Portfolio Review - Environment Art

polycounter lvl 6
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Bartalon polycounter lvl 6
Hey guys it's been a while since I posted in the P&P thread. I'll keep this short.

I'm moving to Austin soon and would like some input on my portfolio website and all my work so I can polish/tweak it before I get there. I'm not looking at any specific studio to get into.

www.DennisPorter3D.com

Thanks in advance for all feedback!

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  • Joltya
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    Joltya polycounter lvl 5
    I'm going to get a little bit nit picky here.

    The biggest thing I noticed is that you weren't giving credit to the concept artists in your hard surface stuff. I would definitely fix that before anything else.

    I don't like the weird gradient background at the top. It feels very out of place. You should either get rid of it or have it face the other way. If you fade it the other way, you'd need to add a border to the left and right that goes all the way down your page to separate it from the background.

    I don't like the home button at the bottom. I'd rather have your name in the header take me to the home page. That's just a personal preference.

    The polycount and blogspot icons at the bottom are off center and that bugs me.

    I don't know why there's a polycount icon in the basement rollover and no where else.

    I like the idea of the icons at the top that link to your scripts and resume and stuff, but they were really confusing to me when I first loaded your site. It'd probably be a good idea to rethink how you're using them. Maybe not get rid of them entirely, but add some text underneath that explains what they are?
  • BagelHero
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    BagelHero polycounter lvl 4
    Yeah, you should credit the artists by name and link to their upload of the piece where possible.

    The icon navigation is really hard to understand to be honest, at least subtitle them but it would be better with just the words I think. It looks too cluttered and I got stuck for a second trying to get back to the main page.

    I think your PBR medals are a little weak. Some of the materials seem... off. Which is not great considering the PBR study aspect. The fabric looks great, and the wood looks pretty great too. The felt, though, is a little low resolution for being the entire backboard (and I mean, you could have just tiled it more) and I feel like if we're going all fancy PBR here you could probably have benefited from giving it a fuzz map. The metals also seem off, the Bronze, Brass and Polished steel all reading as sort of plastic-y for me. This could just be the render, but I don't know because you don't have your textures up for this project. This one calls for them the most, to me, so if you want to have that before other environments and props I's honestly make sure the maps are there.

    The edges on some of your hard surface studies seem a little tight for baking, or don't match the curved quality of the ref, watch that in the future.

    Otherwise, you're certainly getting there! I like your environments and hero props the best (The borderlands study, the first environment, etc). Looking forward to seeing more.

    EDIT: ALSO. "PROP ARIST". Fix that, it's in your header. :)
  • Bartalon
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    Bartalon polycounter lvl 6
    Joltya wrote: »
    I'm going to get a little bit nit picky here.

    The biggest thing I noticed is that you weren't giving credit to the concept artists in your hard surface stuff. I would definitely fix that before anything else.

    I don't like the weird gradient background at the top. It feels very out of place. You should either get rid of it or have it face the other way. If you fade it the other way, you'd need to add a border to the left and right that goes all the way down your page to separate it from the background.

    I don't like the home button at the bottom. I'd rather have your name in the header take me to the home page. That's just a personal preference.

    The polycount and blogspot icons at the bottom are off center and that bugs me.

    I don't know why there's a polycount icon in the basement rollover and no where else.

    I like the idea of the icons at the top that link to your scripts and resume and stuff, but they were really confusing to me when I first loaded your site. It'd probably be a good idea to rethink how you're using them. Maybe not get rid of them entirely, but add some text underneath that explains what they are?

    Hey, thanks for the feedback.

    There actually is a copyright disclaimer at the bottom of my hard surface page, though it is in dark text as to not be distracting. I will find another place to display it so it doesn't interfere with the navigation at the bottom.

    I'll see what the banner looks like with a solid color instead of a gradient. It being the only gradient present in my site's design, I would agree it feels out of place. :)

    I'll add a link to the banner.

    None of the icons are off center for me on Chrome, Firefox, or Internet Explorer. What browser are you using?

    The basement thumb has a Greentooth because it is one of the Noob Challenges held specifically by Polycount, that's it. Perhaps I will remove Greentooth for consistency or re-label it for clarity.

    I agree, the navigation buttons do not contain any context. I'll change the rollovers to be more informative.

    Thanks again for all the pointers! I should mention that my art is on trial here too so feel free to remark about that as well. :)
    BagelHero wrote:
    Yeah, you should credit the artists by name and link to their upload of the piece where possible.

    The icon navigation is really hard to understand to be honest, at least subtitle them but it would be better with just the words I think. It looks too cluttered and I got stuck for a second trying to get back to the main page.

    I think your PBR medals are a little weak. Some of the materials seem... off. Which is not great considering the PBR study aspect. The fabric looks great, and the wood looks pretty great too. The felt, though, is a little low resolution for being the entire backboard (and I mean, you could have just tiled it more) and I feel like if we're going all fancy PBR here you could probably have benefited from giving it a fuzz map. The metals also seem off, the Bronze, Brass and Polished steel all reading as sort of plastic-y for me. This could just be the render, but I don't know because you don't have your textures up for this project. This one calls for them the most, to me, so if you want to have that before other environments and props I's honestly make sure the maps are there.

    The edges on some of your hard surface studies seem a little tight for baking, or don't match the curved quality of the ref, watch that in the future.

    Otherwise, you're certainly getting there! I like your environments and hero props the best (The borderlands study, the first environment, etc). Looking forward to seeing more.

    EDIT: ALSO. "PROP ARIST". Fix that, it's in your header. :)

    That's two votes for improving navigation, I'm on it haha.

    As for the medals, I didn't show textures because they were just quickly generated for the study and not optimized for games or anything, so I decided to leave them out. I have had considerable experience with PBR since those medals so I think I will move them further down on the list.

    Yeah I have a problem with making edges too tight, I've been trying to keep that in mind as I work :)

    Man, how embarassing! How did I miss "Prop Arist" LOL


    Thanks for all the feedback, keep it coming!
  • Joltya
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    Joltya polycounter lvl 5
    I'm using Firefox.

    WHTppJn.jpg

    About the concept artists; I would have never noticed that text unless you told me. Even then, it doesn't actually tell who did anything.

    I agree with a lot of what Bart was saying regarding your PBR stuff. Also in some locations, you use a dark grey background for your props and sometimes you use a black one. I would just use the same dark grey all the way around.

    IMO, your Bread and Beer Inn is your strongest piece. You are really good at handpainted textures, just need to focus on your PBR stuff.
  • Bartalon
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    Bartalon polycounter lvl 6
    Yeah, I'm fixing some stuff up now. I'll have lots of changes made to the website over the next couple of hours.

    As for your weird issue with layout, you're even missing some icons. This is what you should be seeing:

    ckB88aV.png
  • Amatobahn
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    Amatobahn polycounter lvl 5
    For your top icons I'd use text. No one wants to sit and hover on the icon to figure out what the function is, because right now it is a guessing game.
  • Bartalon
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    Bartalon polycounter lvl 6
    Thanks for all the great feedback so far. I'm taking care of the simple stuff for now. I've updated the following:

    Fixed typo in "Prop Artist"
    Removed floating "home" button
    Added "home" link to footer nav for consistency
    Moved copyright line underneath social media buttons
    Made copyright line more visible
    Made copyrights of hard surface stuff more visible (at bottom of page)
    Vertically flipped the colored gradient at the top of each page
    Reordered thumbnails on home page

    Still working on making the main nav buttons less confusing :)
  • Amatobahn
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    Amatobahn polycounter lvl 5
    Also, remove your phone number. You're asking for trouble :P
  • Bartalon
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    Bartalon polycounter lvl 6
    Amatobahn wrote: »
    Also, remove your phone number. You're asking for trouble :P

    It's actually an image so bots can't pick it up :) But I guess a number on my resume is sufficient, yeah?
  • Amatobahn
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    Amatobahn polycounter lvl 5
    Just a good idea not to have it. I don't think I even have mine on my resume. Most of the time your initial contact with an employer is via email.
  • Bartalon
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    Bartalon polycounter lvl 6
    Alright I think I got all the web design issues out of the way!

    Added labels to main nav links (now you know what's what!)
    Removed phone number
    Added a margin above header
    Removed Greentooth from Basement hover for consistency
    Removed dotted outline that appears around buttons when clicking them

    I'm still wide open for more critiques on my work!

    My Analytics are telling me the wireframe breakdown sub-page for my basement project is only attracting 20% of the people who actually visit the basement page. Anyone have any ideas for how I might be able to bring those numbers up? I've heard too many sub-pages are "bad" and was considering just putting all the images on the main basement page, but that would make it very image heavy and bog down load times. What do you guys think?
  • BARDLER
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    BARDLER polycounter lvl 6
    Your texturing is your biggest issue right now. Your environments are sitting in a awkward position between stylization and realistic. The basement is the closest to a stylized look, but I wish it was pushed a bit further, and closer to the concepts painterly look.

    Depending on what kind of games you want to work on you should push your texturing into a more realistic direction or a more stylized direction.

    On a side note, your edges are to sharp on your sub-d models. Nice soft edges bake better.
  • Joltya
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    Joltya polycounter lvl 5
    Bartalon wrote: »
    Yeah, I'm fixing some stuff up now. I'll have lots of changes made to the website over the next couple of hours.

    As for your weird issue with layout, you're even missing some icons. This is what you should be seeing:

    That's weird. It might be because I have a plugin that disables twitter and google from tracking my internet usage, but it's not even listing it in the list it normally does and it doesn't explain the linked in one. Huh.

    I'd definitely get rid of that subpage though. Even when I was digging through it the first time I didn't want to go through all that. If you really want to have them, reduce the number of main shots of the environment to around three instead of six, and then put multiple props on the same image. I really don't need to see a 1000x1000 image of a box. Make better use of your space!
  • Bartalon
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    Bartalon polycounter lvl 6
    BARDLER: I tend to agree. I was thinking about re-visiting the medals and giving them a proper unwrapping and retexturing so I can show off texture maps, but primarily to land closer to "realistic." I suppose I could do the same with the basement, but that's quite a lot of retexturing. I'll probably just do something new--and smaller--instead to show I can produce photorealistic PBR.

    Joltya: Yeah that's weird because you're also not seeing the LinkedIn icon. I think I'll treat that as an isolated issue until someone else experiences it.

    Also good point about the basement content. I guess I'll ditch the wireframe page and cherry-pick the good stuff. Maybe I'll do a few more complete breakdowns like the water heater, and just nix the rest.


    Thanks guys! More tweaks to my site coming over the next day.
  • willlord
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    willlord polycounter lvl 7
    Seems to follow a theme in terms of the type of project you pick. I'd like to see more organics in there. Just my opinion though.
  • Bartalon
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    Bartalon polycounter lvl 6
    Been unexpectedly busy with relocating. Consider this one final bump/update until I get to my new place. I'm still working on merging the basement pages which will have to wait till after the move but until then I'm still looking for any more feedback on my work.

    Thanks in advance!
  • Bartalon
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    Bartalon polycounter lvl 6
    Move complete! I guess this is as good of a time as any for round two of my review. Here's what's changed:
    1. Reordered the landing page's thumbnails again
    2. Removed the sub-page of the basement project and consolidated some of the content on the one main page
    3. Replaced the breakdown of the crate with a couple other assets that are more interesting (hopefully)
    4. Did not bring over all assets from the sub-page to the main page (you can still access it via this direct link to see what I left out)
    5. Added triangle/vertex counts to everything
    6. Added larger shots of the breakdown models
    7. Reduced the number of main shots of the basement from 6 to 4
    Any final critiques would be great! Soon I'll be moving forward to my next project.

    [edit] If you are re-visiting my site be sure to hit Ctrl + F5 to force the pages to update.
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