ArtStation Masterclasses 3 Instructor Spotlight: Nick Hiatt
Have you registered yet? The ArtStation Masterclasses are rapidly approaching! Join us on March 11 – 24 for an exciting online learning event where you can learn from top industry professionals and interact with fellow artists.
Masterclass instructor Nick Hiatt is an art director, concept artist and matte painter who has worked on a range of projects such as Star Wars, Thor, Star Trek, Destiny, Call of Duty, Halo and Lord of the Rings, just to name a few. Based out of Los Angeles, he currently owns his own Visual Effects studio and recently started The Terrain Domain, a company that uses a mix of photogrammetry techniques to create 3D Terrain Scans.
Masterclass: Re-creating Moments in History
In this class, Nick will demonstrate his workflow for re-creating great moments in human history using a range of 2D and 3D techniques.
What inspired you to pursue a career in art?
I have always been drawn to art since I was a little kid. I never really thought about it as a career until I was about to graduate high school and knew that a normal job wasn’t for me. The military was my first choice but I had a lucky encounter one night that changed my future forever.
I saw an old 3D animation video that was created as eye candy for people at raves / parties and when I saw the credits roll it just sorta hit me… “Wow, I could get a job doing that I have a computer and I love to draw”. I haven’t looked back since that day. I guess my future was either the Pen or the Sword and on this round I chose the Pen.
Tell us about one of your most valuable learning experiences.
This is a hard one to lock down. I have learned so much in my career and I’m still learning something new each day. I grew up on a farm so hard work was never something that bothered me, especially since sitting in front of a computer is infinitely easier than plowing fields. I think the most valuable lesson to me was truly committing yourself to your craft. When I researched and got to meet artists that I admired, they all had one thing in common: they were committed to their work. I think was maybe the most impactful for me early on in my career.
What is one thing that people can look forward to in your upcoming Masterclass?
I cover a lot of ground in this course exploring multiple softwares and workflows. I would think the big takeaway will be using multiple tools and software to create your finished piece. There are different tools for different jobs, so having a diverse skillset and tool kit is really helpful, especially in a production environment when you never know what you will be asked to create next.
What is something about working in films you think most people don’t realize?
The long hours and tight deadlines of a production environment is something that I didn’t anticipate while I was in art school. This is why you need to train and stay up to date on the latest software advances so you can streamline your process and take advantage of time saving workflows. An artist is only as good as their tools and a production is only as fast as its slowest artist…. so don’t be that person. I have seen artists with way more experience and skill get outperformed by younger artists who took advantage of advancements in technology and software. Be that person!
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