotage (1936) Gaumont British Pictures . Albert Jullion? .
Secret Agent (1936) Gaumont British Pictures . Albert Jullion? Albert Whitlock
The 39 Steps(1935) Gaumont British Pictures Jack Whitehead  . Albert Whitlock
The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934) Gaumont British Pictures .. Fortunino Matania Albert Whitlock
Waltzes from Vienna(1934) Gaumont British Pictures .. .. ..
Number Seventeen (1932) British International Pictures Bill Warrington . .
 Rich and strange 
 British International Pictures . . .
  The skin game  (1931)  British International Pictures .. .
 Murder  (1930)  British International Pictures . . .
Blackmail (1929) British International Pictures .. .. ..
 The farmer´s wife (1928)  British International Pictures . . .
The Ring (1927) British International Pictures .  Walter Percy Day .

James Bond Mattes and miniatures

Some of the material I uploaded several years ago was in a Free Hosting Service.  Unfortunately, that service is now Closed. Uploading all that material into the new web site is a very time-consuming task and It will be done slowly. The links to those pages are closed. Sorry for the inconvenience.

  The James Bond Files ” VFX, Miniatures and matte painting”
Title /  year James Bond  Special Effects  Visual effects Matte painting Miniatures
Doctor No  1962 Sean Connery Frank George  Roy Field Cliff Culley .
From Russia With Love  1963 Sean Connery John Stears Roy Field Cliff Culley .
Goldfinger 1964 Sean Connery John Stears Roy Field Cliff Culley .
Thunderball  1965 Sean Connery John Stears Roy Field Cliff Culley .
You Only Live Twice  1967 Sean Connery John Stears Roy Field Cliff Culley .
On Her Majesty’s Secret Service 1969 George Lazenby John Stears Roy Field Cliff Culley .
Diamonds Are Forever  1971 Sean Connery . Roy Field Albert Whitlock .
Live And Let Die  1973  Roger Moore Charles Staffell Derek Meddings
The Man With The Golden Gun 1974  Roger Moore John Stears Roy Field Cliff Culley Derek Meddings
The Spy Who Loved Me  1977  Roger Moore John Evans . Alan Maley Derek Meddings
Moonraker  1979   Roger Moore John Evans
John Richardson
.Derek Meddings ? Derek Meddings
For Your Eyes Only  1981  Roger Moore John Evans . . Derek Meddings
Octopussy  1983  Roger Moore John Evans Charles Staffell . Brian Smithies
Never Say Never Again  1983 Sean Connery Ian Wingrove David Dryer Lou Lichtenfield .
A View to a Kill 1985  Roger Moore John Richardson Charles Staffell . .
The Living Daylights  1987 Timothy Dalton John Richardson . . .
Licence To Kill  1989 Timothy Dalton John Richardson . . .
Goldeneye  1995 Pierce Brosnan Chris Corbould Brian Bishop Derek Meddings
Tomorrow Never Dies  1997 Pierce Brosnan Chris Corbould . . John Richardson
The World is Not Enough  1999 Pierce Brosnan Chris Corbould . . John Richardson
Die Another Day  2002 Pierce Brosnan Chris Corbould . . John Richardson
Casino Royale  2006 Daniel Craig Chris Corbould  Steven Begg . .



L. B. Abbott

Lenwood Ballard Abbot was much more than just a Hollywood cameraman. He was a genius with a camera who became known for his “Trick Shots” and also discovered new types of photographic special effects. Abbott was born in 1908 and began his career as a cameraman assistant in 1926 at the ripe age of 18, becoming a cameraman in 1943 after being asked by Fred Sersen, the head of 20th Century Fox special photographic effects department. In 1957 he became head of Special Effects for 20th Century Fox studios. Even more amazing is he stayed with 20th until his retirement in the early 70′s.
As an assistant, he learned from master cameramen the likes of John Seitz; Ernest Palmer; John Ford; George Stevens; and Henry Hathaway.

He is the man who learned that filming the explosions of miniatures at an extremely fast speed, the size and power look to be magnified. Abbot first used this technique in Tora, Tora, Tora. It won him an Academy Award.
Lenwood Abbott earned 4 Academy Awards and was nominated for another in his film career. He won for Tora, Tora, Tora, Doctor Dolittle (67 version), The Poseidon Adventure and Logan’s Run. The one nomination came for Journey to the Center of the Earth 1959 version


L.B. Abbott receving his Oscar for Logan´s Run (1976), shared with Glenn Robinson and Mat Yuricich) Logan Miniatures.


“Towering inferno” miniatures.

Tower-inferno2 Tower-inferno3

Eugene Lourie

Russian born , Eugene Lourie started his scenic artist career at France. He soon became art director, and got in contact with Paul Minine and Nicolas Wilkie art directors specialized on building miniatures.
He became familiar with the use of foreground miniatures and forced perspective tricks from his early films in France.

1. Hanging miniature for the movie “The adventures of captain Fabian” (William Marshall, 1951)

lourie1 lourie2 lourie3


2. For the movie “A crack in the world” (Andrew Marton, 1965). Eugene Lourie with a miniature of the ceiling.The miniature was built by Spanish constructor Francisco Prosper and Charles Henri Assola, a French miniature maker who worked with Lourie on many films.



Arnold Gillespie

Gillespie joined MGM as a set designer in 1925, a year after it was founded. He was educated at Columbia University and the Arts Students League. His first project was the silent film Ben-Hur, released that same year. He worked at the studio in various capacities until 1962. In 1936, he became the head of MGM’s Special Effects Department.[2] Gillispie’s nickname was “Buddy.”

Arnold Gillespie made use of a hanging miniature to recreate the Roman Circus for the silent version of Ben-Hur. (1925)


A huge miniature of “Jerusalem” hold up behind full scale set to achieve a perspective effect.


Arnold Gillespie into the tank at MGM effects department, ready to shoot ” The Wreck of the Mary Deare” (1959)


Gillespie posed with the jeep miniature in front of his California home in 1974


The greatest story ever told (1965)

Director: George Stevens
Dir photopgraphy:Loyal Griggs/William C. Mellor
Art director:William J. Creber/Richard Day/David S. Hall
Special effects:
MGM FX Department:
Special photographic effects: A. Arnold Gillespie / Robert R. Hoag / J. McMillan Johnson
Matte Photography: Clarence Slifer
Matte painting : Jan Domela, Albert Maxwel Simpson, Matthew Yuricich

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