Heather currently works as a set Extension Artists at Walt Disney Animation Studios in Los Angeles having worked previously as Matte Department Supervisor at Rhythm & Hues on blockbuster films like Life of Pi.
Life of Pi marked her third time contributing to Oscar winning visual effects films in a career that has taken her around the world from Weta Digital in New Zealand to her current home in Burbank. Her body of work ranges from epic studio franchises such as Avatar and X-Men to national advertising campaigns and animated features.
After obtaining her Bachelor of Science at East Tennessee State University in 2002, Heather set off for California to pursue a career in visual effects. Enrolling at the Academy of Art University in the fall of 2004, San Francisco became her new home. During her studies she began an internship at Matte World Digital and quickly became an Assistant Matte Painter.
Over the next four years Heather completed her MFA, and continued her work at companies like Giant Killer Robots, Matte World Digital and The Orphanage. In 2008 Heather moved from the Bay Area to Rhythm & Hues Studios in Los Angeles. During her tenure at the studio, Heather rose in the ranks from Matte Painter to Matte Department Supervisor. In doing so she was able to cross the divide between artists and technicians in order to build and adapt the department to meet new demands, as seen in the Academy Award winning film Life of Pi.
Heather was fortunate enough at the start of her career to be mentored by legendary industry veterans who made the leap from traditional matte painting to digital, and in turn hopes to mentor a new generation of artists to make the leap from 2D to 3D digital matte painting.
“ Im still trying to absorb the great information I learned here. Im visiting old videos and re-reading the forums. ”
“ It was a very rewarding course, I have never had so much progress on a single course before. Besides sharing a lot of very useful content, Heather also gives lots of feedback, suggestions and very objective critiques. ”
“ I just want to say thank you for this amazing 8 weeks, it's been a fun and rewarding 8 weeks. I really appreciate you taking time looking at our progress and replying in depth of where we need to improve at each stage. ”
“ Heather has been an amazing teacher. She's very supportive and her feedback is helpful, detailed, constructive and we got it on a daily basis. Our assignments were fun as well. ”
“ Each video minute was packed with valuable information, I cannot overstate how happy I am with this course. ”
“ Heather is so available!! Thank you so much for answering my questions and advice on my assignments. I never had imagined how good this course course would be! ”
“ I must say after your class I am a lot more comfortable understanding aspects that I used to be lost in. Now I can apply them to my own matte paintings. ”