[Portfolio] Liam Tart - Environment Artist

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polycounter lvl 7
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PogoP polycounter lvl 7
Hey guys!

I've been swamped down with uni work over the past few days (you may have seen some of my stuff posted in various places around Polycount), but I've set aside some time this weekend to get my portfolio online.

It's my first real attempt at HTML so apologies if it's a little buggy. Do let me know if anything is not working correctly!

http://www.liamtart.com/

A few examples of my work:

final_beauty1.jpg

fantasy_dungeon1.jpg

I'm really looking for some feedback on pretty much everything in my portfolio, except for the earlier level design stuff. I am about to finish university and I am so excited to start looking for jobs, and I really want to push everything up to university standard.

My plan for the next few months after university is to model a load of tools that my dad has in his garage (he has the most amazing collection of weird tools, that I've never even seen before) using subdivision modelling, and make low polys and texture them all.

I think my environment shows my understanding of environments as a collective, but I want to focus on some smaller pieces now to fill in the gaps. I want to add a lot more to my portfolio!

Anyway guys, crit away! Seriously, anything. Even if its so miniscule that you think 'nah I wont mention it'; mention it! :D

Would just like to thank everybody who has helped me over the past year or so with all the assets I've posted up here on Polycount. Without you guys, I wouldn't have got to where I'm currently at and I'm eternally grateful!

Thanks,

-Liam

Replies

  • gibson543
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    gibson543 polycounter lvl 7
    I say you ditch the character, it's in an "environment artist" portfolio, and by far the weakest piece in your portfolio, but overall the site is really great, I think it'd be cool if you showed some more high poly renders as well, good luck in your job hunt!
  • EMC3D
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    EMC3D polycounter lvl 7
  • fearian
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    fearian Polycount Sponsor
    Spot on mate! :) You're work is nice, and your portfolio is simple, straightforward and effective at presenting your shots. Drop the character yadda yadda, Well Done! :D

    E: ooh, actually, my one crit would be that you should show off the wall and archway parts of your medieval scene - What seems to be lacking in your portfolio to me is evidence of understanding modular workflow, reusing building parts etc.
  • Yozora
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    Yozora polycounter lvl 9
    Nice work and site, couple of minor annoyances;
    Greentooth icon looks jaggy and has an ugly outline, it ain't even round. Looks really crappy and was literally the first thing I noticed :p

    A bit of redundant text on some of the pages repeating the same words and giving the same kind of information.
  • PogoP
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    PogoP polycounter lvl 7
    Hey guys. Thanks for all the feedback!

    I'm currently away from home and thus do not have access to my work and I'm simply using screenshots from my Dropbox. I will upload proper model breakdowns when I get home tomorrow.

    The general consensus seems to be to remove the character, so I have now removed it from the site and I am keeping it to just environment work.

    As I said, my plan over the next couple of months is to do more high poly work and show them, as that is what I want to show more of on my portfolio. I also want to work on another environment to show how I have progressed since doing those 2 previous environments, I have learnt a lot more since then.

    Yozora - You're right! That Polycount logo is a bit lacking at the minute, I'll have to change that today. I'll have a read through all the text on the website and consolidate it a little more. Was there anything that stuck out in particular?

    If anybody hears of any jobs that you think I should apply for, please do let me know. I'm currently in the process of looking around and applying for jobs. I would owe you big time! :\


    Thanks for all the feedback guys, I really appreciate it!
  • Matroskin
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    Matroskin polycounter lvl 9
    overall its a good portfoilio imo.

    Few thoughts:

    1) "preview" picture for "low-poly" and "level design" could be split into 2-3 sections to show that u have few different samples of content in there. Its like, "oh, so he has not only misile silo but also modular buidings there..." or "he has got not only TF2 level but also other stuff..."

    2) LD section lacks breakdowns and more precise description fo what u did. Level art looks cool, but those screenshots showcase level art, not level design. So if u did some level art u could mention what and where (i assume there were other ppl on it as well maybe). If u did only level design, then floorplans, LD schemes and some design studies would be more helpful i guess as well videos on the flow within your levels.

    3)the way u describe the LD projects makes it hard to tell if it was something official or an addon, or a community mod etc.
    Maybe its me, but to me it sounded more like as if someone tried to "disguize" a mod into something that sounds more "official" by writing "this was made for Half-Life2", "I worked for Black Mesa" etc. just sounds a bit confusing to me. If it would be written something like "community MOD for HL2 called bla-bla ..." etc it would appear more transparent.
  • PogoP
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    PogoP polycounter lvl 7
    Ok, thanks for that Matroskin.

    Changelist:

    -Gave a little more information about the level design projects and included a download link for the TF2 map. Also included information on what exactly 'Black Mesa' is.

    -Fixed up the jagged-edged Polycount icon. Out of interest, where did that logo originate from? It's very (excuse the pun) 'iconic'!

    -Changed the thumbnail images for Level Design and Handheld to show that there is more than 1 project contained within.

    -Changed some of the descriptions for Handheld/Mobile to be less wordy.
  • PogoP
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    PogoP polycounter lvl 7
    Sorry to keep spamming this thread, but I have now uploaded my CV/R
  • EMC3D
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    EMC3D polycounter lvl 7
    Yeah that's looking really snazzy.

    As for jobs, don't wait for them to come for you, apply around like a madman, you have the portfolio that shows you know what you're doing. Or wait until your happy with all your current work and portfolio then start applying around.
  • PogoP
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    PogoP polycounter lvl 7
    Thanks Mr Bear.

    Sorry if it came across that way. I am by no means just sitting back and waiting, I am actively applying to places.

    I am going to apply but keep updating my portfolio over the next few months. Can't hurt to look around now! :D
  • Yozora
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    Yozora polycounter lvl 9
    The repetitive text was mainly the bits about radiosity and baking on the low poly page and the descriptions of each piece being made with 3d max, photoshop, blabla. I think the CV is sufficient enough to explain the programs you use and you don't need to say it for each piece.

    I could be wrong on that though, just my personal preference :)

    One thing that is missing from all your images except the UC/level design ones is contact details. I suggest using the same template as you did for the UC pieces for all the other images to keep a consistent look. Personally I prefer the single bottom opaque bar of the UC ones than the double black bars of the level design ones at the top/bottom.
    Keep the black border, I like it :p

    Another thing I like is for "thumbnails" to be the same width. It looks tidier. For something like the tractor, you could do with a render of it's back perspective to extend the image, width-wise.

    Won't be hard to make that UC texture sheet the same width as well.

    For the mobile textures you could put the vehicle texture on the same image as the vehicles, and the buildings for the buildings.

    You should also re-do how you laid out the level at the top... 3d max Viewport images look kind of unprofessional with all that perspective window text on the top left.
    I can barely tell the difference between the top view and the one in the bottom left. The middle one is quite samey too. There's definitely a better way to present all of this.

    And you could use some tri count/wireframes for the props in the dungeon page.
  • PogoP
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    PogoP polycounter lvl 7
    Ok Yozora, thanks for your feedback. I'm back at home now so I'll try to fix up most of what you said.

    I'll be adding a new section soon: individual props that I'm working on to practice high poly. I will use the bottom bar with contact details and set that as my default 'style' and then go back and change all the rest.
  • Habboi
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    Habboi sublime tool
    Gah, why would you show the wires for that farm scene and not for the other with the giant cloth? I was curious how many tri's it was :(
  • PogoP
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    PogoP polycounter lvl 7
    Yeah it's stuff like that I need to give more information about. It's a little elusive atm haha. As far as I remember it was around 1,200 tris.
  • Spitfire
    Lookin good man! Hope that recruiter thing worked for you btw.
  • polygonfreak
    This brings up a good question... should you plaster your portfolio with stats? ie should every image have your poly and tri count, normal maps, diffuse, ao?
  • PogoP
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    PogoP polycounter lvl 7
    I think all of the individual renders should have stats. That's something I'm currently in the process of updating; everything is a little disjointed atm.

    Here's a model I've been working on for the past 2 days or so. Trying to speed up my workflow and practice subdivision modelling. Need to post up the high poly too, will be up in a bit!

    This is also the new layout style I want for all my individual renders, going to go through my entire portfolio and update old assets to this new style.

    ModelSheet_Transformer.jpg

    Textures_Transformer.jpg
  • PogoP
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    PogoP polycounter lvl 7
    I've also tweaked the textures of the tractor, and added its new style sheet:

    ModelSheet_Tractor.jpg

    Textures_Tractor.jpg
  • thegreyman1
  • PogoP
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    PogoP polycounter lvl 7
    Thanks Greyman! Glad you like it.

    Ok, I've re-vamped the entire first 3 sections: "Apocalyptic Cornfield", "Fantasy Dungeon" and a new section: "Tools Project". Check it out to find out more!

    By 'revamp' I mean I've updated all the images to have a little more detail and show off models and textures a little more. They now all share the same watermarks at the bottom, so the site reads a little better now.

    Now I can start cranking out some more assets, stay tuned guys! :D

    www.liamtart.com
  • PogoP
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    PogoP polycounter lvl 7
    I've posted this in the 'what are you working on' section, but just thought I'd post it up here as a WIP, so you guys can see (hopefully) a progression with this piece.

    Been working on a modular building set, as I realised my 'tools' project was going to be really similar to Scott Homer's environment that he's working on. I'll carry it on when uni's over though.

    This piece uses 2 1024 textures, one for the top half of the building (brick section) and one for the bottom half (shop fronts).

    building_wip1.jpg

    Loosely based off this:

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/2a/Russell_Lee_street_corner_Dillon_Montana.jpg

    Next step is to make the building modular for UDK (splitting it into re-usable chunks), and texturing. Then I need to make individual props and the surrounding street for it too. This is so much fun!
  • ayoub44
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    ayoub44 polycounter lvl 7
    WOW , great stuff man :) can't wait to see that modular building textured @_@

    good luck
  • StuButler
    Looking good Liam, congrats on making the news with your WAYWO post. Will be worthwhile getting your FYP work on here when its textures, the feedback could prove very useful.
  • PogoP
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    PogoP polycounter lvl 7
    Thanks Ayou, it'll be textured soon. Working on the little street area first to get it all blocked out, then I'm going to texture everything and work on loads of little props to make it look more lived-in.

    Stu - Thanks! I'll give you a shout when my FYP stuff is up here. See you on Monday!
  • PogoP
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    PogoP polycounter lvl 7
    Just going to post this up here before I go to bed. Spent the past couple of hours ironing out smoothing and UV issues, and fixing up lightmaps. I've also added the curbstones, a skybox and some basic lighting/environment effects.

    Let me know what you think guys! I'm hoping to make this a really bustling, old-fashioned city cross-section of an environment.

    building_wip2.jpg
  • scotthomer
    This stuff is looking great, im loving the building, its really coming together. As for the tool thing, honestly do you worst, I didn't invent tools, and the context of the tools im making is completely different (you'll see) so yeah, don't be daft. Im loving the little splitter box, even if its abit high poly for what it is.

    Good work!
  • chrisradsby
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    chrisradsby polycounter lvl 8
    Looks great so far man, looking forward to more progress :)
  • sltrOlsson
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    sltrOlsson polycounter lvl 8
    Love the house so far! Keep at it!

    I'm guessing you have normal map on this, but it's to weak. Try to find a way to pump it up!?
  • r_fletch_r
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    r_fletch_r polycounter lvl 7
    Looks really great liam, the 1890 text looks abit odd though. as if its not synced with the rest of the lighting
  • martynball
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    martynball polycounter lvl 6
    All of that work looks awesome, i'm alo doing the same course as you :)

    Only thing that I noticed which looked weird is the fire from the meteors, it looks a bit too uniform and repetitive. Other than that it all looks amazing.
  • PogoP
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    PogoP polycounter lvl 7
    Scott - Cheers man. Means a lot coming from you, you're the person who has inspired me most to kick my arse into gear and stick my neck out on the line and do things I wouldn't normally even attempt. Gonna get back on that tools project after this then :)

    sltrOlsson - Yeah the normals do look a little weak on the wip textured piece, so I might make the normal map a bit more depth. Though it is noticeable when you take the normal map, so maybe it would look better more subtle as it is at the moment.

    Fletch - Thanks! I just checked the normals and the green channel was inverted on the text as it was made in nDo.

    Martyn - Just googled your name (stalker!) and found some of your stuff, it's really good! Your high poly work is great. This is the sorta stuff I was making just under a year ago. I feel I've learned and really (REALLY) pushed myself hard this year to understand techniques more, and I hope it's beginning to show.

    Thanks for all the positive comments and feedback guys, will post an update later.
  • PogoP
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    PogoP polycounter lvl 7
    Here's an update on the textures. I've just blocked in basic colours at the moment, and added a cubemap reflection to the windows to give it more of a reflective feel. I've not detailed anything except the bricks.

    building_wip3.jpg

    Got a question for you guys though, would it be feasible to make all my grime/grunge simply painted on via vertex colouring and a fancy shader? I want there to be a little grunge on the original textures, but because the textures are extremely modular, I don't want to paint too much on to the diffuse. So I want to make a grunge map and be able to paint it on exactly where I want. Is this what you UDK gurus would do?
  • PogoP
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    PogoP polycounter lvl 7
    Hey again guys!

    Got another little update. I may as well turn this thread into a WIP thread as well as a portfolio one, so you guys can see what I'm up to without me making a new thread for each individual project!

    Been adding detail to the texture map and tweaking lighting within UDK. Getting some weird lightmap bleeding issues at the moment which I'm just fixing up, and I need to explore paintable grunge with vertex colouring next. And I also need to add loads more props to detail this building up a bit more!

    Let me know what you think guys.

    building_wip5.jpg

    building_wip5_1.jpg

    building_wip5_2.jpg
  • sltrOlsson
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    sltrOlsson polycounter lvl 8
    Lovely! Don't know how your texture layouts looks, but it would be cool if you could figure out a way to make the windows differ from each other more. If you split the inside on the window, inside of the frame, up you can pull the "curtain down" for example.
  • SaferDan
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    SaferDan polycounter lvl 7
    That is a beautiful building :)
  • StuButler
    Looks good Liam, i agree with sltrOlsson, the windows are showing the repetition of the modular system. Paralax material on the windows would be a good idea aswell.
  • sltrOlsson
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    sltrOlsson polycounter lvl 8
    And yeah, it doesn't make any sense that the windows them self would be curved :P It's kinda hard to do that irl i think..
  • Xendance
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    Xendance polycounter lvl 7
    You should add a cubemap reflection on those windows.
  • PogoP
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    PogoP polycounter lvl 7
    Good shout guys. I re-worked the texture a bit to allow more modularity with the window texture. The window is now modelled and can be raised/lowered in UDK for each individual window, so it really takes away the repetitiveness.

    Xendance - There is a cubemap but I'm trying to keep it sorta subtle atm. I want to take out some of the 'white' of the reflection and replace it with more of the blue of the environment cubemap.

    building_wip6.jpg

    Probably won't post for a while now guys, I'm going to focus on some university work. Unless you want to see a 1,500 word marketing strategy on my portfolio, I won't be posting updates! :D
  • PogoP
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    PogoP polycounter lvl 7
    Been working on my final year project a little more. I'll give a little more information on what it's all about.

    Basically, I am exploring modularity within UDK. Specifically, I want to re-create an older 2D game in 3D (I chose Zelda: A Link to the Past on Snes), keeping the art style similar but with more of a modern, handpainted twist. I am trying to make the dungeon pieces extremely modular, so a level designer can put them together to form any dungeon layout he/she wishes.

    So far this has been really successful. The only issue I'm having at the moment is with lightmap seams, but that seems (pardon the pun!) to be an unfixable UDK issue more than anything. I'm still trying to find workarounds though!

    At the moment I am just blocking in basic diffuse textures. I have completed a few textures: the floor, floor trims, and wall textures. Everything else is just single colours with a bit of gradient shading.

    I do want to look at normal maps and see if I can make the textures pop a little more, and I am really interested in modernising this a little more, with added assets that weren't in the original, such as things like cobwebs and just generally things that add a little more detail.

    Anyway, let me know what you think guys. As I said, it's all a WIP, but your comments and feedback will definitely be taken onboard and I'll look at fixing up any issues/suggestions you have.

    texture_example4.jpg
  • mats effect
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    mats effect Polycount Sponsor
    I would say the steps and those floor tiles towards the left look a little bland and under detailed compared to the rest. Really liking it though.
  • Skamberin
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    Skamberin polycounter lvl 7
    At the moment the larger stone floor repeats a bit too much due to it's 1 large rock, so the tiling is very obvious. You've hidden this well on the lower floor though.
    Nothing else to poke at other than the AO, turn that thing down or off :P it's making everything look rather weird and blotchy shadow wise.

    Looking forward to the next update, keep it up :)
  • PogoP
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    PogoP polycounter lvl 7
    The reason that tiling is there is because atm it's just a straight copy (handpainted, using the original as reference). I will look at breaking up the repetitiveness though! Thanks.

    I've turned down AO too, don't know why the default is so high!

    I've been tweaking lighting over the past day or so, and I've painted a few more bits and bobs. I've also made the waterfall from the snakehead (using the Epic water splash particle system for the bottom of it), and a particle system for the candle flames.

    I've also been working on the water shader. I made a thread a while ago asking about how to go about doing it. In the end I chose to have two separate water materials: one for water that rises/lowers, and one for water that stays stationary. The rising/lowering water has a translucent material applied to it so you can see underlying geo. The stationary water has an opaque material applied to it that uses a material shader to show the underlying cobblestone.

    You can see the translucent water at the bottom of this image, and the opaque water at the top:

    wip4.jpg

    Here's the original:

    wip4_comparison.jpg

    I really want to push this project, and I think it's starting to look a lot more like the original now that I have tweaked the lighting.

    Let me know of anything you think might improve this guys!
  • PogoP
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    PogoP polycounter lvl 7
    Had a little break from my FYP, and it was my birthday on Friday so I've not had too much chance to get stuff done. But today I have finished a few more assets for this street environment. I think I'm going to call it done for now, I want to work on some other things for practice, and I must get my FYP finished!

    The French Awnings and lamp post have been made, as well as the alpha'd fencing on the top of the spire. Lemme know what you think!

    building_wip7.jpg
  • fearian
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    fearian Polycount Sponsor
    e: The material definition on the bricks is a bit off, it almost looks like they're painted...
  • snow
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    snow polycounter lvl 7
    hi pogop, can you please explain how you're lighting your building in udk, it looks great, thanks a lot :)
  • sltrOlsson
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    sltrOlsson polycounter lvl 8
    I think your facade needs more wethering before you should call it done. Still looks ace thogh (:
  • PogoP
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    PogoP polycounter lvl 7
    Hey fellas.

    Fearian: Yeah something's not quite right there. The texture map is a little messy and needs cleaning up a little. At the moment it's too noisy.

    Snow: I'm just using a directional light to cast that harsh, vaguely-orange, midday sun lighting on the brick building, and the subtle ambient lighting is created using a skylight of a light blue colour.

    The building is using lightmaps, not sure exactly what resolution though. I know it's not too high. I love how Lightmass has baked the colour of the diffuse texture on to the lightmaps slightly, gives it a warm, orange colour (you can see this in the nooks of the bricks at the top, where they meet the trim.

    SltrOlsson: Yeah you're right. I was going to explore making a custom shader allowing me to vertex paint a little tileable dirt on there, but I haven't yet got round to it.
  • sltrOlsson
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    sltrOlsson polycounter lvl 8
    I don't think you need to be that fancy. Just grime it up slightly and see how it feels..
  • PogoP
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    PogoP polycounter lvl 7
    My only issue is that because the texture map is highly modular, any dirt I paint on will be more visible than it otherwise would be if the environment weren't so modular. I could add a little more dirt to the diffuse though, I'll try it.
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