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1 week character art tests

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almighty_gir ngon master
Hey guys,

Is this a normal thing? I've seen a couple of these in the showcase subforum, and i've just been given one myself. In all my experience working, 1 week turnaround on a character is insane... So why are these art-tests happening?

I'd love to be clued in on this.

Replies

  • R3D
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    R3D interpolator
    From my understanding, they don't typically expect you to completely finish a character, but it'll give them a sense of your workflow, topology/sculpting skills, use of reference etc.
  • almighty_gir
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    almighty_gir ngon master
    If that were the case, then shouldn't they ask for like... a head? or a bust, or something? Something that demonstrates the full workflow? A week is barely enough to get the high poly done.
  • slosh
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    slosh hero character
    R3D said:
    From my understanding, they don't typically expect you to completely finish a character, but it'll give them a sense of your workflow, topology/sculpting skills, use of reference etc.
    Um, where are you getting this?  They absolutely expect you to finish.  The problem is its a ridiculous request to have it done in a week.  I honestly haven't seen very many but when I do, it usually feels like it comes from a studio that may not have a proper understanding of pipeline for quality character art.  Or perhaps they put it at a week since it takes around that to do it in house.  What they don't take into account is that a lot of people are often juggling freelance work or fulltime jobs when they are taking these art tests.  Most character art tests are busts now too which helps.  Still, a next gen AAA character can take upwards of 3 months.  So even asking for a bust in a week is ludicrous.  I remember taking one art test for a AAA studio that took me like 2 months.  I took another one that was 3 weeks.  Both were appropriate for what was being asked for.  So, when someone asks for that type of bust to be done in a week, I can only imagine they don't understand proper character art pipeline and the time it takes to make it.
  • Alemja
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    Alemja quad damage
    I've done one of these, it was pretty brutal because I have a day job. I was at least given a base mesh to work from that had a lot of anatomy built in already. From my particular experience the company tends to work quickly so it was a test to see if you can make something decent within their typical in-studio deadline for assets(1-2 weeks) and where a bit of a crunch house, I was obviously not very comfortable with that in the interview.

    I would not be surprised if other companies who offer a similar test, are looking for people who can and would be willing to crunch. These tests aren't really made with people who work day jobs in mind, a more realistic deadline for a bust would be like 2 weeks minimum.
  • pmiller001
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    pmiller001 greentooth
    I did my first art test recently. it was a bit of a pain. I didnt know this wasn't a normal thing,. getting it done in a week. 
    so what do companies expect to get out of a 1 week test? maybe it's meant to see where you'll cut corners?
  • Spoon
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    Spoon polycounter lvl 9
    Interesting to hear that from @slosh
    Were you paid for it?

    The art test I took to get my current job was 2 days for something that would easily be estimated to be 1 week workload.
    And that was the whole point, they said. They didn't expect me to finish, but they wanted to see what I could get done, how I prioritized etc.
    Luckily for me, I was using the everyman sleep cycle at the time, so I finished it, and got the job.
    I kinda liked that test, though. Small and managable. If someone asked me to do a 3 month art test, Im not sure how I would react.
  • slosh
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    slosh hero character
    @Spoon The art test that took me 2 months was a combination of things.  I'm guessing I could do it much faster now.  It was a learning experience as well as being for a AAA company that I knew had the highest quality bar...and everything had to be from scratch.  I should also clarify that it wasn't deemed "a 2 month" art test.  Their principle was basically "take as long as you need."  I actually appreciated that.  I was just making a point that that specific company wanted your very best regardless of time rather than forcing you to do it in a short unreasonable time and producing something mediocre.  I also don't buy the "we don't expect you to finish" line.  They very well know any artist who wants the job and receives that art test is going to kill themselves to finish in the time allotted regardless.  It's a somewhat underhanded way to get artists to do the test in a shorter amount of time to fit the needs of the studio.  
  • NikhilR
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    NikhilR interpolator
    I don't get what a short art test really proves. A lot of fresh graduates from game dev programs do these tests but it doesn't prove that they can take on a full character/tackle various character types.
    So its confusing to understand what exactly these companies are really looking for in a short art test.
    Maybe they have junior character artists work in the character department making props for characters made by senior artists.
    Does that really make them character artists?
  • Neox
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    Neox insane polycounter
    there are tons of things any arttest can prove. It does not necessarily have to do with the art side of things.
    communications, reactions to feedback, priorities on short timeframes or the ability to judge a timeframe based on the actual task etc.

    it is not wrong if you tell them what you think about the task and its relationship to the timeframe. Of course for a junior role there usually isn't much space for negotations. But it should not hurt to communicate concerns and offer solutions.
  • Brian "Panda" Choi
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    Brian "Panda" Choi high dynamic range
    I just got a test from a studio asking me to do a photorealistic character, but they said I could just leave the pants and shoes as only sculpts and just UV the torso up.  I gave them a time estimate (based on the hours I;d actually spend) since they didn't ask for a specific time frame.

    I'm HOPING I'm fine on the time front.
  • pmiller001
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    pmiller001 greentooth
    OH i didnt even think to ask if I could do that, give them the amount of time i thinkts going to take. I'll have to do that next time. 
  • Elithenia
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    Elithenia polycounter
    @almighty_gir
    for a week... was this stylised, realistic, low poly, full workflow or just sculp etc? 

    I'm currently trying to set up a decent frame for expected art tests within our team.. so trying to see how others approach it.. 
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