At what point should I create a portfolio?

polycounter lvl 3
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james swanson polycounter lvl 3
I'm not sure when a having a portfolio is justified. I've seen many portfolios like Lonewolf's that are absultely stunning. I've also seen many portfolios that are, lets just say not the best. My question is, at what point should I consider putting my work on a website and putting my name out there? Should I just start now, and then slowly replace my work as I get better? Or should I wait a while until I have a good sized cache of portfolio-worthy work?

Thanks.

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  • Bek
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    Bek polycounter lvl 5
    I'd wait until you feel you have enough quality pieces. Putting up sub-par work on a portfolio (rather than somewhere you can get critique, like polycount) seems to be getting the cart before the horse.
  • Bartalon
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    Bartalon polycounter lvl 6
    I would agree with Bek that you should wait until you have a solid batch to put up. After that it's important to maintain it and continue to update and wash out old work. I occasionally revisit a lot of portfolios belonging to people I used to go to school and work with, and many of them remain stagnant and outdated, which obviously is something you want to avoid if you're looking for work yourself.
  • ScottMichaelH
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    ScottMichaelH polycounter lvl 7
    It's your choice because simply having one is simply your right, regardless of how good you are. Also, I don't think you will get a bad reputation by having weak work on a personal sight or anything like that. It won't be viewed much at first. So I personally don't think it makes much a difference if you start now or later. You can just use artstation for free and drag and drop. Again, your choice. :)

    Definitely +1 to Bartalon's comments. The key is to learn and grow.
  • james swanson
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    james swanson polycounter lvl 3
    Thanks guys. I'll probably wait a few months once I have a few more polished pieces. I was, however very bored tonight, so I did a quick layout of what my portfolio could look like. I'm going for a very simple, yet pleasing look. I'm not trying to be fancy or make it look gaudy, but I'm also trying to make it look presentable/professional.

    It's just a screenshot right now since I haven't bought a domain name, but you'll get the picture. Link, since it'd be too tall to post here
  • Mistry10
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    Mistry10 polycounter lvl 8
    +1 w/ what everyone else is saying.

    About the layout you posted.
    I like how it's simple.
    Just remeber to put your name at the top :)
    Always place your contact info at the every bottom of your "work" page.
    Just my thoughts .
  • james swanson
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    james swanson polycounter lvl 3
    @Mistry10

    Thanks. I'll be working on some more stuff for the next ~4 months. Until then I'll just retouch the site.

    1. Added soft drop shadow under technical information text for some added contrast.

    Do you think a dedicated contact page is even necessary? If I put all my contact info down by the technical info, then it'd be kinda redundant to have another page for just that. So I could just have two tabs: Work, which would contain my contact info, and About, which would include my work experience (which is none).
  • ScottMichaelH
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    ScottMichaelH polycounter lvl 7
    If you place an about page, make it like a full-blown resume page. Your basic contact info needs to be on the first page.
  • Oniram
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    Oniram polycounter lvl 10
    yeah it never hurts to have your work available for people to see, but i think the most important thing is to constantly be evolving your portfolio based on feedback you get. ive seen quite a few people make their website and then linger on the work they have there for about a year or so wondering why they havent gotten hired.

    i make it a rule of thumb to always try to replace my worst asset with something new. my best asset now might become that worst asset in a years time.. so its always going to be an evolution. your portfolio will show off what you can do, so it will never hurt to show that, so long as you know what you are and are not capable of.
  • james swanson
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    james swanson polycounter lvl 3
    @ScottMichealH
    I should write a resume soon...I should probably find out how, first.

    @Oniram
    That sounds like a good plan. Do you think there is a number of projects I should have in my portfolio at all times? I see some with maybe 2-3 pieces, but I'm not sure if that's a good idea.

    Edit: Here's the new version

    I omitted the Contact page since it's pointless. I'd show the resume page, but it's blank. I also added a simple orange drop shadow on hover for the buttons and images, just to make sure the user knows he/she can click the images.

    lAO8dFP.png
  • Oniram
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    Oniram polycounter lvl 10
    you cant go wrong with 3-4 quality pieces.
  • slosh
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    slosh interpolator
    3-4 is fine but make sure they are TOP NOTCH.
  • james swanson
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    james swanson polycounter lvl 3
    @Oniram, slosh

    sounds good.

    I'm not sure what they should consist of, though. Some people have told me to not become the jack of all trades and the master of none. They told me to pick something and get really good at it. I was thinking of doing a few guns, but that seems like too little variety. Maybe I should work on a couple guns and maybe a couple vehicles? I'm just not sure which would be more impressive. 4 weapons, or 1 gun, and 3 other different assets.

    Edit: Also, I've never seen anyone put the time it took to complete a project in their portfolio. I was actually told that it didn't need to be there. Is this true? I always thought employers would need to know how long it took to make sure they hire someone who can meet deadlines.
  • ZacD
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    ZacD greentooth
    Don't post the time an asset took, in a studio you are going to be shoved into a pipeline, shown the general workflow and tools, and given sometime to get up to speed. The quality and time spent on a portfolio piece is going to be a lot higher than on SM_generic_game_prop_18.
  • james swanson
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    james swanson polycounter lvl 3
    @ZacD

    Dang, I thought it'd be the other way around. Aw well. Thanks for the info
  • slosh
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    slosh interpolator
    I would do the following:

    - a couple weapons...maybe one pistol and a larger firearm
    - a vehicle
    - a couple complex props, be creative
    - do a few tiling textures that can be presented well like this(a texture by a buddy of mine, Josh Lynch):
    Fan_Pattern_Layout_Comp-e1395214434932.png
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