What software do you use?
I use Photoshop for all my work. For 3D I use Autodesk 3ds Max, for standalone 3D object renderings I use Luxion's KeyShot and for 3D environment development, e-on Vue xStream.
What kind of graphic tablet do you use?
Currently I am using a Wacom Intuos 5 Large tablet.
Do you use any other peripherals in your workflow?
Yes. I use 3D mouse for modeling, it allows me to move, rotate and edit objects in 3D space very quickly and smoothly, giving almost natural feel as if the object is being held in the hand. To be exact, I use 3DConnexion Space Navigator.
What resolutions you like to work at?
I usually like to work from 8K to 15K (8000-15000) pixels, but sometimes I work at even larger scales. I do this so that I can get in there and scribble and paint anything I need to. When it gets resampled down it all comes together and "congeals" nicely.
How long does a typical concept art take?
It is a very wide range. Sketches and concept work usually take from 2 hours to 2 days. Matte painting and 3D modeling work can be from 5 days to 3 weeks depending on the resolution and detail.
What art schools, matte painting, 3D modeling programs have you attended?
I can only speak from my experience and I have not attended any art schools, 3D modeling or matte painting classes. I attended art classes when I was in college, I did Art & Design for almost 3 years. While being great for someone more contemporary art oriented, it was not suitable for someone who wanted to get into matte painting or concept art. Whatever school you look at be sure to look at the instructor's work as well as the students'. A lot of schools have rotating instructors so beware of going to a school for a specific instructor.
Do you have any online tutorials?
Sorry, I do not have any tutorial materials online but, I will have one instructional DVD posted on this site sometime soon.
Do I need to know how to draw and paint traditionally to be able to digital matte paint?
Not necessarily but it certainly helps! There are some people that start out digitally and are fantastic, while conversely there are people that start out traditionally and they are horrible at both! It really comes down to learning the fundamentals and concepts of drawing and painting. You can learn composition and colour just as well digitally as you can traditionally, but you have to be disciplined enough to learn them. Same with perspective, you can learn it just as well digitally but the temptation to cheat is much higher using digital tools. I see WAY too many people who do not know how to use correct perspective without a 3D program. Take the time to learn it the right way by reading books, I can recommend a really good book written by Scott Robertson and Thomas Bertling "How To Draw" , I personally think this book has the best explanation on how to learn the fundamentals of perspective and obviously how to draw.