What Am I Doing Wrong? Environment Artist Portfolio Critique

null
Offline / Send Message
Pinned
Tadpole null
Hey Polycounters! 

So, I graduated a while back.. fresh out of uni I made the mistake of applying all over the place without really any perspective of who/what my competition was. Since then I've come to my senses (thanks to wonderful sites and forums like Polycount and Artstation) and overhauled my portfolio like 2-3 times. As in, replaced everything

Now, I've gotten some contract and freelance work, but I just cant seem to hear back from a full time studio position with the portfolio that I have  :(


So I gotta ask, what am I doing wrong? I'd honestly take any advice, critiques or suggestions on my body of work.. what does/doesnt work, what should I include/cut, what should I improve upon, etc



Portfolio link: https://www.elijahbrose.com/



side note: i'm primarily trying to snag a junior-mid level environment artist position!

Replies

  • alexk
    Offline / Send Message
    alexk polycounter lvl 11
    Hey, so I took a quick look at your artstation page. Out of the 3 environments, 2 are cel shaded. Which is fine if you're apply to studios whose style is cel shaded, but I think it's a turn off for most others.

     In general, I find your texturing in the 3 environments to be very noisy and seems like you just added grunge overlays then just called it a day.
    For example, the Desert Warehouse, you added rust to the edges of the beams, which is cool, but you just left the rust be applied to all the edges continuously, which makes it look like a brown outline on every beam. Gather and use lots of real life references and really pay attention to the details.

    I think you need to push your models further and bring them to life. Compare your jukebox to these ones here, here, here. That's the level you need to be striving for in ALL your models.

    I also think that you need to reduce the scope of your scenes so that you can spend the time on a focused area, instead of spreading it out over a large area. 

    Lastly, always compare your work to shipped AAA titles, if thats the kind of studio you want to get to. Try to honestly compare your work with theirs and push to be like them. If you're doing a western scene, then you should have a folder of a bunch of Red Dead 2 screens for reference
  • polygons
    Offline / Send Message
    polygons polycounter lvl 3
    I prefer this link https://www.artstation.com/elibrose because it allows people to see what programs you used for each piece while your site and artstation link do not.
    @alexk did a great summary and my feelings mirror what he said. I think you have an unnecessary amount of things on artstation. 
    Being completely honest if I was in your position I would gut my portfolio to be Desert Warehouse,  Weathered Shale Rock, antique chair and ottoman if you fix the textures/roughness maps and lighting. I think the antique chair and ottoman scene could look really cool if you went for some lighting with more contrast where the fireplace is a main source of light. right now everything is lit up and its just kind of boring but adding some interesting lighting and more realistic looking fire would make a HUGE difference. And as Alex said looking at reference photos for each object and trying your best to get all the details right will do wonders. You need to work on making a smaller space look perfect with reference images as guides rather than tackling a giant scene that's gonna drive you crazy. I also like your doom satellite. Keep getting feedback from as many people as possible to better your work and consider cutting down the amount of pieces in your portfolio.  That is my opinion for what it is worth.
  • Tadpole
    Thank you for the feedback guys!

    @alexk So in general I need to bump up the quality of my texturing across my environments, and be careful about making grunge excessive (instead go for more realistic wear and tear). And I totally get needing to focus on smaller more intimate projects, with a much higher quality

    @polygons Thanks for the input! yeah, i've been using Artstation as more of a casual/blog styled space, where I can upload additional images of my work and stuff, but tbh the bottom two rows I am aiming at removing or replacing as I add more content. Also, do you really think I could get away with having a portfolio that bare bones? Do you think the assets you mentioned are the best in each category?



    Luckily, I'm planning on participating in the upcoming Japanese themed Artstation challenge, so its the perfect time to try out your suggestions!
  • alexk
    Offline / Send Message
    alexk polycounter lvl 11
    Tadpole said:
    Thank you for the feedback guys!

    @alexk So in general I need to bump up the quality of my texturing across my environments, and be careful about making grunge excessive (instead go for more realistic wear and tear). And I totally get needing to focus on smaller more intimate projects, with a much higher quality

    I looked at your work again, it seems that you don't create highpoly models to bake out details. Correct me if I'm wrong of course. This is important to know how to do if you are aiming for AAA. I noticed your'e using Maya, consider getting the Military Radio tutorial on gumroad. It goes over the entire process of creating a high quality game ready asset
  • Tadpole
    @alexk Yeah I have the baking pipeline down :) A few of the props I have are low poly bakes, like the throwing star, and rock collection. Maybe I could showcase the process better or simply take more advantage of it and make more high poly meshes, sometimes I just dont find it necessary

    Also, thanks for that tutorial link, I appreciate it! I will check it out when I get the time, I could always use more practice!
  • polygons
    Offline / Send Message
    polygons polycounter lvl 3
    yes. Although I am not working in the industry so take my opinion with a grain of salt.  this series of videos has great advice from people in the industry. I don't remember which year it was but there was one video where someone mentioned "how many pieces should I have in my portfolio" and the guy said take what you have divide it by two and minus 3 or something crazy like that to get that point across.  Quality over quantity 
  • Tadpole
    Ok, thanks for the input and additional video ill check it out!
  • Buchananball
    Offline / Send Message
    Buchananball polycounter lvl 4
    Echoing a bit of what has already been said (all great advice!) , but really consider streamlined your portfolio. I feel like 3 core pieces is a strong solid amount, and if you can't bring across the kind of artist you are, what your skills are etc, in 3-4 pieces then its a case of working on the pieces themselves. Additionally I would re-do the landing page of your portfolio, it should really clear straight away what work you do and how cool it is. Consider if a recruiter with no knowledge of you comes onto your portfolio, you want to get them to great work ASAP and make it very clear and easy for them to see the best you can offer, as opposed to sifting through lots of different pieces.

    Side note I have been a bit lazy and not updated my portfolio site since I got a job as a junior environment artist, so feel free to check it out for ref or ideas on what worked for me. https://www.gameartsam.co.uk/

  • Tadpole
    @Buchananball Hey thanks for the suggestions! Yeah, the general consensus seems to be that I need to significantly reduce what I have showcased, so i'm gonna to do that (along with removing the landing/splash page) and if i'm not happy with the result i'll just make some better art! 

    and i'll cleanup my artstation to act as a secondary, supplementary portfoilio :)

  • BIGTIMEMASTER
    Online / Send Message
    BIGTIMEMASTER sublime tool
    Portfolio organization and presentation is icing on the cake stuff. I think the most important issue is that you aren't hitting that AAA quality level yet. Your work is really good, but it needs a level up in several departments to make it indistinguishable from the pro's you can find on artstation. 

    Check out the careers and education subforum. You'll find that most of the guys actually doing hiring at game studios are telling people that their work needs to be on the same level as the senior artist in the field right now. 

    I don't think you are doing anything wrong with your approach, you just need to work another scene or a few, really pushing yourself to find the little flaws that keep your work from truly shining. Overall I think you could improve the material quality of your individual assets, your overall composition and presentation, your lighting... again, just refinement across the board. 

    In one piece you have a text popup that says you completed the entire environment in two weeks... consider putting a full month of refinement back into that piece. Really study what the best guys in your field are outputting right now, and try to do even better.
  • Tadpole
    @BIGTIMEMASTER Ok thanks for the critique! I must say I agree that there's a ton of room for improvement in those areas, on my part. I guess I always thought that mastery would come with time and real world experience. Luckily, I'll be able to practice all of those things in the upcoming artstation challenge, and I can really shoot for a flawless portfolio piece or two

    Also I'll check out that subforum you mentioned, i'm sure I can find some good information there 
  • BIGTIMEMASTER
    Online / Send Message
    BIGTIMEMASTER sublime tool
    You'll get there. This is just one of those adventures that keeps going a little further than you expect. 
Sign In or Register to comment.