Hello, fellow creative minds. I am a student studying to do 3D environment design in videogames and fairly new here. Currently, I have 8 months left until I graduate and want to finally push for my student demo reel projects. I currently am working on three underground subway system concepts that will soon be complete. My goal is to finish this project in three months and hopefully, have 2-3 projects done before graduation that can be put on a demo reel for hiring. The target look is realistic with a little of post-apocalypse theme thrown in. I plan on using Maya, Substance Design, UE4 and maybe 3Ds max. Note that I have already been given a ton of advice so I am looking for more advanced or uncommon knowledge that gets passed around by developers or learned on the job. So here are the questions I have so far:
1. How big should my project be to show off what the industry really demands environment artists that are new? Some examples I found in term of size: https://www.artstation.com/artwork/aooJ0
2. Is there a way to be diverse enough since everything has already been done in one way, shape or form?
3. How detailed should it be for the gaming industry or should it be as realistic as possible?
4. What are the biggest mistakes I could encounter while tackling this work?
5. How many pieces of work are considered to be top-grade or can some people get in with just one?
6. What are some ways for my piece to stand out among applicants?
7. Lastly, is there any big advice not pertaining to the other questions that anyone can think of? Any advice will be helpful
Thank you for taking the time to read and feel free to contact me and have a great day. I will be posting this in multiple forms if the topic is relevant.
Checkout Polygon Academy:
A ton of industry advice, relevant too your queries.
2-3. Depends where you want to work. Have you looked into companies yet?
4. Not using references enough, eyeballing too much, not having a decent breakdown of the scene, not asking for feedback (eg: here).
5. All your pieces should be top grade so the rest is down to how much time you have. One could be enough if it's an all encompassing scene with exceptional quality.
6. Having the first piece (or all) in the style/quality of the company where you are applying. Otherwise it's all about quality and a clean portfolio. For environment art look into how to do good lighting.
7. If you can, don't make the scene from the top of your head, meaning that you should use existing concept art or a photo. 90% of the student work done from imagination doesn't look great and it's good to see if you can follow an existing concept.