Game Art University Portfolio

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Caticus vertex
Hey there, 

I'm applying to University this year hoping to study my specialism of 3D modeling and I was wondering if anyone would be kind enough to give me tips/critique on my portfolio. As of now I have renders of four models uploaded to my site but I am going to be uploading some life drawing and personal sketches to the 'Drawings' section of the site after I scan them later this week. 

My first choice of University is De Montfort's Game Art course which has a large emphasis on 2D art aswell as 3D art and as of now I'm a bit uneasy as to whether my 2D art stuff is of a good enough quality to be accepted on the course. (I'm kind of panicking so I wanted to push this thread out on the forums ASAP so I can't show 2D art stuff until later, sorry!)

On the other hand, my second choice is the Games Art course at Staffordshire University which seems to have less of an emphasis on 2D art and I feel would be a little bit easier to get into because of that. 

Here's the link to my portfolio:

Tyty! Any input is appreciated!


  • slosh
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    slosh sublime tool
    I got a broken link
  • Brian "Panda" Choi
  • Caticus
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    Caticus vertex
    My bad! For some reason the http in the hyperlink was messing things up. Thanks for bringing this to my attention. 
    Sadly I can't post the corrected link in this reply because my account is too new but if you just copy and paste the URL instead of clicking the hyperlink it should work. 

    Thanks again!

  • PixelMasher
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    PixelMasher quad damage
    the most critical suggestion I would give right off the bat, is use artstation. It is hands down the biggest art portal an easiest way to get your art seen by people hiring in the industry. the days of personal portfolio sites are dead. 

    the upsides are huge with AS. you can get people following you, which means more immediate attention whenever you post new work, when you update some portfolio site in the distant corners of the web, with some obscure url, no one is going to see it. the response will be crickets. artstation also makes your portfolio layout look good right off the bat if you use the default grid setup, and is instantly familiar to any HR or person doing hiring. 

    when you post new work on artstation, if its good, it has the potential to hit the trending tabs which means tons of people will see it, and potentially give you valuable feedback. all your followers are notified when you add a new gallery too. this just leads to more exposure. exposure + attention = opportunity. go where the attention is. Artstation is the 1000th most visited site on the internet, which means millions of visitors, which means tons of people hiring for jobs visit it every day. It is a social media network under the guise of a art community. figure out how it works and use it to your advantage.

    I know some people would argue about what if artstation goes away. it won't, the monetary value of the site is exponentially growing every day, it won't disappear anytime soon in the next 5-10 years. you should also be putting your work out at scale on instagram and twitter. market yourself like it is 2018, not 2005 ;) you also have broken images in your drawing section. another benefit of artstation is....this never happens.

    in terms of your portfolio itself, this is probably going to hurt, but sugar coating never hurt anyone.

    The good:

     Your portfolio shows you are familiar and comfortable with working in a 3d program, and that you clearly have an interest in fantasy style art, and more importantly most of it is environment related, which identifies clearly what kind of job you are going to be looking for. A lot of student portfolios are a mishmosh of a couple characters that are only OK quality, a prop, maybe an environment  and some random things they did in school. it should be clear to anyone looking at your portfolio in about 2 seconds what kind of artist you are. Your alchemist scene is by far your strongest piece, put that first! always put your best foot forward, you need to grab the viewers attention immediately.

    Also the fact you are here posting looking for feedback is awesome! get even more involved in communities like polycount, art pages on instagram, other forums etc. it will pay off. I got my first industry job via a private message on a random game art forum that is dead now, but because i posted my work all over, someone saw it and offered me an interview. exposure + attention = opportunity ;)

    The Bad:

    It looks like every other game art students portfolio.

    A collection of projects that were requried to be done for university. no problem with that, except my is that it makes you look like somone who has just started learning 3d, because thats what it is, each project was something new and a learning experience, which is awesome, but it shows. use what you have learned to create some badass scenes that are up to the new quality level you are able to produce art at. It sounds savage but I usually tell game art students to archive/throw away all their school work, and focus on busting out 2-3 new really high quality pieces using the techniques they have learned over the course of their schooling. 

    the witches cauldron: you have there that it took you 3 hours to make. 3 hours to slap out a portfolio quality piece of art? when you are starting out, time to make something doesn't matter nearly as much as the final quality of the end product. right now there is very little unique detailing on the mesh/texture, it looks like a tiled material with a really noisy normal, with very little variation going on within the texture itself. Look at some cast iron reference materials and try to get the different roughness and smoothness levels based  on wear and tear. 

    The alchemists lab scene:
    Hand painted stuff can be really fun, and judging from your portfolio this is what you enjoy doing the most. I would go all in and focus 100% of your energy in creating a portfolio around that if thats what you want to do. target studios like blizzard, riot etc who favor a hand painted art style and really hammer your work up to the quality bar you see in their games. 

    right now every highlight is evenly panted across every surface, almost equally in terms of value, the highlights on the wood are just about the same width and brightness on the metal, which is leading to a lack of any actual material definition in terms of surface types. grey doesnt automatically = metal etc. look at how hand painted games make their metals look shiny and reflective by painting in color into the highlights and various widths to the shine of the metal.

    the knife:
    its pretty basic,the texture looks blurry and there is so much depth of field on the images i can barely tell what im looking at. dont use post process to hide your work, with some subtlety it can make stuff look good, here it is making it suffer. Don't worry, everyone makes this mistake at first :) It also looks like it is trying to be photoreal, which leads to a jack of all trades vibe to your portfolio, instead of a focused hand painted art gangster I am assuming you want to be. I would go either 100% photoreal or 100% handpainted, the middle ground is where most people struggle and their weaknesses show through. If you want to do weapons, search on artstation for some of the best ones you can find and learn from those artists. 

    Mages chambers: Suffers from the same problems as the alchemists lab in terms of textures. the lighting is better on this one because you are actually showing light interacting on surfaces. Do a pass like that on the other scene.

    final tower thing: again, listing that you did that in 4 hours is hurting rather than helping. as an art lead or hiring manager, quality is my main concern, jr artists get faster with time and experience. Again, the texture style is different and leading to a jack of all trades vibe. also, an asset like this would probably be made from tiling textures, not unique unwraps as you could quickly make 10 different building variations using the same 3-4 texture sets.

    here is a 3 part video series on using tiling textures to build environments, and its also hand painted work as well! 

    Final thoughts: There is more i could go into, but right now you just need to focus on making new, high quality art. If you are feeling discouraged after reading all that, its understandable, but almost every successful game artist i know was in the exact same situation when looking to begin their careers, so take it with a grain of salt, and get excited to make some new cool art. people in this community will give you feedback and are rooting for you! hope this all helps bud, you look like you have the foundational skills handled, now just focus on refining them :) sorry for the wall of text haha.


  • reereen
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    reereen triangle
    I don't really have as much to say in the 3d side, since my original portfolio was focused more on 2D concept art and I only switched to 3d recently, but the first thing I noticed with the knife was that there were signs of wear and tear on the knife, but nothing on the botton of the blade. The sharp bottom of the blade and parts of the leather on the handle would normally have the most wear and tear because those areas get the most interaction with the environment.

    A little bit of a suggestion for you when tackling wood, regardless of whether it is stylized or not: Think about the type of wood the object is made out of. Is it birch wood? Is it oak wood? Is it cherry wood? etc. Different types of wood have different colors and these variations in wood will really help your wood environments stand out. I'm looking at your wood textures for all your environments and it feels like you used the same wood color in all your wood assets, which is seldom the case for all wooden objects. From a design standpoint, it makes those environments look very monotonous. If possible, I think making subtle changes to the hue of some of your wood assets may help. In the Mage's Chamber, some of your background assets are blending with the local values in general. I think the quickest fix would be to push the values between light and dark. Either intensify the lighting to make it stand out more or darken the color of your assets so the lighting can pop out more in contrast.

    I think PixelMaster's comments addressed a good bulk of it on the portfolio side.
  • Eric Chadwick
    Critiques belong in a different section.

    Career & Education is for discussing these topics, not for seeking personal art feedback.

    Moving this to 3D Showcase.
  • Elithenia
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    Elithenia polycounter
    lol.. I could have sworn I responded to this too,.... realised it must have been a duplicate
  • Caticus
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    Caticus vertex
    Thanks for your help! Really happy with the critique I received :) @Elithenia
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