Yet another Env Artist Portfolio Critique!

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RustySpannerz polycounter lvl 8
Hey guys, I've spent the last year or so working on learning as much as I can about Environment Art and building up my portfolio. It's been a great experience and I can happily look back and see just how much more I know that I did last year, and that makes it all worth it. 

In the last couple of months I've been applying to a fair amount of jobs, but I've not heard back from most studios. I had one art test with a company that I didn't get because they were looking for someone with good handpainting skills, and that was my first attempt ever doing that. And I got to the 2nd interview with another company, but they ended up going with someone more experienced. 

I'm usually pretty good at seeing what looks good or bad, but when it comes to my own work it's a lot harder! So now I'm just looking to see where you guys think I'm going wrong, or help me to see which areas I need get stronger in. What's it lacking? What needs to be removed? What should I focus on next? Any help would be greatly appreciated! 

Here's my portfolio:


  • Larry
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    Larry keyframe
    Hi, i am by far very noob myself, but i think that your materials are mostly lacking. They are confusing as to being handpainted or realistic, because they seemed like trying to make realistic materials by hand painting them (big examples the chairs on your airplane scene and the house with the rocks scene.

    I like your storytelling you try to achieve (e.g. broken mirror with a safe behind) but you blurred out the rest too much, to me it shows that you want to blur out close-up detail to hide the quality. I know you did that so that the eye can focus on the crime place itself, but it seems like you overdid it with the blurring and the lighting together all focusing there.

    Your material from substance designer is kind of off, the coloring is vibrand for such a worn out wood and the edges are too smooth having big gaps in them. Those 2 things make it seem not-so realistic and to me personally show a lack of detail in your eye.

    But let's hear what other people have to say because i am inexperienced myself, and if someone asks for critique, i will 10000% find something even if it is not there :wink:
  • Ashervisalis
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    Ashervisalis greentooth
    I agree with Larry that the space between the wood is too large. Shouldn't be too hard to fix that though. If you look at references for this style of wood flooring, the wood is always places together really tightly.
    I think you could add more stuff to the sand to spruce it up a bit. The large round imprints in the sand could be more varied and a little more messy. If it's not dessert sand, maybe try adding in tiny plants or shells or something?
    Your cork looks too shiny.

    I love your seaside building, that was one of the first things I saw on Polycount. All in all I think your portfolio is pretty cool :)
  • heyeye
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    heyeye polycounter lvl 5
    I agree with materials being stuck in a handpainted/realistic purgatory, and I also think that's also the case with your geometry.

    For instance in the beach crash scene, there's a very nicely detailed mountain and islands in the background, yet the airplane is low poly where geometry is creating the silhouette of the broken off wing and hole around the side of the airplane.

    That being said, there's a great control of lighting in all of your environments, which gives all of your scenes strong foundation. They just need to be pushed further in one direction. 

    I would say to focus on one style and run with it. We're in a spot now where the industry is all about specialists, especially at entry level jobs. You don't want any questions about your art style left up to an HR person. Tailor your portfolio to the studio you want to make games for, and it will be a lot easier for that studio to pick you up.
  • RustySpannerz
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    RustySpannerz polycounter lvl 8
    Thanks guys, really helpful feedback! It's all stuff I noticed myself, just need to push that realism harder on the next project. And I'll go back and see what I can do with that wood over the weekend. 
  • jose.fuentes
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    jose.fuentes polycounter lvl 4
    If youre going for envrionment artist, i would get rid of the gun and dinosaur, your environments are pretty cool, focus on those
  • brandv3d
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    brandv3d polycounter lvl 6
    Here is my 2 cents. I think your work is good. I think it's lacking a compair to effect. With the scenes you have I don't know what they were suppost to look like. If you did fan art of something I could say yeah that's a gun from overwatch or do a project from concept art. Ask an concept artist if you can 're create their work in 3d. How you could do some more recognizable things I think would help your portfolio.
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