JonJone's Info Dump on Portfolios & Resumes!

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Lee3dee card carrying polycounter
Jon Jones
Hi all! I've been going through 30+ resumes and portfolios and making notes, so I just did a HUGE info-dump on Twitter giving artists advice on resumes and portfolios:

ARTISTS!
Resume tip #1: Including your location is a must. Home address isn't necessary.
Resume tip #2: When applying, specify the job title you're applying for. Make sure it's industry-standard, not something weird or made-up.
Resume tip #3: If your resume is light on experience, I personally like seeing skills up front..
Resume tip #4: It's "3D Studio MAX," not "3D MAX!" Even pros get this wrong, and most don't care, but this drives me up the wall!
Resume tip #5: Only one typeface, and keep consistent font sizes. One resume I saw got smaller and smaller text 'til the end!
Resume tip #6: Since spellcheck won't check most software names, make sure you proofread them carefully.
Resume tip #7: Clickable email and portfolio links in your PDF resume is a great thing to do!


Portfolio tip #1: If all you have is in your folio is classwork, and you graduated 1+ year ago, it looks like you stopped trying.
Portfolio tip #2: I like embedded demo reels, just make sure they're big enough to see! i.e. not 320x240.
Portfolio tip #3: Having an "About" page on CGSociety with your full name and whatever nickname you use makes finding you even easier.
Portfolio tip #4: If you create a character of a different race than yours, ask honest friends if it's unintentionally, hilariously racist.
Portfolio tip #5: Test your portfolio in all browsers and resolutions, especially if you're embedding video.
Portfolio tip #6: I prefer seeing reels on Vimeo instead of Youtube. I just saw a full length softcore Indian porn movie as a Recommended Video.
Portfolio tip #7: A Blogspot page is not a portfolio.
Portfolio tip #8: A Wix page is not a portfolio. Wix is the Photoshop lens flare of portfolio hosts.
Portfolio tip #9: ENVIRONMENT ARTISTS! Dude, EVERYBODY MODELS ANGKOR WAT! Do the temples in Bhutan or something off the wall instead. Be creative!
Portfolio tip #10: Full Sail and Animation Mentor grads -- when you graduate, use a new character model! It's great to learn on, but I see it *everywhere.*
Portfolio tip #11: It's not strictly necessary, but it's always nice to get a Not Safe For Work warning before poppin' out some boobs.
Portfolio tip #12: If you EVER autoplay music, I will find out where you live, burn your house down, and salt the earth.
Portfolio tip #13: You need a website in addition to just a reel, because it's easier to update with new content.
Portfolio tip #14: When crediting people for assets used in your folio or reel, make sure you spell their names correctly.


will keep updating. Very good info!

Replies

  • danshewan
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    Lee3dee wrote: »
    One resume I saw got smaller and smaller text 'til the end!

    This made me laugh so hard.

    Awesome tips - thanks for gathering them together in one spot!
  • Meteora
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    Hm. Well, that throws a wrench into the plans. I use a Wix site because I can't be bothered to learn HTML when I could spend better time on making actual stuff. I may have also gone "overboard" by focusing more on design than your standard Microsoft Word resumes.

    Derp.
  • Jon Jones
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    Thanks guys!

    For portfolio sites, I think Carbonmade is awesome.
  • mazz423
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    mazz423 triangle
    Portfolio tip #4: If you create a character of a different race than yours, ask honest friends if it's unintentionally, hilariously racist.

    Saw this earlier, this one made me laugh.
    I have sadly seen a few unintentionally, hilariously racist characters myself.
  • Oniram
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    Oniram card carrying polycounter
    Awesome tips jon. thanks for sharing.
  • skylebones
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    Those really are great tips!
  • RogelioD
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    Thanks for the tips! Definitely will note!
  • ZacD
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    On Portfolio tip #9: I never knew the name of Angkor Wat, I just figured people did it because UDK did it. Which is stupid because why would you want to make something similar to a example udk level, but worse.
  • dustinbrown
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    Lee3dee wrote: »
    Resume tip #4: It's "3D Studio MAX," not "3D MAX!" Even pros get this wrong, and most don't care, but this drives me up the wall!

    Actually it's "3ds Max." I don't think it's been called 3D Studio Max since Kinetix owned it back in the day. I think Discreet re-branded it 3ds Max and Autodesk kept it that way.
    Lee3dee wrote: »
    Portfolio tip #7: A Blogspot page is not a portfolio.
    100% Agree, I can't stand Blogspot.
  • A-Train
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    Jon Jones you're hilarious!! "If you EVER autoplay music, I will find out where you live, burn your house down, and salt the earth." hahaha

    I'm happy I don't have any of the problems with my CV/Portfolio site on your list so far...at least I think haha :)

    Thanks for sharing this awesome list!
  • Brian "Panda" Choi
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    Brian "Panda" Choi veteran polycounter
    But . . . I made my blogspot super not annoying to use . . . /cry
  • Kaine123
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    Kaine123 triangle
    I don't know if this is the best place to ask, but could someone recommend some good portfolio websites?
  • imbueFX
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    I use a Wix site because I can't be bothered to learn HTML when I could spend better time on making actual stuff.

    Check out some of the wordpress themes on http://themeforest.net/, you can usually find some really good ones for under $20. They are easy to use and require almost no HTML knowledge. Great way to get a nicely laid out portfolio and fast.
  • SolarWolf
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    Kaine123 wrote: »
    I don't know if this is the best place to ask, but could someone recommend some good portfolio websites?


    Yeah I think it could be a good idea to show some great and bad portfolios to see the how-to and how-not-to.

    I once had a collection of hilarious websites to watch on rainy days.
  • Polygoblin
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    Polygoblin polycounter
    You can create a very functional folio website in Photoshop using the web photo gallery option. You can edit all the html outside there, and improve as you go.

    [ame=" cs6 - Exporting web photo galleries 135 - YouTube[/ame]
  • Heather.Hughes
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    Strange, I was always told to avoid putting my location on my resume.

    I like the rest of these. Unfortunately, I'm using Weebly for my website (similar to Wix) due to cost and ease of use right now. Stupid college loans eating all my money. >_<
  • Eric Chadwick
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  • Spug
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  • danshewan
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    imbueFX wrote: »
    Check out some of the wordpress themes on http://themeforest.net/, you can usually find some really good ones for under $20. They are easy to use and require almost no HTML knowledge. Great way to get a nicely laid out portfolio and fast.

    That's true, but there's a lot of crap on Themeforest, too. If you're unlucky, and pick the "wrong" theme, you can end up with ads that are impossible to get rid of, virtually no customer support if you want to make changes (if you don't know CSS, for example), and other issues. I've had some terrible experiences with themes that looked awesome at first glance, so be careful and do your research before you buy anything.
  • A-Train
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    @Heather.Hughes, well Jon mentioned Carbonmade. It's pretty simple to setup, and it's free (there is a pro version that allows larger images). While you're in school you could use the free version though.
  • maximumsproductions
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    I love you and how brutally honest you can be anywhere in any topic it seems.
  • serriffe
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    serriffe triangle
    Portfolio Tip #9 huh... dearly noted. >__<
  • stubs3d
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    So, what would you recommend as a good alternative for portfolios? For people that don't have their own sites?
  • BeefWatson
    Good tips but I think blogspot and wix are fine, just keep it clean and to the point.

    I, as well as many other people I know, use blogs for their portfolios. I'm an environment artist not a web designer, I just want to make it easy for potential employers to see my art.
  • liamdes
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    I don't really see the problem with Wix in comparison to carbonmade, though I don't use it. I personally use weebly for my page design/hosting, but have it on my own domain.
  • slipsius
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    THANK YOU for saying that about WIX. I can't stand Wix. I cringe any time I see someone use that for their folio
  • Sean VanGorder
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    If you're looking for a portfolio creation website, I highly recommend checking out http://dunked.com/
  • Seaseme
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    If you're looking for a portfolio creation website, I highly recommend checking out http://dunked.com/

    Seconded. Was just going to post this when good ole SVG beat me to it!
  • dustinbrown
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    My #1 gripe with Blogspot is that I have to dig through your history to find all of your work. It's a pain in the butt. Also, the layout of Blogspot feels very dated to me, like something out of the late 90's.

    Personally, I think CGHUB is the best free portfolio solution out there. It's super easy to navigate, you get a Personal Details page where you can put your name and contact info, and you get a succinct URL (yourname.cghub.com) that looks professional and you can share with employers. Plus it's known as being a reputable website in our industry with a lot of top talent using it. Even if you have your own website, I would still suggest having a CGHUB portfolio. It's MILES better than the portfolio system on CGSociety. Loads faster, and the CMS is far more modern and user friendly.
  • redhonour
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    I struggled to create my own website from scratch.

    In the end, I used a template I found here on Polycount to get started. I was pleasantly surprised when my graphic designer friend didn't laugh at the latest iteration.
  • m4dcow
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    m4dcow dedicated polycounter
    Sites like blogspot aren't setup properly for game art portfolios, they are primarily blogs. Someone that is hiring just wants to see your work efficiently and quickly. While there are some themes that make it better I have seen very few that don't have you digging through a bunch of older posts to see work.

    Wix actually isn't so bad once you choose the right style, however it has gotten a bad rap for the slow to load flash templates (an even some non flash ones) that many choose to use which are more about how the content is presented rather than the content itself.

    Carbonmade is cool and simple, but some people complain that there is little customization and stuff, but I think it does a good job for game art portfolios.

    I just rolled my own wordpress theme, but many don't have the skills or the time to bother with this, in retrospect my time could have been spent actually doing art.
  • Wrath
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    Lee3dee wrote: »
    Jon Jones

    Portfolio tip #10: Full Sail and Animation Mentor grads -- when you graduate, use a new character model! It's great to learn on, but I see it *everywhere.*


    Wanted to add a secondary note here about this one in particular. When I see a reel with one of the AM rigs, I'm immediately suspicious about the quality of work the animator can do without oversight and feedback from a mentor. I've seen a number of AM graduats who had great animations in their reel, but completely fell apart when they were asked to do a simple animation test on their own.

    So if you can show work from an actual game, or work from a source that's obviously done outside of the AM program, that's extra great!

    And believe it or not simple walk cycles, idle animations, runs, jumps, the type of animations you'd see in a game are things we actually want to see. They're not "boring", they're the bread and butter of what we do animation-wise in games. You've got to demonstrate that you've got the skills to pay the bills.

    Really don't need to see 'Norman' try to open a door in an amusing way...
  • Preston
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    AHAHAHA. This is so great! Brass tax!
  • Meteora
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    slipsius wrote: »
    THANK YOU for saying that about WIX. I can't stand Wix. I cringe any time I see someone use that for their folio

    What's bad with Wix?
    Wrath wrote: »
    Wanted to add a secondary note here about this one in particular. When I see a reel with one of the AM rigs, I'm immediately suspicious about the quality of work the animator can do without oversight and feedback from a mentor. I've seen a number of AM graduats who had great animations in their reel, but completely fell apart when they were asked to do a simple animation test on their own.

    So if you can show work from an actual game, or work from a source that's obviously done outside of the AM program, that's extra great!

    And believe it or not simple walk cycles, idle animations, runs, jumps, the type of animations you'd see in a game are things we actually want to see. They're not "boring", they're the bread and butter of what we do animation-wise in games. You've got to demonstrate that you've got the skills to pay the bills.

    Really don't need to see 'Norman' try to open a door in an amusing way...

    Funny, I often hear people don't like seeing that, simply because you see it all the time and its boring. Though maybe it was specifically directed at film. In video games it makes sense.
  • Intervain
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    Lee3dee wrote: »
    Jon Jones



    Portfolio tip #7: A Blogspot page is not a portfolio.
    Portfolio tip #8: A Wix page is not a portfolio. Wix is the Photoshop lens flare of portfolio hosts.

    All in all a lot of good tips but this is bull, I'm sorry. I don't give a rat's what the page is called as long as there's clear images and no flash or irritating music, which both of those offer. I've come across many good and clear blogspot portfolios all in one post. [ I assume from your home page wordpress is fine...Why is that then?]

    On a different note we completely see eye to eye on the music issue. I could kill anybody whose website plays any bloody thing, no matter if I like it or not.
  • Bax2themax
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    My favorite portfolio sites:

    4ormat.com (great big image hosting, easy to modify, focuses on work)

    sketchfab.com (full 3d previews of your models. its amazing)
  • Kbrom12
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    Kaine123 wrote: »
    I don't know if this is the best place to ask, but could someone recommend some good portfolio websites?

    I made mine with Adobe Muse, best dam choice I ever made...made my life easy so I'd definitely recommend it.
  • Snader
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    Snader veteran polycounter
    Gotta say, I quite disagree with Resum
  • PolyHertz
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    PolyHertz card carrying polycounter
    Afaik Blogspot users can just have one post that gets updated with new work instead of creating more posts, so all the work can be seen on one page. Wouldn't that setup be fine for a portfolio?
  • Mathew O
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    Mathew O polycounter
    My folio is on blogspot :( Do you guys think I should just start again?
  • Alemja
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    I don't mind blogspot so much as you can do some creative things with the layout, but the point about digging through archives is completely valid and should be taken into consideration.

    I loathe WIX sites, the problem for me and perhaps a lot of other people is if you have a script blocker, you don't see anything at all. Some people use script blockers by choice, other people may have scripts blocked by their office, the last thing you want is for website to not load because it's flash.

    My personal rule for designing portfolios is if your scripts or css don't load for whatever reason you should still be able to see everything in your bare-bones html, like the images and the text.
  • SanderDL
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    I think the tip on Blogspot could be reprised as: "Don't use a blog as your portfolio". Now that doesn't meant you shouldn't use sites like Blogspot, just make sure your site is easily accesable and doesn't require many clicks or long mouse scrolls to get anywhere. That is a point you should always keep in mind, regardless of what methods you use for your site.
  • Xio
    Xio null
    thanks :D
  • Skillmister
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    Meteora wrote: »
    What's bad with Wix?



    Funny, I often hear people don't like seeing that, simply because you see it all the time and its boring. Though maybe it was specifically directed at film. In video games it makes sense.

    I don't know if it's wix in general that makes it how it is, but your site is pretty horrible to navigate.

    Takes quite a while to load.
    Unnecessary transition animations.
    Multiple clicks to get to your work.
    Work pops up in awful viewer boxes that take even longer to load.
    Images cant be right click > saved.
  • JohnnyRaptor
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    awesome, a bit funny and definitely a good read :)

    as for portfolios, i run my portfolio on dropbox...free, tons of space, fast and dead easy to update! just save in the folder from any machine and voila..website updated.
  • cptSwing
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    cptSwing card carrying polycounter
    mazz423 wrote: »
    Saw this earlier, this one made me laugh.
    I have sadly seen a few unintentionally, hilariously racist characters myself.


    Haha. Yeah had to chuckle as well. Let's see it, Jon Jones!
  • NyneDown
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    Good stuff. Some of those I agree with, and others I think are his own personal preference.

    Personally, I have no problem with sites that use wix or blogspot...as long as they're easy to navigate. I really dont understand that in order to be taken seriously, you muuuuST have a regular site and not a wix, blogspot, weebly, cghub, deviantart, etc. You would think that as long as their work is solid and it is easy to navigate, an employer wouldn't care. I personally dont like to focus ANY of my time having to mess around with dreamweaver or any other web design software. I want to focus on art, and when I'm done...upload it to a site where I dont have to fight with html or any of that stuff.

    Squarespace.com is another one I havent seen mentioned. It actually looks a lot cleaner and has more customization features than weebly and wix.
  • MagicSugar
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    MagicSugar dedicated polycounter
    Blogspot now has different layout options where you can just have your art and not have text. Add that with a custom domain name (now under a buck per month), it can be a good site...if you have the goods, like:

    http://krisanka2012.blogspot.ca/

    fyi, this guy's already working for Marvel. This is just one of his old portfolios.
  • aaronmwolford
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    awesome info! Thanks for sharing!
  • Eric Chadwick
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    It's all about the annoyances. All the little things add up, trying to get thru portfolio after portfolio.
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