Having a bad day? Take it out on my [PORTFOLIO]! (Feedback greatly appreciated!)

polycounter lvl 4
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hmm_rock polycounter lvl 4
Oh god, I know we're all so tired of these, but unbiased, ruthless perspective is invaluable, so please let me know what I need to take out of my portfolio or how I can improve it in the short time before GDC.

I was really torn between just using artstation because I like the layout but I heard it wasn't as professional as having your own website (plus I didn't want to change business cards)? So middle-ground, I included a link to it on my website for your viewing pleasure (let me know if you hate that). The enviro screens on artstation will be removed/replaced as soon as I finish up my current WIP.

http://www.meggierock.com/

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  • Adam1313
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    Adam1313 polycounter lvl 2
    I don't know about what looks more professional. But in my opinion ArtStation is more comfortable to use, I can glace at all of your artworks in a second and assuming I'm a potential employer I can quickly get in contact via the "Hire Me" button. Maybe consider editing your website to have similar layout?

    Anyway your artwork looks great, couldn't find anything to be ruthless about but im not a professional so take my opinion as it is :S
  • slosh
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    slosh interpolator
    Solid stuff Meggie.  The cloth piece needs work.  The folds just don't look right.  I would either redo that or just do a new piece...just make sure you have good reference on hand.  
  • Cglewis
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    Cglewis polycounter lvl 6
    I feel like you have a pretty decent portfolio and i really like some of the pieces. But i feel that you need push your materials more, its really apparent in your court yard scene, there is some good stuff going on here but the material properties between the bricks on the wall the tiles on the floor and the concrete boarder around the pond all feel the same. For example i would think that the boarder around the pond would be more a more porous rock or should show  signs of age by having pockets of holes/porous areas. It should signs of age with some of the black color but the color channel is the only thing that gives a clue to its age. 
  • hmm_rock
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    hmm_rock polycounter lvl 4
    @Cglewis Are we talking about the most recent work here http://polycount.com/discussion/comment/2420716#Comment_2420716 or the WIP from artstation? Completely legit feedback either way. Thanks so far guys!

  • Cglewis
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    Cglewis polycounter lvl 6
    @hmm_rock Your most recent work
    also i would show off more of that environment on your website, asset break downs for it would not be bad either.(i say that as i have no asset break downs for my Env in progress lol)
  • Add3r
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    Add3r polycounter lvl 5
    Solid body of work, though something that really stood out to me was the funky reflection off the water in the shot looking directly at the lily pads.  Not sure if that is something you have control of, but either the water shader or the reflection are muddying up the reflection in a very non-natural way.  If this is something that you do not have control of, nothing to worry about, as its probably something I am more biased of as being a lighting/shading artist lol.  If you can, however, adjust the sharpness of the reflection, I would a tad.  With how still and dark that water looks to be, the reflection would be relatively sharp.  Would also visit how much AO you are using in your scene, as it also feels a bit overbearing/unnatural.  Dialing it back just a bit I think would make a world of a difference in making the shot feel more like a photo rather than a game.  

    That being said, your first two shots of your statues are awesome.  Love the sculpt/bake of the two.  Get shots of your most recent env in here!!!! Showing that whole scene off will make your entire portfolio really stand out, especially with the updated lighting, turning into something to be really proud of. Goodluck at GDC!   Activision/Sledgehammer Games are hiring ;)  
  • marie_s3d
    Personally, I'm not a huge fan of the default artstation profile link layout just from an aesthetic standpoint, so I think it's good you made a personal website to have more control over how you present your work. Plus, having both allows you to have the best of both worlds, since you've linked your art station to your website, and vice versa, thus allowing people to 'discover' you on art station and see your website, or people that stumble upon your website can also follow you on art station. The more exposure the better, right? I'm not a recruiter or expert, but ONLY having an art station profile and no personal website just seems a little half-assed to me to be showing prospective employers too, but maybe I'm wrong.

    ANYWAY... I really like your header image with your name, very clever! Your work looks pretty sweet, I think I saw it browsing on art station earlier today too haha. I really like all the foliage in your courtyard images, you did a great job with that. It would probably be good to display wireframes on your 'highpoly' page. Other than that, the website seems pretty successful as it is easy to navigate and visually appealing. I also liked that you could 'slideshow' through images once you click on any single image. What website builder/hosting did you use?

    If you have a minute, I actually had a thread asking for a website critique as well. Any feedback about the website or pieces therein would be greatly appreciated :)   http://polycount.com/discussion/166539/portfolio-marie-portfolio-website-critique
  • hmm_rock
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    hmm_rock polycounter lvl 4
    @Add3r agreed, my water shader is pretty shoddy. I (think) Im just using SSR at the moment. Would the resolution of the normal map/textures used on the water effect the sharpness of the reflection? Do you know if there a way to override the sharpness/resolution of the reflection in UE4? I'll also make some adjustments to the AO before I render out my final shots, thanks!

    @Marie_s3d thanks for the feedback, and I'll check yours out!

    Also in general, how are my polycounts looking? Work-wise, I've always been heavily limited in polycount, so getting up to 6000 tris on something like a brazier is kinda crazy lol. I know I could do with less, but I kinda love the freedom, however I'm always worried it's going to look extravagant
  • hmm_rock
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    hmm_rock polycounter lvl 4
    @marie_s3d also, its just a (fairly heavily) modified blogger site with a custom domain. The slideshow feature is default which is nice!
  • heyeye
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    heyeye polycounter lvl 5
    Great props, agree with all of the above with the heavy AO and cloth folds being unnatural.

    I actually had more of a suggestion than a critique. I've been following your WIP thread for awhile now, and some of your more recent shots are portfolio worthy IMO. If you're not ready to showcase them, then I recommend strongly to add a 'Blog' section. Last time I was at GDC, there was high praise to students who showed work in progress via their websites. Devs love to see the process almost as much as a finished product. Seeing the fundamentals in the blog is huge, regardless of the current state of completion.

    Best of luck!
  • hmm_rock
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    hmm_rock polycounter lvl 4
    @heyeye @slosh shoot guys I liked my drapes ;A; but yeah, I was kinda fumbling in the dark with *how even* to make drapes for games. I went with sculpting them in zbrush using some fold brushes, used ref, but missed the mark. Do yall think its the presentation/ lighting/material, or if they can be salvaged in any way (is there any part the *is* working for future reference) or should I just throw them out? I really appreciate your honesty!

    And I'll def get some screen of the enviro in (hopefully by tomorrow), but thats good to know! I'm always scared to show my early progress because I wasn't working from ref and a lot of it has been evolving from an ugly, ugly (ugly) caterpillar.
  • Add3r
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    Add3r polycounter lvl 5
    Posted some stuff in your WIP thread regarding the SSR and reflections in general.  :)  
  • Madwish
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    Madwish polycounter lvl 6
    Really solid stuff in general, and I really like the strong banner! Good stuff. ;)

    Here's a couple of crits that might help:

    - Having a specific texture tab is cool, but right now it's only renders. It might be cool for people to have access to the breakdown a bit (albedo/roughness/normals/...).
    - Environment and Prop artist is a bit of a weird title. It's usually either one, or more likely 3D Artist if you're shooting for a job into both? It might just be me though. ;D
    - The Tevinter project shots you have are not really selling your skills IMHO. Right now it looks like you just worked on a very tiny scene to show your skills on nice details, but you actually worked a much bigger scene that has a completely different focus point. As a result, I think you're underselling yourselves. If I had not seen the full Tevinter project, I would think that this little scene is cool but could be be vastly improved relatively easily (very even placement of the same meshes in the center, water isn't looking super good, wall looks a bit bland for such a tiny scene, ...). The whole level is cool so I would put that instead/on top (ignore if it's already planned!).
    - It's a bit of a personal one, but I always think it's pretty cool to have some explanations from the artist about the whole process. When you add your complete Tevinter scene, it might be cool to talk a bit about your process and choices on a page. It's true that recruiters and first pass selections will go fast and pictures are most important, but it might be a plus later on when you pass through the second stage of the selections and people have more time to look into your stuff. I might be completely wrong on that though, I'm no recruiter.

    Good luck for your next adventures!
  • hmm_rock
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    hmm_rock polycounter lvl 4
    Hey @Add3r was it a post from a while ago? I may be missing it...

    And thanks @Madwish! I dont think I can get the texture stuff done in time, but maybe in the future! Though my textures are pretty standard so I'm not sure how interesting that would be (plus I see other peoples graphs and its just kinda nonsense to me unless I can get in there and start deconstructing) Also, will get shots up (hopefully) later today of the larger scene. Building my production lighting atm. I might even play with matinee too :)
  • hmm_rock
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    hmm_rock polycounter lvl 4
    Thanks for the feedback all! I've tried to incorporate some changes. Finished up my current scene for the most part http://polycount.com/discussion/162977/ue4-tevinter-imperium-inspired-courtyard#latest and added some shots to my portfolio.

    I'm still open to any feedback!
    http://www.meggierock.com/

  • BradMyers82
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    BradMyers82 polycounter lvl 9
    Nice work, I like that you have a huge scene as your main portfolio piece as it really gives a good feel for your skill set.  
    Someone noted that they think you can push your material further.  I agree with this particularly in areas like the brick wall and the stone around the pond.   But I think a simple solution is to just use decals to break stuff up more, like with dirt and grime. 

    Perhaps pushing your lighting more would go a long way too.  The scene lacks a certain amount of pop and contrast, so if you could get some darker shadows and stronger highlights that would really help sell it and give it more depth.

    I love the detail overall, and I think you have a very solid piece there.

    As for the portfolio layout, I always liked the one long scroll type page (which is why I do it that way myself).  I do agree that using artstation looks a bit more unprofessional, but if you don't get your main website up to par it can be better to just use artstation actually.  Nice job though, looking forward to seeing more from you!
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