[Portfolio Review] Character Artist trying to get to the next level

polycounter lvl 4
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TheWarlord18 polycounter lvl 4
Hey everyone, I've been doing characters for games for a few years and I feel like I've hit a bit of a wall in terms of my growth. I'm definitely a lot farther then when I started but there's still that  bit in the back of your mind that says its not good enough yet. So, in order to try and get to that next level I would greatly appreciate any feedback or critiques on my work. I plan on taking the next few months to revamp my portfolio and want to have an idea on what I need to fix before I get started.

My portfolio site: http://nicholasbozarth.com/
(note: most of my current updates are in the blog section.)

Artstation: https://botzenhardt.artstation.com/
(note: I just started posting on here so there isn't much.)

Thanks to all that can take the time to post feedback, I truly appreciate it =)


  • TophT
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    TophT polycounter lvl 2
    Hey Nick,
    Firstly, the link you posted to your personal site seems to be either incorrect or broken, so I can't critic much on that front.
    The second link works fine and based on what I saw, just 2 samples, I would suggest doing some anatomical exercises. The anatomy you have is loose at best.
    I'm not big on fictions creatures as part of a character reel  as I don't know how close you were able to get to the concept. This is a rather important skill for a character artist. Maybe post the concept art along with your art so people could judge. If the designs are yours, I would suggest making the next assets you create based on someone else's concept art. When people that are starting out create their own concepts, they tend to design around their skill set. Avoiding things in the design that they cannot model and simplifying the concept to make the sculpting easier. Another thing I see a lot is people making up characters on the fly. Might be fun and produce some interesting creatures, but in a production environment it is pretty unheard of that a character artist is able to make stuff up as they go.
    Another thing I notice is that the materials are pretty flat. There is little to no variation between the types of surfaces you have on your models. Try and push the separation between flesh and steel, fabric and finger nails. You could also add another level of detail. Up close, everything is uninteresting and flat. Add some scrapes and scratches to the metal, some scars and pores to the skin, more wrinkles and creases in the fabric. In today's world of 4k TVs and games at UHD, those tiny little details are so important.
    I would also try and get more samples of your work. I know they say that few great samples are better than many poor ones, but in this case there isn't enough here to gauge your skills. Also, give some technical information about the assets. Polycount, number and size of textures in use, renderer. All this would help people understand your process and how expensive your assets would be. It also also allows people to understand your knowledge of character art. All of this would go a long way to helping you out.
    You're off to a good start, keep at it. You'll get there.
  • TheWarlord18
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    TheWarlord18 polycounter lvl 4
    Firstly, awesome response, I'll definitely take that to heart. I was working off of concepts for almost every character since most of them are assets for one game or another, the concepts have varying levels of help since they're all kinda fast production ones so I had to interpret a fair amount. I'll dig up what I have and start posting those to go with the finished models. As for the polycount and such, they're mostly done relatively low tri count ~3k tris and on 2 512x512 dds textures (diffuse/alpha and Normal/spec) when they're going into engine. I let the small details slide a bit since they never seemed to bake out well with that small of a map, but since I'm going to be working on render pieces for a while I'll definitely bump that up a lot. I just picked up some tools for rendering as well so I hope that will help with the quality of the final shots.

    thanks again for the response.

    PS: I also fixed the link, so it should be working now. sorry about that lol
  • AgelosAp
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    AgelosAp greentooth
    Hi Nick,
    firstly a comment on your personal site, I think you should get rid of graphics such as bevels, grid background etc. and let the eye focus on your work. For instance the artstation site is simple but to the point.
    On the work itself, the first thing I'd focus on improving would be your textures, as they tend to have little to no variation.
    All in all it shows you have put in a good amount of work and have a good base to work from, keep going!
  • slosh
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    slosh polycounter
    If you are going to revamp your folio, I would suggest making brand new pieces...not just trying to update your current ones.  As mentioned, there is a lot wrong with those from the base anatomical and proportional phase.  You would literally have to redo the hires sculpts to improve them drastically.  If you are going to fix those assets, I would choose maybe 2-3 of them that you feel are the strongest, adjust some proportional issues in the low poly and then redo the texturing and materials.  The best way to improve your folio is to make brand new assets.  Study anatomy more in depth and create a character that is up to current gen standards.  Even if its just a bust or a head, that will be more useful if it looks as high quality as the stuff you are seeing in current gen games.  Anatomy is something you can't get around though.  At the very least, you want some high fidelity male and female full body sculpts that show you know anatomy very well.  Good luck!
  • TheWarlord18
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    TheWarlord18 polycounter lvl 4
    accidental double post edit
  • TheWarlord18
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    TheWarlord18 polycounter lvl 4
    UPDATE: I've rewritten my whole portfolio site and revamped and added some new pieces since last time. Any critiques on the new site would be awesome!
    Portfolio: http://nicholasbozarth.com/
    Artstation: https://www.artstation.com/artist/botzenhardt
    Blogger: http://nickbozarth3d.blogspot.com/
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