2019 | Winter Registration Now Open!

A down-payment of $50 is required to enroll. The remaining balance is due Jan. 4, 2019. Learn More.


Matte Painting and Illustration for Production

An 8-week course that will enhance your matte painting skills and help you apply them to real-world scenarios

Course overview Course overview

Course Overview

Level up your Matte Painting skills

In this course, students will learn the workflow and techniques of digital matte painting for production that Nick Hiatt has gained over the past 15 years as a matte artist. Students will break down matte painting basics such as lighting, perspective, composition, weather, and atmospheric effects. This course covers the latest techniques and workflows in today’s production environment, such as 3D scene layout, 3D kit bashing, camera projection, working with a plate, and utilizing photographic reference. There will be a brief overview of the history of matte painting, and the ways in which this art form has changed over the years to meet the demands of fast production deadlines. Each week, this course will cover a new topic and lesson about using different techniques and tools that will give you a competitive advantage in the production environment. Want to learn how to matte paint like a Norse God? Then this is the course for you!


Course Format:   Standard
Lecture Type:   Pre-recorded
Feedback:   Individual Recordings
Duration:   8 weeks
Assignment:   Due each week. Expect to spend 10-20 hrs/wk viewing lectures, q&a, and time on assignments.
Q&A:   Once a week
Materials:   Computer, Adobe Photoshop, Graphic tablet/Cintiq (or equivalent)
Skills level:   Intermediate to Advanced
Prerequisites:   Intro to Digital Matte Painting (recommended);Fundamental knowledge of Photoshop; basic 3D modeling,

Environment design WHAT YOU’LL LEARN

What you'll learn

The more you know, the better.

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Photoshop Basics & Resolution | Colorspace | Bit depth | Grain |Blending Modes | What not to do | Layer Organization | File Sharing | Light and Weather | Reference Library & Copyrights
Stitching Photo Plate | Plate Prep and Layer Build | Adding Vegetation | Setting up a Mood and Lighting with a sky
Kit Bashing in 3d | Kit Bashing in Photoshop | Rendering and Lighting | Working with 3D Render Passes
Weather and Lighting | Explore workflow for time of day change | Eye Direction Control
Intro to Camera Projection | Plate Prep and Atmo Levels | Blocking out Concept
Transforming Concept art into Matte Painting | Element selection | Atmo levels | Layer Breakout for Camera Projection
Do’s and Don'ts of Camera Projection | Limitations and Benefits | Projection Patches | Projection Settings
Final Delivery Specs | Production workflows | Portfolio Discussions | Networking Discussions | Reference Managing | Future Expectations | Grow and DOMINATE!

Taking your skills, to the next level

Lectures by Nick Hiatt

Nick Hiatt is an Art Director, Matte Painter and Concept Artist based out of Los Angeles California. He began his career working with such Visual Effects studios as Digital Domain, Bad Robot, Disney and Sony Imageworks. Nick currently owns a Visual Effects studio that specializes in Matte Painting, Concept Art and 3d Environments. Nick has worked on a range of projects such as Star Wars, Thor, Star Trek, Destiny, Call of Duty, Halo and Lord of the Rings to name a few.


January 28th!

winter TERM Registration

Nov 5, 2018 - Feb 1, 2019




January 28th!

* Between now and December 31st, accepting only $50 seat reservations. Remaining amount will be due January 4, 2019. More info at checkout.

Pricing & Schedule

Even though our courses are the most affordable for the quality of education.

These Finance Options allow you to focus on your goals instead of the barriers that keep you from reaching them.

Employer Reimbursement

Animation Guild CSATTF

Payment Plan

Companies that hire our students

  • Naughty Dog
  • Luma Pictures
  • Google
  • EA Games
  • DreamWorks Animation
  • Blizzard Entertainment

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