Portfolio Crits

polycounter lvl 3
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ArtbyV polycounter lvl 3
Hey all,

I'm looking for critique on my portfolio: http://www.artbyv.com

I applied to a few places, but haven't had any luck yet. I'm thinking I need a couple more environments and stronger textures, but I'm not 100% sure and I'm looking for some direction. Thanks for looking!

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  • Chillydog3D
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    Chillydog3D polycounter lvl 5
    Your portfolio is very 'jack of all trades'. You need to decide on something you want to master.

    I'd get rid of the website design, graphic design. illustration. models/sculpts(which are all not finished) and put all the Props on one page.
  • BagelHero
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    BagelHero polycounter lvl 4
    Edit: Sorry for the huge-ass reply, but I feel the issues could be broken down further than just telling you what to cut. :poly122: +1 to Chillydog12345's post, though.

    First of all, congrats on getting to a point where you're applying!
    I think what you need to work on most is presentation, to be honest. Medium grey is the color of mediocrity: it is also the color of nearly all of your backgrounds.

    Step one to getting a portfolio that wows your employer; cut that out.

    Dark grey or light grey are even fine, but make sure you use some gradient or vignetting, because flat mid-grey makes everything look just... super underwhelming.
    While we're on color choices; I highly suggest changing the background to the content of your website to a darker grey, instead of a blue-ish grey that's the same value as the grey that you use for all of your renders. It's hurting my eyes. And really, do you want to do that to the person who's reviewing your portfolio? You want to be the guy who's portfolio stands out after looking through a pile of a hundred for the content, not for making the HR guy have to look away from the page for a second to re-calibrate.

    Then we've got lighting. Some of your renders (which kind of look like they were done in Unity? Is that correct?) are more or less fine, some are...
    Okay, not going to sugar coat this;
    http://www.artbyv.com/thesarge.html
    This piece is only bringing your portfolio down, the lighting (one white directional or point light...?) is really bad. Use a 3 point lighting set up in the future to avoid those pure black shadows, it immediately makes everything look dated, even though it's a fancy sculpt. At least; re-light it, display in Unity (or, now that I've gone back and looked, UE4)with some nice shaders, or render it non-realtime. At best; just cut it. You're aiming for environment art anyway.

    Also, on that note, "realtime in the Maya viewport" isn't really impressive. Unity is moreso, but it doesn't really matter too much these days, I feel. I'd prefer an eye-candy mental ray render w/ listed specs than a dodgy viewport capture (it tells me nothing AND looks bad).

    On specs, don't tell me you modeled the peice. I know that, otherwise you'd hope it wasn't on your portfolio! I also know from that that you had to have made the UVs, and probably the textures, too.
    These things are common sense and don't need to be said.
    Instead, tell me the polycount, texture size, what textures you used (diffuse,albedo,spec,gloss/roughness,AO,normal,etc), if you used a fancy program to texture, make the hipoly, design the shader, so on. And show wires, I don't see a single wireframe or tri count on your site.

    Your Paladin Trilogy props are.... props. Again, better lighting, background that isn't mid-grey would probably help a great deal. While we're on this, I'd suggest having a gander at PBR tech/methods, since your props would probably be good to practice this on. Your methods come across as perhaps a bit dated, so maybe learning something entirely new might get the gears turning again.

    Find a better way to display your spec/diff/normals, that uses less space. Look at other people's portfolios for great examples of this; honestly you should be looking at them all anyway to know what the quality bar is, so this shouldn't be something I need to suggest you do.

    The best piece is your UE4 environment, but even this looks a little dated.
    Work on your sculpting. That alone would bring this piece up to par; go to the rock thread right here on Polycount, or even just look at these Watch Dogs rocks. That's the quality bar. Also, don't display your sculpt with the red wax matcap, it's an unpopular choice. Maybe go for Matcap Grey, Matcap Wedclay or Basic Material.
    And also, get an ambient light/ambient cubemap in that scene. Pure black is bad. Rocks don't reflect less in pits/shadow-y areas. Your spec map should be mostly a flat grey/slightly speckled grey, and if you're working in UE4 you'll be wanting to get a gloss map on there. If you ever re-do these, or do more rocks, do them to PBR specs. Should be easy to get measured values for rock chunks.

    Lastly, cut the KFC job from your resume.Your role was pretty heavy duty, but all in all it was at KFC, and if that wasn't enough... God, it was a full decade ago. Don't feel the need to pad your jobs section; if it's pretty irrelevant to a junior/mid-level art position, it goes. If it was so long ago that it's barely applicable, it goes.

    Sorry for the kind of brutal reply here, dude. Just think you might need a bit of a push in order to really move forward.
    Looking forward to seeing where you end up. :thumbup:
  • Youngy798
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    Youngy798 polycounter lvl 2
    With this model:

    axe1.jpg

    I think you could do with adding some more scratches and dirt to your spec maps. It would make the axe look a bit more worn. At the moment the metal looks very smooth compared to the wood.
  • ArtbyV
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    ArtbyV polycounter lvl 3
    @Chillydog12345 Some of the places I was apply were looking for strong traditional background and examples of painting so I added some of that stuff. I agree it's very shotgun at the moment. I'll work on pruning and focusing on props and environments.

    @BagelHero Dude, I love the huge reply! No need to apologize. Thanks for taking the time and being so thorough. My site hurts your eyes? I wonder if I need to calibrate my monitor. Definitely something I'll need to look into. Most of my renders are done in Marmoset.

    You're absolutely right on using dated methods though. We didn't cover PBR when I was in school and it's something I definitely need to learn. I'll check out that link. I appreciate the honesty. If I was looking for praise I'd ask my wife or my kids. I think I'm going to work on making the changes to my site and focus on updating my UE4 environment. Thanks again!
  • iadagraca
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    iadagraca polycounter lvl 4
    @ArtbyV

    The problem with the site is that there's too many colors at once, and everything seems important.

    You need to separate the content better, and maybe unify the thumbnails by overlaying them with a particular color or something.

    Or a great solution would be to organize the content by importance. Have the important stuff larger and more defined at the top, and if the viewer is interested in the less important stuff keep that to smaller icons or thumbs at the bottom.

    rather than giving everything the same amount of importance.
  • ArtbyV
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    ArtbyV polycounter lvl 3
    @Youngy798 Agreed. I'm going to work on my props a bit more and try and get more familiar with the PBR workflow.

    @iadagraca That's a really good point and something I haven't considered. I definitely want to focus more on the 3D side of things and less on my traditional 2d work. Maybe I'll make the 2D links smaller and put them next to each other at the bottom.
  • BagelHero
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    BagelHero polycounter lvl 4
    Yeah, you page really isn't high enough in contrast from the actual work, which makes it kind of hard to look at on all the monitors I've tried, and even if it wasn't it makes the images have less impact. :) It's good that you're open to the crit, though!

    And Marmoset as in Toolbag 2...?
    Go into your post FX and mess with it until it looks nicer, add vignetting, a little sharpness, a tiny bit of bloom, maybe a bit of noise (not too much).
    And do some material work, fiddle with ALL the sliders. Look at how they make their included materials. Make sure you choose the right image for your IBL, in order to display the image effectively, and try dropping in one directional light straight onto the sky editor, from the main light source in the HDRi.
    That'll make your output a little more interesting.

    +1 on iadagraca's suggestion.

    You should open a thread for your environment here, if you haven't already, and title it with [PBR] or [UE4] somewhere. :) Active feedback on it will get you where you need to be, I think. Good luck!
  • GOBEE
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    GOBEE polycounter lvl 10
    If I'm being brutally honest, it's a lot of content with half ass renders. If I'm being more constructive with my criticism, I'd say what BagelHero said. He is spot on.

    However I will add something that always bothers me. Including your home address. It's not needed. No one is ever going to snail-mail you anything about a job. If someone wants to find you, the internet makes it pretty easy now days without you displaying it at the top of the page.

    Also, I've never found the Objective section of a resume to be of any use. Hiring managers/Recruiters will skim right over that crap and go directly to your experience. Objective is kind of old school. And with KFC, rule of thumb IMO is your last 5 years of employment or your last 3 jobs. Whatever looks better on the resume and is actually relevant.

    My last piece of advice would be to create two different portfolios. One for 3d and one for 2d. Tailor those portfolios for the different types of jobs you'll be applying for. 3d modeling/texturing and then 2d graphic/web design. Just a thought. Narrow down your work and get your best in our face as quick and simple as possible when I click on your link.

    Good luck!
  • BARDLER
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    BARDLER polycounter lvl 6
    Adding to what everybody else said here are few quick points in no order really.

    -You do not need KFC on your resume, only put relevant job experience for the jobs you are applying to.

    -If you do website/logo design stuff, make a separate website for that. Do not lump all this stuff into one website because it looks very messy. If you are applying for video game art positions nobody cares about your website and logo design stuff, and same goes for people looking for web designers, they do not care about your 3d modeling.

    -All of your work looks rushed, everything from the models, to the textures, and worst of all your presentation. They way you create and present the final image is just as important as the work you actually did to create the piece. Bad presentation can make good models look really flat and boring, so take the time to present your stuff with nice lighting and composition.

    -You might be misleading people with this image
    roomref.jpg
    You make it seem like that is a render you did, but it looks like it is just reference for the gray box model. You need to clearly label something if it your reference, and not just put your website logo on another persons work.

    -Last thing is you should really focus on creating content on the level of the video games that are out now, because that is what will be expected of you. If you want to work on mobile games then create are that looks and functions like you see in those games. If you want to do big giant AAA games then look at games like Ryse, KZ:SF, Infamous:SS, and all these new games and create art that can stand up against those games. If you want to work for places like Riot and Blizzard that do high quality hand painted stuff like you see in those games.

    Hope that helps.
  • ArtbyV
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    ArtbyV polycounter lvl 3
    Alright, I spent the day and trimmed down my portfolio, worked on my renders, and fixed my resume. Thanks to everyone for all the helpful feedback. Anything else that stands out that I need to fix?

    www.artbyv.com

    I know I need to push myself and create stuff that looks more like current gen AAA titles, but hopefully the changes I made are a step in the right direction. I’ll get my UE4 environment up for crit soon as I left that as is and I plan to update it. Thanks again for the feedback!
  • BagelHero
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    BagelHero polycounter lvl 4
    Oh, this is so much better.
    I've got no real complaints now. Only teensy niggly bits; you probably don't need Toolbag 2 on your resume, it's not something you're likely to have to use in a studio. The text at the top of the main page could stand to be centered, rather than aligned to the left. Navagational buttons could maybe say "Props/textures/vehicles/cave" instead of previous/next, I got a little lost without going to the home page.

    Other than that, kudos. Your site cleaned up very nicely, and it'll look even better with more stuff and the fixed environment.
  • ArtbyV
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    ArtbyV polycounter lvl 3
    @BagelHero Noted. I'll get that stuff cleaned up. Thanks again!
  • GOBEE
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    GOBEE polycounter lvl 10
    Damn! The power of Polycount. Great improvement. And you did it so fast! Took the critism like a champ and the improvement is obvious. I bet your port will get even better as the days and weeks go by.

    One last thing, and this is just my opinion, the videos are not needed. Unless you have some fancy animation going on you'd like to show off, all those videos do is just show off the exact same thing your images accomplish. I'd rather see larger images up front and center than the videos. Your call though. Could save you some space on your site and some time down the road from making those.
  • ArtbyV
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    ArtbyV polycounter lvl 3
    @GOBEE Thanks man. It's amazing how numb you get to the way something looks when you create it in a vacuum and don't get feedback. Really glad that I created an Account and posted. I thought the same thing about the videos and they are a pain to create, but the job placement department from my school is always pushing for them. I think what I'll do is only keep them for my environments and with props and vehicles go with bigger images like you suggested. I would also benefit from a proper demo reel at some point with everything in all in one place.
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