Farscape Season 1 Matte Paintings!

Well folks.. apologies for the break between posts, busy with work and wrestling with a new oil painting, among other things!

So to make up for the break, here is a collection of old matte paintings that I created for the very first season of Farscape the TV series. This is a blast from the matte painting past! I painted all of these (and more) at Garner Mclennen Design here in Sydney , 1998-99. These were all 2D mattes, no 3D projections with the exception of one. It was myself and our VFX sup who painted mattes with a few juniors having a crack from time to time.

I can proudly say we did not once repeat a matte shot which was the norm for shows like Star Trek etc. We wanted to make sure each new matte shot was unique.



Commerce Planet 1 & Commerce planet 2

Another planet..

The live action plate.. or a portion of it anyway.. for..   The wide matte painting of a ship wreck. A peacekeeper prowler in the fg.

Another live action plate for…  the matte painting. Futuristic trains! Sydney will still be using these old things in 2167!

Not all were hits.. this one was awful! What was I thinking with the Road Runner background?!

Another live action plate for..

.. my ‘Raiders’ warehouse homage! This was another 2D nodal tilt up. That means a 2D move on a 2D image for you young guys. ie If you tilt a camera, or pivot it around the nodal point of the lens, it is effectively like viewing a 2D image, no parallax. I comped this shot in After Effects with cable cars moving overhead and a train/tram car flying through the shot illuminating things as it went by. Sorry.. I don’t have the footage.

Live action plate for.. .. some kind of giant BBQ!

Another damn planet! I did a ton of these..

Big sci-fi type building in the bg.

Live action plate again.. The cool thing about working on Farscape was getting to meet Claudia Black and Virginia Hey occasionally!! 😉

The shit I’ve been asked to paint in my career! Could be worse, it could have been a can of dog food.. Oh wait, I did that too..

Peacekeeper base matte painting for a very early 3D projection. In Alias PowerAnimator..

A panning shot into the base..

Last but not least..


  1. Afeefy says:

    That is absolutely STUNNING work!! From a Farscape fan…….it is seeing the behind the scenes work like this that only further proved to me how great that show was. Absolutely stunning…….

  2. cybergal says:

    Nice! It’s great to see the pieces of art that help put together the feel of a new show. You should be proud for helping to set the foundation to a series that is loved by so many. I thank you for your contribution to the beginning of it all.

  3. PkPatti says:

    Just gorgeous!! I have some prints that Marco Nero did for later in the show, but what fun to be in on the ground floor!! Even the misses were cool… for the fans anyway. 😉 Thanks for sharing with us! =D

    • Ankaris says:

      Thanks PkPatti! The show certainly was ambitious for it’s time and for Australian production. We weren’t sure if would ever get off the ground at times!

    • Ankaris says:

      Thanks farscapegal! It was the most fun I’ve had on a film/TV job other than 5th Element.. LOTR had it’s moments, but for sheer fun, those two projects were a highlight!

    • Ankaris says:

      Thanks Bob.. and yes indeed I did get to meet Claudia (and other lovely cast members) a few of times on set/location whilst doing the odd matte supervision here and there! 😉

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