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Thomas van der Heiden
Thomas van der Heiden
Visual Problem Solving - NFT Artist - Web3 Enthusiast
Austin, United States

Summary

I'm an Artist and Designer fascinated by interactive experiences especially when it comes to Augmented and Virtual Reality. Recently Web3 and NFT technology has really been grabbing my interest!
Let's go to the Metaverse!

My experience working with AR/VR technologies started in 2009 when I joined the Concept Lab team at LEGO. Concept Lab was a prototyping and concept team working to develop products with an emphasis on exploring future technology and markets and was already heavily involved with Augmented Reality at the time.

During the following fourteen years I had the pleasure and opportunity to work with major brands such as Apple, LEGO, Hasbro, and Zynga in addition to augmented reality companies like Metaio and Visionaries 777; helping them push the boundaries of exciting new technologies!

Some of my skills include:
- Team building with a deep interest in empowering fellow artists
- Team management and cross functional collaboration.
- Fluency in major design software such as Photoshop and After Effects.
- Strong traditional art foundation and training.
- Proficiency with major 3D software packages such as Maya, MODO, Quixel, and VRED.
- Prototyping and developing content in Unity and Unreal.
- Able to quickly adapt and learn new style guides, software, and workflow pipelines to meet the specific needs that may arise during production.

Skills

Art DirectionConcept ArtConcept DesignMotion Graphics3D ModelingUI DesignProduct DesignVisual DevelopmentTeam ManagementUX DesignAugmented RealityVirtual RealityTeam building

Software proficiency

Photoshop
Photoshop
After Effects
After Effects
Illustrator
Illustrator
Quixel Suite
Quixel Suite
SketchUp
SketchUp
Maya
Maya
Modo
Modo
VRED
VRED
Unity
Unity
Character Creator
Character Creator
NFT
NFT
Smartsheets
Smartsheets
DAZ Studio
DAZ Studio
Marmoset Toolbag
Marmoset Toolbag
Ableton Live
Ableton Live
Jira
Jira
Shotgun
Shotgun
perforce
perforce
excel
excel
GIT
GIT

Productions

  • Unnamed 56
    • Mobile Game
      Harry Potter: Puzzles and Spells
    • Year
      2020
    • Role
      Senior Concept Artist
    • Company
      Zynga
  • 246x0w
    • Video Game
      Zynga Poker
    • Year
      2020
    • Role
      Outsource Manager / Senior UX Designer
    • Company
      Zynga
  • En portalracers topimg
    • Video Game
      LEGO Portal Racers
    • Year
      2015
    • Role
      Lead Artist
    • Company
      Metaio

Experience

  • Art Director at Concept Art House
    Austin, United States of America
    June 2022 - Present

    I'm an Art Director working on exciting new web3 brands and IPs in addition to innovative NFT projects!

  • Outsource Manager at Zynga
    Austin, United States of America
    September 2020 - May 2022

    I'm an Outsource Manager working with multiple external vendors to help create exciting content for our Games.

    My responsibilities include:

    - Onboard new Vendors and Artists.

    - Create Test Material and ramp up new Vendors.

    - Create Specs, Templates, and Styleguides to assist the external artists.

    - Oversee the creation of 2D and 3D content and provide feedback and guidance.

  • Senior UX Designer at Zynga
    Austin, United States of America
    July 2019 - April 2021

    I worked on the Poker team to help update the current UX framework from NGUI to UGUI with a AAA workflow.

    My daily responsibilities included working directly in Unity to build the interface scenes and prefabs including any required animation states and updating any art assets as needed. Along with working closely with Engineers to make sure that implementation goes smoothly.

  • Senior Concept Artist at Zynga
    San Francisco, United States of America
    December 2017 - July 2019

    I led a team of concept artist to develop an ambitious unannounced mobile game.

    On top of creating Concept Art, 3D models, and Visual Development; my daily responsibilities included creating and optimizing the concept development pipeline, overseeing outsourced art assets, and making sure our internal and external art teams are properly equipped to function at peak performance with accurate spec templates and support materials while mentoring newly on-boarded artists.

    Additionally I work closely with the developers and technical artist to guarantee a very high level of visual fidelity while maintaining optimum performance across a wide range of mobile platforms.

  • Senior Concept Artist - Special Projects Group at Apple
    Cupertino, United States of America
    June 2015 - May 2017

    I was in Special Project Groups working cross functionally helping multiple teams create over 50 projects and prototypes often under very tight deadlines and restrictions.

    Some of my responsibilities involved:

    - Working closely with Producers, Engineers, & Developers to help with visual development for video, software, and hardware by creating concept art & illustrations of personal electronics, characters, props, vehicles, environments, and UI implementation

    - Storyboarding, keyframing, and creating animatics for animation and live action video footage to help teams explore both physical and digital user experiences of hardware and software

    - Modeling and texturing 3D models and UI assets and implementing them in game engines to build immersive and compelling experience prototypes

  • Lead Artist at Metaio
    San Francisco, United States of America
    February 2014 - June 2015

    I was Lead Artist and Interaction Designer working in collaboration with LEGO and Intel to create an Augmented Reality Game utilizing Metaio’s proprietary software and Intel’s REALsense camera.

    My responsibilities involved working closely with LEGO designers, Metaio Developers, and Intel Engineers creating Concept Art, 3D models, and textures of in game assets such as characters, vehicles, props, obstacles, and environments. Additionally, I storyboarded game loops and menu flows along with generating all in-game UI assets and Menus.

    In addition to developing LEGO Portal Racers, I created augmented reality apps working directly with the clients, UI artists, and developers to create pitch material, concept art, storyboards, and UI assets to develop and implement robust user experiences while also helping create 3D models and textures for prototype demos utilizing internally developed proprietary augmented reality technology and software.

  • Senior Concept Artist at Visionaries 777
    Hong Kong, Hong Kong
    October 2011 - May 2015

    My responsibilities were to work with clients and developers to prototype interactive experiences through concept art, storyboarding, and creating final 2D and 3D assets to be implemented into various AR / VR apps, games, and experiences.

    Clients included:

    LEGO, Volar, Qualcomm, Clockenflap, Le French May, Valerie Collective, Kavinsky, and Naoma

  • Senior Concept Artist at LEGO
    Los Angeles, United States of America
    January 2013 - March 2015

    Project: LEGO Fusion 2013-2014

    The LEGO Fusion line was a series of award-winning augmented reality games that mixed physical and digital play and was developed by LEGO in collaboration with Visionaries 777 and Qualcomm.

    My responsibilities included creating concept art and pitch material in addition to working directly with the developers and toy designers to design game loops and play features.

    Projects: LEGO ELVES 2013-2015

    My role on LEGO Elves involved working directly with the Art-Director and Producer to create concept art, key visuals, and graphic design along with writing and storyboarding to effectively pitch, focus test, and launch a new line of constructible toys.

    In two years we successfully launched a top selling toy line for the girls market with 10 new LEGO sets, a two-part animated special for the Disney Channel, along with generating a ton of in-store and online marketing materials and TV commercials.

    With the success of the first years line, we were asked to follow up with a second year consisting of an additional 10 LEGO sets.

  • Concept Designer at LEGO
    Billund, Denmark
    September 2009 - June 2012

    Project: Future Lab 2009-2010

    Future Lab was a team exploring products and experiences with an emphasis on future technology. I got a chance to explore and experiment with early augmented reality technology to prototype and develop possible product opportunities.

    Project: LEGO Games 2010-2012

    LEGO Games was a product line of constructible board games that was initially developed within Future Lab but after launching to critical acclaim including multiple Game of the Year awards, was spun off into its own team. My role on the team was to wear many hats to create and develop board games including acting as a product and interaction designer by designing the physical sets, creating the game and rule structure but also to act as concept artist by storyboarding and creating concept art for internal pitches and Kids test, along with commercials and other marketing content.

    My primary task was to develop the LEGO Heroica board game line which was a fantasy roleplaying IP consisting of 6 individual board game sets, a card game, and an animated comic. Although I also helped develop many more projects including those involved with franchises beloved the world over including Star Wars, Harry Potter, The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, and Phineas and Ferb.