I got rejected from multiple jobs, what am I doing wrong?

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MAJmuffin triangle
Hey all/everyone reading this,

Like the title says I am getting rejected for every art test I got but I don't know what I'm doing wrong, could you guys tell me what I'm doing wrong at the hand of these pictures?

1

2


I want to become a Hard surface artist more focused on weapons and vehicles ( got a vehicle in the making) but although I am specializing I have had one rejection after another. But I wont let this set me back, I'll take the feedback to heart and improve upon it, there is no use in sitting in a dark corner, wailing over what has been or could have been. It is just a question of how well you can recover and keep moving. to improve upon it and thrive. 

My artstation: https://www.artstation.com/stevensier

Replies

  • ZacD
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    ZacD greentooth
    The first problem is presentation. Look at Artstation profiles like https://www.artstation.com/kimmokaunela 
    A more constant presentation with better lighting that shows more detail would help a lot. 

    Something like




    I had to adjust the levels on pretty much every image to bring out more details, most of them were too dark.


    Second, focus on showing technical skills and that you can be consistent, as well as showing variety. The modeling and detail on the second rifle look great, it's just hard to see the detail. The axe is kinda bland and boring as an asset, the detail is nice, but it's flat and a really simple shape that doesn't showcase much in terms of modeling or texturing skill. 

    Third, try making things feel more complete, finished, and polished. The arch, first rifle, axe, and environment look like they are just 70% finished. Things are blurry, flat, boring, and generic in places. 
  • MAJmuffin
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    MAJmuffin triangle
    @ZacD
    Thank you very much for your reply, and I've got to say you're right. It seems like it is a good idea to have a standard marmoset viewer where I can present my work in for the lighting of the presentation. as for the 70% done part it seems like it might be me calling it finished too soon and I should have a checklist of sorts for detail levels and such. to have a proper workflow. (If I am understanding this correctly) 

    I'll take this feedback to heart and will use it to improve. once again, thank you.
  • JordanN
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    JordanN polycounter lvl 5
    Also take into account, it's not always about the prop being wrong. 

    It varies from studio to studio but sometimes the hardsurface job overlaps with environment art. And by that same technicality, what if the guy with the bigger portfolio of both environments and props applies for the position? 

    That was something that caught my attention last year when I got interviewed. They knew I could model,texture and light but when I showed them my environments, I couldn't explain to them I still needed more time to work on them. That was a big wake up call for me to show up fully prepared.
  • Metemer
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    Metemer vertex
    Your stuff isn't bad, but I do think your presentation is a bit off. Your framing is what bothers me the most. The first image on each asset is the most important and should showcase your model in its best angle, imo. In contrast, if you look at the first image you have for that axe - which imo is a well done axe - it's a boring front/side/back view, and not only that, but also about half of the image is just empty space for no good reason! The blunderbuss's first image is better but still has about 30% of the image taken up by negative space on the left side.  Same for the rifle.

    Other than that, you only have 5 items which might just be too few. Although you do have an environment piece, which might be your best one, but I can't tell because it's a dark scene. Which may be by design but unfortunately it makes your work hard to see and appreciate.

    I'd scrap all the images you have and make new ones. The assets are fine but all these images are framed poorly. Make sure your props are in the center of the image and fill out a reasonable amount of space, and are rotated in an angle that shows the most interesting part of a weapon. In case of weapons, this is usually the part that kills things. The barrel of guns, the head of the axe. Search some other ones on Artstation to see how others present them. Lighting seems fine but still, do play around with it to see if you can make it any better. I get that the environment is meant to be dark, but I think you could "imply" darkness with a bright blue light(as if moonlight), which is what games often do at night time, since the player still needs to see.

    But I don't know if any of these will actually help you, finding a job is just plain difficult. Good luck to the both of us.
  • Maximum-Dev
  • MAJmuffin
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    MAJmuffin triangle
    @JordanN I guess you are right but I believe I could also still improve. At least that is what I keep telling myself, If you get rejected, get better. it might not be true but its what keeps me striving all the more. 

    @Metemer
    This was touched upon earlier too, it seems like it might be a good idea to redo the presentation for each piece. or at least study up on this subject because from what I have learned in the view replies already is that my presentation leaves much to be desired.

    @Maximum-Dev
    thanks man, I already saw this a while ago but this time I'll study it more :smile:

    Thank you guys all very much for the feedback. I really appreciate this. Right now the last rejection has lit a fire under my ass and I really REALLY want to improve.so Ill take everything you guys just said to heart. once again, thanks a lot.
  • Bletzkarn
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    Bletzkarn triangle
    As everyone else is saying I'd say it's your presentation.

    Even just something simple goes a long way.
  • MAJmuffin
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    MAJmuffin triangle
    @Bletzkarn
    It seems like it. I think i'll spend the upcoming days redoing them in marmoset. Thanks for the help man.
  • Elithenia
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    Elithenia interpolator
    I would say, make sure that you show your wireframes clearly (maybe use white instead of the black colour you have if you are using it on the textured model, or even the grey model with black wireframes on) as well as your texture maps when you present it. 
    Be concise in your picture, so maybe have:

    1.  nice framing shot, draw the person in
    2. wide angle, show the full view
    3.  wireframe of the full view
    4. texture sheets (unless you bundle these in with the wireframe) (the above pic from @Bletzkarn is really good in that)
    5. maybe a marmoset viewer where they can have a look should they want to
    6. -> detail pics

    Remember that these people look through hundreds of portfolios when looking for someone to hire, make sure yours stand out in presentation and technical skill. 
  • aanselmo
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    aanselmo vertex
    I am not the best person to talk about this since I am struggled a bit too with rejections, but I stopped applying to jobs now a bit to work more on my portfolio, but anyway the advice I can give you for a better presentation is to give a back story to the props, you need to show the weapon or other prop has been used and is part of some story. It's doesn't need to be a complete scene, sometimes just need some background and extra details. This is just an example of work of mine https://www.artstation.com/artwork/mLdRd, I made that to add a bit of story to the gun, I know is not the best but I think is a bit more interesting than just a gun

    Keep up the good work :)
  • danr
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    danr polycounter lvl 13
    Presentation yeah I guess, but ...

    you've got some further fundamental issues you need to fix up, they all screamed out at me with all klaxons going off before I considered any visual presentation problems. 

    - you call yourself a 'junior weapon and vehicle artist' but have no vehicles to show. Announce what you are, not what you want to be, anything else is irrelevant.
    Also, without a fully fleshed out portfolio of weapons/vehicles all you're doing is pigeonholing yourself into a niche (making your other environment work seem out of place) ... but with the cardinal crime of nothing to back it up. Even if you luck out and a company is specifically looking for a 'junior weapon/vehicle artist' they'll pass over you in a second. 

    - your 3 weapons scream 'I've downloaded a pack of patterns and By god I'm going to use them'. You need some new tricks, show you can approach designs in different ways rather than just stamping the same motifs everywhere.

    - do you have references for your axe? It's intricately gilded but the metal looks like it's been very roughly cast, or bashed about in a way that hasn't affected the gilding. Most odd, can't look past it. 

    - seriously, take your newspaper route the hell off your CV. Relevant experience *only. The correlation between rejections and CVs with weird shit on them is very high and rightfully so. Portfolio to catch the eye and provide the meat of your application, but before an interview your CV *will be read. 



  • MAJmuffin
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    MAJmuffin triangle
    danr said:
    Presentation yeah I guess, but ...

    you've got some further fundamental issues you need to fix up, they all screamed out at me with all klaxons going off before I considered any visual presentation problems. 

    - you call yourself a 'junior weapon and vehicle artist' but have no vehicles to show. Announce what you are, not what you want to be, anything else is irrelevant.
    Also, without a fully fleshed out portfolio of weapons/vehicles all you're doing is pigeonholing yourself into a niche (making your other environment work seem out of place) ... but with the cardinal crime of nothing to back it up. Even if you luck out and a company is specifically looking for a 'junior weapon/vehicle artist' they'll pass over you in a second. 

    - your 3 weapons scream 'I've downloaded a pack of patterns and By god I'm going to use them'. You need some new tricks, show you can approach designs in different ways rather than just stamping the same motifs everywhere.

    - do you have references for your axe? It's intricately gilded but the metal looks like it's been very roughly cast, or bashed about in a way that hasn't affected the gilding. Most odd, can't look past it. 

    - seriously, take your newspaper route the hell off your CV. Relevant experience *only. The correlation between rejections and CVs with weird shit on them is very high and rightfully so. Portfolio to catch the eye and provide the meat of your application, but before an interview your CV *will be read. 



    Yeah, I am a bit lost as you can see on some topics, for example when I was making my CV I was sure I wouldn't need to put the newspaper route on there but I got told that they want to see everything. So I put it on there. same with the title on artstation. to be honest, I do not have a single clue what to put there. I know what I want to make but how in gods name can I say that to the internet?

    On the textures, Yeah, I think you're right. I need to spend more time on texturing and not just slapping smart mats on there and sliding the sliders a bit. 
    There was no reference for the axe. the only reason I have it on there at the moment is because if I don't I have almost nothing on my folio. I know its quality over quantity but.. people will just open it, see 1 or 2 things, close it. thinking ''he is not ready yet'' I mean, clearly I am not ready otherwise I would work in the industry but that is really the only reason for the axe to be there atm.
  • kymo_thys
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    kymo_thys vertex
    I would suggest to work on your wood textures a lot, they dont feel like natural wood to me atm. with the blunderbuss you have wood grains going horizontal with bump details and then the albedo has vertical grains running up, thats pretty confusing. they are also pretty over the top so you could notch them down a bit. for a good tutorial on doing wood for guns check out this guy:
    His tutorial is pretty cheap and will give you a great understanding of how wood and metal texturing should be done in a more realistic way. It also covers good presentation in marmoset!

    Overall I like your models so with better presentation and textures you're good to go. Also looking forward to seeing that vehicle

  • AlecMoody
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    AlecMoody interpolator
    A bunch of other people have mentioned the presentation, which is one of the biggest issues. Also I think the materials could use a lot more work.

    Aside from the quality of the work, being rejected is normal. I have been rejected for a ton of jobs. Any time you send in a job application to the jobs@gamecompany email or reply to a listing and you aren't friends with someone who works there, expect a high chance of rejection.
  • almighty_gir
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    almighty_gir interpolator
    Aside from presentation, sheer volume of work. You should be able to churn props out every 4 or 5 days. In 2 months you should have ~8 more good props.
  • AlecMoody
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    AlecMoody interpolator
    Totally agree, Make a lot more work. If you are somehow in a situation where you aren't working full time, take 8 hours every day to make game art.
  • MAJmuffin
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    MAJmuffin triangle
    @kymo_thys
    ah, I totally forgot that Tim has that tutorial. thanks for reminding me, I'll get that :smile:  in general I have gotten the impression that my texturing skills are sub-par at the moment. so I'll watch it and make notes on how to do it better. 

    @almighty_gir
    @AlecMoody
    I usually work from 10-11 am till 2 am minus food breaks and other minor things. There are a couple of things I got going on atm but all in all I think I will be able to do that after I get better at presenting what I have now and using that for later too. 

    Thanks a bunch you guys for helping me out in here. I'll take this feedback to heart.
  • aclund3
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    aclund3 polycounter lvl 2
    When you're working on improving your materials, make sure to heavily study material references.

    Using a gun as an example, this doesn't necessarily just mean finding good gun ref photos.  It also means find material references for each separate material you are using. So, you're looking for ref photos of hand-worn wood for the stock, how the wood wears where a hand touches it, and what the edges look like as it blurs to some other treatment over the top of the wood. Maybe you're looking at gun barrels or other metal pipes and how they wear for the barrel. Maybe you're looking at different metal/wood handles and handholds for the gun grip. These handles could be for doors, drawers, whatever if they're showing the type of wear and character you want to impart on your model. And on and on.

    In my experience, you've got to be super detail oriented and pay very close attention to real world ref photos to make good materials. You'll get there. Just keep putting in the work.
  • ExcessiveZero
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    ExcessiveZero polycounter lvl 5
    I would say beyond all the great advice here, in future when in doubt ask, I just had a job interview recently that I didn't get but a part of the Q&A I got to ask "what would you like to see in a portfolio for this job"

    how often do you get a lead artist you fully respect to go over your work and tell you exactly the kind of thing they would want to see?  I am so stoked over the feedback I got and went straight to work on it.
  • MAJmuffin
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    MAJmuffin triangle
    aclund3 said:
    When you're working on improving your materials, make sure to heavily study material references.

    Using a gun as an example, this doesn't necessarily just mean finding good gun ref photos.  It also means find material references for each separate material you are using. So, you're looking for ref photos of hand-worn wood for the stock, how the wood wears where a hand touches it, and what the edges look like as it blurs to some other treatment over the top of the wood. Maybe you're looking at gun barrels or other metal pipes and how they wear for the barrel. Maybe you're looking at different metal/wood handles and handholds for the gun grip. These handles could be for doors, drawers, whatever if they're showing the type of wear and character you want to impart on your model. And on and on.

    In my experience, you've got to be super detail oriented and pay very close attention to real world ref photos to make good materials. You'll get there. Just keep putting in the work.
    Thanks man, I totally forgot about that :V , I'll do that too man. 
    Looks like the comming time will be a productive experience in becoming better! :smiley:

    Side note, would it be alright if I posted some of the ''updates'' here? so you guys could say ''Yay or Nay''?
  • CybranM
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    CybranM polycounter lvl 4
    If anyone else has mentioned this I've missed it but I think you need to rethink the way you do the lowpoly models.
    if you use 2.7k polys for a simple shape like that axe and then you show this in one of the pictures I don't think that will get you any favours.


    Same with the musket you've made:

    From what I can tell you've spent most of your 6.7k polys on very small bevels which is a huge waste with no benefit.

    High-res textures are always good since you can mipmap them but using so many polys for nothing doesn't show a good understanding of lowpoly modeling. It should be relatively easy to fix though, just learn to use the polys in a smarter way :smile:

  • MAJmuffin
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    MAJmuffin triangle
    CybranM said:
    If anyone else has mentioned this I've missed it but I think you need to rethink the way you do the lowpoly models.
    if you use 2.7k polys for a simple shape like that axe and then you show this in one of the pictures I don't think that will get you any favours.


    Same with the musket you've made:

    From what I can tell you've spent most of your 6.7k polys on very small bevels which is a huge waste with no benefit.

    High-res textures are always good since you can mipmap them but using so many polys for nothing doesn't show a good understanding of lowpoly modeling. It should be relatively easy to fix though, just learn to use the polys in a smarter way :smile:

    Yeah, I know that now after having some people look through my stuff and point that out. I read up on this with this article: http://piratportfolio.com/fpp_eng/ 
    So I think I can do it better in the future, the only reason I have yet to remove the older pieces is because if I do I then have nothing.
    It might be better to have nothing instead of this but I do not know if that correct.

  • Xelan101
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    Xelan101 polycounter lvl 7
    A lot of people have already said much about the models as a whole. But in response to your question about whether having nothing is better, I think the answer is yes. The overall vibe I get from your replies and from looking at your portfolio myself is that you have to take a step back and revise your portfolio.

     If that's the case, then it shouldn't matter what's on it currently, because you should suspend your applications until your port is more consistent in its quality. If you're applying with a low quality model you're keeping in there just because your port is too small without it (the axe) , then maybe you ought to refine that asset before applying at all. Otherwise you're just getting your name out there on work that you yourself consider below your standards.

    Like several folks have said, I think there's some fundamental problems to address in your work, like responsible poly density and material definition, and that you should stop and focus on. This could mean updating existing works in your portfolio, but I'm more inclined to say that you'll probably learn more if you start building new projects from scratch. I'd stick to single prop projects for the time being and build up your skills that way. This'll help you to work quickly and iteratively and improve your overall technique. Post your in progress stuff here on the forum, there's a whole lot of people on this site that can help you learn and grow in the right direction!
  • MAJmuffin
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    MAJmuffin triangle
    @Xelan101

    Thank you for your reply. I did consider this but it seems like I didn't want to do it until someone said ''Hey, it might be a better idea to make a portfolio revision''  or better said. I hesitated on removing everything. But I think I'll do that. It seems like this is the smartest choice for now. 


  • MAJmuffin
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    MAJmuffin triangle
    Alright, so I got the ultimate weapon tutorial from Tim aka chamferzone. Going to watch it first, take notes then rewatch it when following along. Looking forward to what I can learn :>
  • MAJmuffin
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    MAJmuffin triangle
    Hey guys, I have been trying out how to better my presentation, is this okay? or could be better?
    also, Im guessing people would want to see the wireframe? should I just have all these images with a slightly visible wire on it or post a marmo viewer at the bottom? I was told not a lot of people look at it 






  • Dethling
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    Dethling polycounter lvl 6
    MUCH better!
    I would make one shot only with normal map and wiremap overlay (would take the first camera setting for it) and one extra picture with the textures presented.
    For this you can e.g. also use the first camera perspective and then put the different textures into the albedo channel in marmorset, then overlap the pictures and mask out parts of the texture sheets. At the end you should have one picture, with the model showing parts of all textures (can't find an example of it yet).
    Also put your name and contact details on every picture, you don't know where someone will find it (maybe a friend of a friend share it on twitter and then no one will know who did this piece). Maybe make a special "signature frame" you will use for all of your pictures/models, so people recognize it.

    The marmorset (or sketchfab) viewer at the end would be a nice bonus, but as far as I understood most hiring people will not use it, because they don't have that much time for every application they get (so maybe if you pass round 1 they will look at it^^).

    I don't know if my portfolio is that good, but maybe you can get some inspiration there:
    https://www.artstation.com/dethling

  • MAJmuffin
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    MAJmuffin triangle


    @Dethling
    something like this? the logo seems kind of redundant with the text but idk how easy it is to shop out text. as for the logo, drop the black background?
  • Dethling
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    Dethling polycounter lvl 6
    I like the idea with the logo, but I maybe you want to scale/move it a little bit (and maybe try different variants of it). At the moment it looks really squeezed. A good thing about a logo/frame is, that people can recognize your artwork on the first look (good example for this is Kris Thalers portfolio). Also try to keep the text/logo size, font, position etc. consitent at all pictures. 

    The contact details/logo etc. are not meant to be a watersign to avoid art-theft but to make it easier for people who stumble across your art (google search, printerest etc.) to get in contact with you if they like what they see.
  • Felixenfeu
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    Felixenfeu polycounter lvl 6
    I'd keep it simple. It can become very heavy very quickly imo to have lot of text and it makes it hard to read. You have some really great shots up there. I would put : a logo/your name, tricount, map size/number, in the bottom or something, softwares maybe. But that's it. But don't put it in the middle of your picture. The asset is the #1 priority here, not the text. I don't think a link is necessary too since someone watching your stuff will most likely already be on your website.

    I would make a few breakdowns too. That's something you are lacking at the moment.

    Here is a few different exemples :

    Tor Frick doesn't have text and you can recognize his work. It's all about personal style and presentation. 

    https://www.artstation.com/snefer

    Or when he does it's simple :

    https://www.artstation.com/artwork/9W4O

    Since you are starting out it sure is a good idea to use something but just don't overdo it. ex. on my old website : 

    http://felixars.weebly.com/monique.html

    This guy just put map size, tricount, and breakdowns, he really keep it simple but with a good presentation. The work speaks for itself.

    https://www.artstation.com/artwork/9BJKO
    https://www.artstation.com/artwork/aRgN9
  • radiancef0rge
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    radiancef0rge Polycount Sponsor
    I'm really not sure about some of the advice you are getting here. Can you post some images of your work before you took it down from Artstation. 

    In terms of presenting guns/props you need to take a classic simple approach, no need for logos or names or any of that shit. Just show the images lit well, with a focus on how the player is going to see it in game. You want close ups of parts that will be animated, how the side is going to look when running around etc. 

    The grey background is bad. It neutralizes highlights. Try a darker background. You don't need gradients or fancy images in the background, they quantize and just look low quality. 

    Here are some excellent examples of how to present weapons work. 

    https://www.artstation.com/polygoo
    https://www.artstation.com/ryzinart
    https://www.artstation.com/liesforloversx

    Youre work could use some polishing, but currently its really difficult to crit in the way its presented. 
  • MAJmuffin
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    MAJmuffin triangle
    @Felixfeu I really like this method of presenting. although it looks kind of overly glamorous, too much visual noise. the background with the hexels make it a bit too much. if that makes any sense https://www.artstation.com/artwork/9BJKO 

    @radiancef0rge
    sure, let me show you some. here is a link to a mini gallery ( made a lot since I thought more = better)  https://imgur.com/a/EPOBe
    and here is a turn table of one version. (the old one, pre wood rework and all)

    edit: is this brighter background a bit better? also I made the logo 60% of its original size. 


  • radiancef0rge
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    radiancef0rge Polycount Sponsor
    Okay great, your new shots are looking good. I like the close ups. Please just get rid of the gradient, vignette, lens flare whatever. And put it on a darker background try like 50 grey or something. Then lets take a look again. Are you rendering in Marmoset? Can you post your render settings please. 

    I could crit your modeling, but the generically speaking your weakest point is your edges are way too tight. In terms of texturing the location of your grime and edgewear doesn't make sense. Can you post your texture flats so we can take a look at those? 

    I think after this last bit of critique and getting those renders down with nice lighting and stuff you should move on to a new piece. Something smaller in scope where you can focus on the details. A stove, microwave something like that. If you want to make weapons choose something simple that you can knock out of the park. I think something like a WW1 bayonet would be great, maybe a trench helmet with a shield. 
  • Amsterdam Hilton Hotel
    Huge presentation improvement in this thread alone, good work.

    I would consider scrapping the current logo you have and just doing your name in plaintext or something, I don't mean any offense here but it looks a bit amateurish and unrefined as far as graphic design goes and that does bear some relevance since you're looking for a job as a visual artist. Either do a really good logo with impeccable graphic design, or don't do one and just type your name. Even a really good logo can look kind of self-indulgent in my personal opinion, not that it probably matters to most people.

    I think your background is fine in the most recent shot, the grungy stuff is subtle enough to not be annoying. You might want to try darker backgrounds and see how you like it, lighter backgrounds show silhouette well but a darker one will make your materials and interior details pop.

    There's a few things you're doing with the wood that I think could be improved also



    Keep it up, your improvement is legit
  • ZacD
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    ZacD greentooth
    I was going to mention the wood grain as well, the grain should flow up and along the stock, not be perfectly horizontal. 
  • aclund3
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    aclund3 polycounter lvl 2
    @Amsterdam Hilton Hotel  Great tip about how to project wood grain to mimic actually cutting into real wood. Super appreciate that insight :)
  • MAJmuffin
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    MAJmuffin triangle
    @radiancef0rge ;

     hearing the critique tho I probably have to rework some parts of the mesh even. while I don't mind it I also thought about doing a new piece and posting that, after each work day. like a ''lets build it right, this time'' kind of deal (if that makes sense)  :smile:  ps. thanks a ton for the help man. really appreciate this. :) 

    @Amsterdam Hilton Hotel 
    I made that logo in a bit of a hurry yeah, guess a name would be enough.
    as for the background i am kind of stuck on this one. one says go light, the other says go dark. :/ 
    also, the wood grain tip you just gave looks fantastic but to be completely honest I do not completely understand it. so I'll do some research on it  :smile: 

    here are the  texture maps too but I kind of went overboard with it so expect twice the maps that are needed :sweat_smile: 
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_h8lGmXRHI6SnpMY253OXh2Y2s/view?usp=sharing 


  • Dethling
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    Dethling polycounter lvl 6
    MAJmuffin said:
    as for the background i am kind of stuck on this one. one says go light, the other says go dark. :/ 
    I think this is normal in the art industry. You can ask two hiring manager and you will get three answers what a "perfect portfolio" should look like. :)
    We can only point out some obvious issues (e.g. bad lightning).
    In generell I would take a look at other artist and get inspired by the presentations. Then grab what you like and develop your own presentation style from it (and take your time for the presentation pictures^^).

  • MAJmuffin
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    MAJmuffin triangle

    here is a light and a dark variation. tell me your thoughts :smiley: (also removed the ''gunk'')
  • pior
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    pior ngon master
    One problem I've seen happen time and time again is artists being very passive about presentation. By that I mean, people cycling HDRs "until it looks good" (but totally forgetting to place lights manually), tweaking background colors at random, and so on. This usually lead to very dull renders because there is no thought behind it.

    Whereas if you develop a good visual sense (understanding and applying fundamental design principles, and working from strong target references), you can tackle presentation with a clearly established plan and then start tweaking things organically.

    In short, keep the guesswork out of the process ; plan, then execute.
  • Koromo
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    Koromo polygon
    I prefer by far the darker background plus fresnel effect.
    It makes me to focus more on the weapon (and it´s silhouette) rather than the whole image like the light background.


  • MAJmuffin
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    MAJmuffin triangle
    pior said:
    One problem I've seen happen time and time again is artists being very passive about presentation. By that I mean, people cycling HDRs "until it looks good" (but totally forgetting to place lights manually), tweaking background colors at random, and so on. This usually lead to very dull renders because there is no thought behind it.

    Whereas if you develop a good visual sense (understanding and applying fundamental design principles, and working from strong target references), you can tackle presentation with a clearly established plan and then start tweaking things organically.

    In short, keep the guesswork out of the process ; plan, then execute.
    I actually talked with a friend of mine whom did photography and talked about a good way to light this scene. We settled on 3 point lighting. 
    although, that is what I tried to do. maybe It didn't succeed. 
  • pior
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    pior ngon master
    But here's the question : whichever setup you pick (the name doesn't matter), do you have references for the look you are after ? Either practical references (actual pictures showing the look you are after), or at least, a solid mental library of lighting scenarios that you remember for good product photography you came across, well lit movies, and so on.

    If not, suggesting to do a "3 point lighting" is about as useful as saying "just make it look good". It's totally possible to follow so-called 3 point lighting rules but still ending up with a poor render (for instance by giving the background plate a hue and value not contrasting enough with the subject, or contrasting too much, or using lights that are too strong, or too dim, or using an exposure setting that clips the highlights, and so on).

    As with anything CG related, your best course of action isn't to fiddle with render settings but rather, picking up a DSLR and developing a good understanding of photography (and in your case, product photography in particular). Of course that's not a requirement to get good renders out of your 3d app, but it will without a doubt be hugely beneficial in the long run.
  • MAJmuffin
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    MAJmuffin triangle
    @pior ;
    so If I understand this correctly, you mean to ask if I have references for the lighting I am trying to create for the rifle?
    and if not practicing photography would make me learn/get a feel for properly lighting a scene/prop? 

    if not then I am not sure I understand your comment correctly. :V 
  • pior
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    pior ngon master
    I am not asking if you have such references ; I am saying that you *need* such references. Without them you'll just be repeating mistakes (and/or trying things at random) as opposed to making progresses.

    That said, the rifle pictures with a medium grey background are pretty nice !
  • MAJmuffin
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    MAJmuffin triangle
    @pior
    Guess I also need references after the modelling and texturing phase. thanks for pointing that out :smile:
    also, thanks ! (on the medium grey)

    @fearian
    I didn't think it would ''fix my jobless-ness''  (if that is even a word) but I did think that fixing them would make it better.
    that I would get better results. 
    Thanks for the honesty though. that's why i'm here after all. to improve. and to do so by borrowing the experience and wisdom of you guys, which is greatly appreciated :smiley:

    so, I'll soon return with some new stuff. thanks for the advice so far!
  • Elithenia
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    Elithenia interpolator
    I quite like this presentation :) 
    https://www.artstation.com/artwork/klRW0
    It isn't a solid background. But it doesn't draw away from the detail. It actually accentuates the weapon. 
  • MAJmuffin
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    MAJmuffin triangle
    alright, so I kind of got stuck on some other stuff, family things happened too and I got a chance to go to DC out of the blue so I was away for quite a bit. I finished the rifle as well as I could, sadly I still dont really get @Amsterdam Hilton Hotel 's tip on how to bake it well but maybe I am just overthinking this. 

    I also forgot to post this here :D sorry. 
    https://www.artstation.com/artwork/W5b83
    so this is the result and I will jam on with learning on new projects now, see you guys around and thanks you all for helping me out here! 
    This really means a lot to me :) thanks guys.

  • Amsterdam Hilton Hotel
    MAJmuffin said:
    I still dont really get @Amsterdam Hilton Hotel 's tip on how to bake it well but maybe I am just overthinking this. 

    Sorry for the bump, hopefully this makes it more clear what I was saying:


    You make a UV channel that's just a planar projection perpendicular to whatever axis you want the striations to run along, then apply a material to it with a black and white gradient ramp. Scale the UVs around to get the frequency you want. Then bake that black and white gradient to a normally-unwrapped UV channel as a diffuse map (or just do the gradients on the HP and bake diffuse to the LP). Now you have a seamless wood striation mask that conforms to the model for use in texturing 
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