Portfolio critique for 3D enviro/prop artist?

null
Hi there ,
I am aspiring environement hard surface artist.
Self tought hardworker by night after hours.  it has been 2 years now that i am doing polygonal modelling with some previous CAD experience.
Trying to land my first job in game industry getting little or no response to my applications. 

I work mostely with Maya-Zbrush-Substance-Unity workflow and recently started incorporating fusion 360 for hard surface details.

https://www.artstation.com/3d_caster

I guess i have a lot of  contradictory ideas for my work and a lot of questions. Below are some of them:
1.Should I aim at bigger(more complex) pieces? or rather should i get more fidelity  from my smaller props? 
2.Should I concetrate more at the Unity part of my work?
3.I feel like i need to focus on hard surface at the same time I know that my portfolio lacks purely environmental pieces.   
4. I love to learn new software and i know learning Houdini is very popular now but i don't want to get burned out steaming in the wrong direction.  

To be frank I feel a bit stuck. I do not know what should i concetrate on in the first place.
The big questions is: Is my skill good enough for an entry level position as a
3D Environment Artist?
Have no mercy. and please let me know  how to improve my work.
thanks for your time,
Marek


Replies

  • Doxturtle
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    Doxturtle polycounter lvl 3
    the workbench ends have some weird UV warping going on


  • 3dcaster
    Thank you @Alemja and @Aeseeberg04 for your time and proffesional cryt. 

    After reading the answers I came up with the idea for a hard surface diorama scene.
    Please let me know if you think it is a good step for me at this time.

    Story:
    Gererator unit of the big ship has been detached from the main body as a result of impact. It is now drifting in to the space. Since gerator is still working behind the floodgate the drifting piece is still enlightened inside by the computers and other light sources. Bits and pieces are driftng around like in "Gravity" movie.
    Directly behind the focal point of the wrecked ship would be a planet (framing effect) and  far away light source (sun like) that gives the "hairlight" effect on the ship and may cause lens flare on the camera. 
    very rought sketch below (sorry... I am not to good with drawing)

    Benefits:
    - Practicing lighting (realtime?) in engine. I decided to give Unreal a try. 
    - Both Hard surface and environment pieces. (two birds with one stone) 
    - good setup for story telling
    - a lot of objects to be duplicated. It would take propably about 10-15 unique pieces needed.

    Cons/week points:
    - I do not know much about re-using textures with decals.
    This piece needs decals and propably I will end up with unique texture sets.
    - Do not have many textures needed for this piece in my library so I will need to look for it or make new substance materials.

    Letting me know if this would be a good practice at this stage would be crytical.
    If it is a good idea. What do you suggest:
    - Making a new thread on polycount with update from time to time?
    - postig an update in current thread from time to time?
    - Making a piece from start to finish and than making a short article like this?
    https://3dcaster.weebly.com/process.html

     I do not want to spam the forum.

    Thanks once again for the feedback. I think it helped me to clear my mind a bit. 
    I am very appreciated.

    Marek
  • 3dcaster
    Thank you @Alemja and @Aeseeberg04 for your time and proffesional cryt. 

    After reading the answers I came up with the idea for a hard surface diorama scene.
    Please let me know if you think it is a good step for me at this time.

    Story:
    Gererator unit of the big ship has been detached from the main body as a result of impact. It is now drifting in to the space. Since gerator is still working behind the floodgate the drifting piece is still enlightened inside by the computers and other light sources. Bits and pieces are driftng around like in "Gravity" movie.
    Directly behind the focal point of the wrecked ship would be a planet (framing effect) and  far away light source (sun like) that gives the "hairlight" effect on the ship and may cause lens flare on the camera. 
    very rought sketch below (sorry... I am not to good with drawing)

    Benefits:
    - Practicing lighting (realtime?) in engine. I decided to give Unreal a try. 
    - Both Hard surface and environment pieces. (two birds with one stone) 
    - good setup for story telling
    - a lot of objects to be duplicated. It would take propably about 10-15 unique pieces needed.

    Cons/week points:
    - I do not know much about re-using textures with decals.
    This piece needs decals and propably I will end up with unique texture sets.
    - Do not have many textures needed for this piece in my library so I will need to look for it or make new substance materials.

    Letting me know if this would be a good practice at this stage would be crytical.
    If it is a good idea. What do you suggest:
    - Making a new thread on polycount with update from time to time?
    - postig an update in current thread from time to time?
    - Making a piece from start to finish and than making a short article like this?
    https://3dcaster.weebly.com/process.html

     I do not want to spam the forum.

    Thanks once again for the feedback. I think it helped me to clear my mind a bit. 
    I am very appreciated.

    Marek
  • Alemja
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    Alemja polycounter
    Glad to be helpful! Your new project sounds like a solid plan, be sure to grab a lot of reference and put together a mood/reference board. This will help people when they give you crits so they can push you in the right direction.

    Most people tend to make a thread per-project here, so that would be the best idea. If you do consistent, meaningful updates, say every 1-2 weeks you will get some attention and people will help you out. Don't be discouraged if people don't respond at first, sometimes it takes a while to get noticed. However if you give as much information as possible in the beginning people will be more likely to help, otherwise they won't know what you're making.

    Getting feedback as you are working on the project is the most important thing you can do and will allow you to grow the quickest. If you only show pieces when they are finished you are more likely to keep making the same mistakes, the goal is to get as many eyes on your work as possible to catch things early. As long as it looks like you are trying to implement feedback and making progress, people won't think you're spamming.
  • Aeseeberg04
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    Aeseeberg04 polycounter lvl 2
    if you plan on reusing textures definitely look into Trim Texture techniques, here is a link to get you started!

    https://www.gdcvault.com/play/1022323/The-Ultimate-Trim-Texturing-Techniques
  • 3dcaster
    Thnaks guys.

    @Aeseeberg04
    Ultimate trim technique looks super cool. I will deffo try to utilize it for the purpose of my scene. 
    I have a question though. Have you ever used it with the more photorealistic textures?
    I Morten mentioned that because of the stylized style of the "Sunset overdrive" it was not an issue. I will definietely try to go for more realistic look. 

    Thank once more. this talk was super useful!


  • Zi0
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    Zi0 polycounter lvl 4
    IMO the best thing is to start with props and become very efficient in high and low poly modeling, UVing, baking and texturing, when are able to produce high quality assets it will be easier to make a scene full of quality models but then again this is also depending on what kind of scene you are creating and in what style but since you mentioned you want to go hard-surface I think this approach will help. Find yourself a nice concept and try to ace it! :smile: . Fusion 360 is pretty neet but afaik most studios  use subDs and Zbrush for the high poly models so I would suggest to become good in making high poly subd models in  (for instance) maya.

    Also I noticed that you are from Krakow and I saw this on skillshot today:
    https://www.skillshot.pl/jobs/11511-junior-level-artist-mesher-at-flying-wild-hog




  • Aeseeberg04
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    Aeseeberg04 polycounter lvl 2
    @3dcaster I have really only just started to use them for stylized stuff, however this artists seems to have done it with PBR materials. Def check out his portfolio, 

    https://www.artstation.com/artwork/86vOw
  • AlecMoody
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    AlecMoody sublime tool

    Looking at your work you should slow down and focus on quality with smaller props. When I look at prop art I would much rather see something smaller where the artist took extreme care than something larger that is simplified or sloppy.

    I would suggest you focus on how things fit together, how things are constructed, and getting the surface texture/detail just right. At an old job we used to talk about texture sheets as having a love per pixel ratio- Same idea here but focus on the high res art.

    In your case, I would skip the low and bakes for now, and work on just making great high res art. After you have that down you can move onto learning to bake well and build quality materials and lighting.

    Some suggestions for first projects:
    A small leather bag. Don't use marvelous for this, the whole point is to learn:

    A big industrial globe valve:


  • 3dcaster
    Hello,

    Thank you for the guidance. 
    I guess making a new scene is going to be a good idea for later. 
    First i will start with a simple prop and try to ace it. 
    enxample below. 
    http://nutool.pl/536-thickbox_default/wiertarko-wkretarka-12v-npk12l.jpg

    Than I will make exaples of from the reference. 
    The valve seams pretty easy once the pipes are in place but the bag looks waaay out of my comfort zone. 

    @Zi0 - thanks for the tip! 

    Thanks all for your help. 
    I will deffinietely go back to this thread in future to reflect of my work.

    have a good one!






  • Zi0
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    Zi0 polycounter lvl 4
    In that case I am going to subscribe to this thread. Good luck you can do it!

  • 3dcaster
    Hi. 

    I could not post earlier because I was actually doing an art test in Unreal, for the Skillshot post you recomended me @Zi0. thank you for that !
    Below is my progress on http://nutool.pl/536-thickbox_default/wiertarko-wkretarka-12v-npk12l.jpg.
    I also bought "ultimate hard surface tutorial" by Simon Fuch. 
    https://gumroad.com/l/spEkf 
    There are some pretty amazing techniques there. I started making the prop below using them. 

    Question. 
    What do you think about quality of the sculpt? should i aim for the spotless edges? to be honest some of them seams to me a bit jagged as per .jpg below.

    I want to know before i will proceed to the main bodypart and spend a lot of time on it:) 
    Thanks!





  • Zi0
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    Zi0 polycounter lvl 4
    Hi,
    I'm glad to see that you applied for the job at Flying wild Hog I hope your art test goes well and you will get the job :smile: 
    Are you trying to sculpt that prop? I never did the tutorial you mentioned so I don't know what techniques they use in it but I would go for the Zbrush boolean workflow. That way you can make these parts very fast and the result will be clean and not jagged up which will show on the normal map I'm afraid. I quickly made one of the parts using this method:


    In case you don't know this workflow here is the video about it:
    I use this method a lot for hard parts that would take a lot of time using subDs.

    If you want to nail this prop you also need to look at proportions:


    The rounded shapes on the prop are a bit more oval then in your model.

    Don't get demotivated and never give up!
    And let me know what the outcome of your art test will be :)

    Good Luck!
  • defragger
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    defragger interpolator
    don't sculpt this! It is a classic modelling job. Use the right tools for the job. You can use the dynamesh method mentioned before but on this drill prop the front parts are round so you can model one piece 45° or 30° like a pizza piece and clone it round.
  • 3dcaster
    Hi All .
    I wanted to post immiedietly however i had an ongoing Fusion 360 /MAYA/ Substance Painter paid project going (first renders dirty renders below)

    Below is my take on the Boolean operation workflow in 4r8 and it is amazing to work with. 
    Is that the quality I am after?

    Please let me know your thoughts.
    Thank you All  

    @defragger -  thanks for the suggestion. I know that i  can model it but I am trying to get much better in Zbrush Dynamesh/ boolean / Panel loops and I feel that this drill will be good practice. 




    First renders below. of the Fusion 360 / Maya / Substance painter workflow project.
  • Zi0
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    Zi0 polycounter lvl 4
    Hi,
    If that strange texture on the drill part is only a material and the geometry is smooth than its good, could use a deformation->polish
  • 3dcaster
    Hi again:) I worked on quality a bit. Model is still far from being finished but i wanted to ask about the bevels. Please see the jpg below. 
    The technique i am usin is pretty similar to the one described in your video @Zi0 but there is a twist. 
    In Maya I am separating UV with hard edges and spliting UV islands using script. Than in Zbrush I can " Auto group with UV"  and finally "Mask borders" This gives me ability to polish edges separately form the rest of the model. Sometimes I can unmask edges that i do not want to be polished at all because they will be polish later on when I will boolean new geometry. 

    Please let me know your thoughts! and as always thank you for your help! It really made me try harder!



  • Zi0
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    Zi0 polycounter lvl 4
    The chuck should be a bit larger to match the reference more. Personally I model things in subD and use zbrush for hard pieces to save time so I'm curious to see how you are going to create this only using zbrush.
  • 3dcaster
    Hello again. 
    So i went ahed with the sculpting. 
    I am not sure if it was all that time efficient because my Zbrush is seriously instable.
    In the end I have a finished sculpt/high poly below. There are still some normal map details that i decided to paint directly in Substance Painter.
    Is it clean enough? Can I start low poly modeling? for the record, at the beguining i used Maya for the general outline of the shape. 

    Thanks and have a good day!

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