Hello! My name is Matt Heiniger. I am a 10 year game industry veteran based in Seattle. I have worked at Handheld Games, Surreal, and Monolith, and am currently employed as a Technical Artist at Undead Labs. I gravitate toward lighting, but also do work with shaders, tools development, art pipeline, effects, and prototyping. Above all, I specialize in versatility. As a Technical Artist at a small team, my day to day tasks can vary wildly between art production, tools development, and technical support.
My favorite production task is lighting. I enjoy the mix of technical know-how and artistic skill, and there's something immensely satisfying about being able to dramatically alter the mood of a scene with different lighting schemes.
Another thing I work on is tools development. I make tools that keep the artists making art, not getting bogged down in process. If the steps for getting a 3D model out of Maya and into our editor takes 5 minutes, that’s 5 minutes of wasted time. There are no artistic decisions to be made in the model export process. Artists should not be wasting their brain power remembering which checkboxes to click before hitting the Export button.
I also do a lot of work as technical support. Most people in the game industry are extremely computer-savvy. We work with computers all day every day. So when the need for support arises, it’s typically for something a lot more complicated than helping your grandmother load up the facebooks. As a Technical Artist, I have strong troubleshooting skills and a large tolerance for frustrating bugs in software that we did not necessarily write. I also have to be willing to drop what I am doing at a moment’s notice to unblock someone else.
In my free time, I enjoy photography. I use a Sony A7ii mirrorless camera and favor my Zeiss 55mm F/1.8 prime lens. Below are some samples of my work. More can be found on my Flickr page.