I'd Love Some Honest Feedback

Hello all,

If anyone wouldn't mind having a little gander at my portfolio and giving some honest feedback I'd very much appreciate it!
The 'thick skin' jacket has been put on so please be brutal :)

https://www.artstation.com/chrislambert

I'd love to work as a world builder/level designer (with a slight preference to open world design). What things do I really need to be focusing on and improving?

My overall experience is rather limited at the minute - I only really know the Far Cry 5 editor. However, I'm away for 3 months in the US soon and won't have my PC to work on maps, but I've got Unreal and blender running on my laptop so I was thinking, rather than not doing anything, I could try and learn some skills in those whilst I'm away. Would that be useful?

Thanks for any help in advance!

Replies

  • Ashervisalis
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    Ashervisalis interpolator
    Hey Chris, fyi portfolio reviews usually wind up in the 3D Showcase section of the forum.

    Regarding your portfolio, are you making any of your own assets, or are you just focusing on level design?
  • ChrisLambert
    Ahh sorry, I'll do that in the future.

    The levels so far are design only. No custom assets. 
    I do plan on getting accustomed with asset creation and texturing though, as I can only assume it's good knowledge to have!
  • slosh
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    slosh sublime tool
    In my opinion, level artists tend to be environment artists.  I think if you wanted to get a gig doing this fulltime, you would have to learn the art side as well.  There are level designers who are solely design side but they focus mainly on gameplay design and not as much on aesthetics of world building.  If you want to be viable for the artistic side of level design, you absolutely need to be able to create the assets urself. 
  • ChrisLambert
    slosh said:
    In my opinion, level artists tend to be environment artists.  I think if you wanted to get a gig doing this fulltime, you would have to learn the art side as well.  There are level designers who are solely design side but they focus mainly on gameplay design and not as much on aesthetics of world building.  If you want to be viable for the artistic side of level design, you absolutely need to be able to create the assets urself. 
    Thanks for the feedback.

    Would you say that being skilled in a specific area of modelling is better than trying to do a bit of everything?
    And any advice for best areas to start in?
  • Taylor Brown
    Check out the polycount wiki for info on different art paths. If you have zero knowledge then you're probably looking at a few years of casual effort to get anywhere. Less if you have the time and ability to focus everything on it.
  • ChrisLambert
    I certainly have a lot to do! :)
  • PixelMasher
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    PixelMasher quad damage
    at ubisoft, level artists don't make actual art content they are responsible for managing the asset lists they need and building the world, composing scenes and set dressing etc. more of the big picture kinda things, most assets are sent to outsourcing in china. there are a few modelers on staff but they mainly create modular kits for integration with design/level art. on farcry 4 and watch dogs 2 i dont think i made a single art asset lol.

    Working in an editor and world building is great experience! right now there are kinda 2 paths you can take to go further down that path, I would say you could show more of your level design drawings and though process and attempt to go the level designer route, or start showing reference images and matching photos with what you are re-creating if you are passionate about the artistic side of things.

    learning the art production pipeline will also really help you understand things like performance management and help with giving you more experience in game art production in general. There are a few studios like ubisoft that have positions where you world build all day and dont actually make art, and those kinda jobs are becoming more common, especially in montreal and vancouver.

    but yea, learn everything you can it ony helps you be more relevant.
  • ChrisLambert
    Thank you for the advice!

    I'm currently finishing 2 other projects right now, one of which I've gone a lot further into the level design side (structure, paths, encounter spaces etc) which I'll be able to show.
    So after those are done, I will aim at showing some reference material and my re-creation in-game. The artistic side of things is probably what I'm most passionate about.
    I'm excited, I already have ideas haha.

    That's music to my ears about Ubisoft, that would be a dream! :) 
  • Eric Chadwick
    Moving from Career&Edu to 3DShowcase&Crits...
  • Goat Justice
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    Goat Justice polycounter lvl 9
     There are a few studios like ubisoft that have positions where you world build all day and dont actually make art, and those kinda jobs are becoming more common,
    This is what I have observed as well. World-Building/Level Art is slowly developing into a separate specialization from asset creation as the complexity and time involved in producing each type of art increases. That being said its not bad to be proficient at both. 

     I've worked as a World Builder for the majority of my career, but the ability to quickly create simple props or retool existing ones has helped me add a lot of unique flavor to my areas. Likewise experience building levels will give some insight into what features make a prop difficult to work with (open backsides, weird pivots, super low-rez UVs on the bottom). Plus knowing both skills opens up more career options. 

    I would advise the OP that if you're going the Art route over Design, keep in mind that your portfolio will be judged primarily on its visuals. You wont need to make entire maps. One well composed still can be enough to show off you ability to create an attractive scene. It's also OK to use props you didn't create, just be sure to credit their source. It's better that you call it out loudly up front than have to clarify it during an interview someday.  Also, remember that responsibility for what you put into the scene is yours. Choosing assets that look good and (more importantly)  mesh well together into a nice looking scene will speak to your aesthetic judgement. 

    Good luck with your projects. 
  • ChrisLambert
    Thanks for the advice! That's great to hear actually, I should be able to create scenes faster than entire levels which means I should be able to showcase more styles/aesthetics. 

    I'm currently only using the Far Cry 5 Editor, would you suggest learning and showcasing a different engine? Or is it enough (for what I aim to do) to keep using the same editor?

    And thanks for the good luck!
  • PixelMasher
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    PixelMasher quad damage
    Learning ue4 will make you more attractive to a woder variety of studios, and you will learn some more technical skills, so i would invest some time there but ubi has hired people based on their mod/map skills from fc editors in the past. 
  • ChrisLambert
    Awesome, more knowledge never hurt! I'll definitely try to get at least one scene made in UE4.
  • almighty_gir
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    almighty_gir polycounter
    first piece of feedback:
    Post the artwork here, not a link to somewhere else. This is a forum, not twitter or facebook.
  • ChrisLambert
  • ChrisLambert
    Some screens from a new level with different weather effects.
    (All assets are a part of the FC Editor).

  • BIGTIMEMASTER
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    BIGTIMEMASTER polycounter
    If you don't already know, you can download a couple games modkits from Unreal. Like Conan Exiles, Squad, and a couple others -- for free. 

    If you were looking to get into Unreal level design, those might be a good jump off point as they'll already have a bunch of great assets. Especially Squad as it looks like you've got a good idea about  warfare themed maps.
  • ChrisLambert
    Thank you so much, I had no idea! 
    That will be a fantastic help :)
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