Portfolio and Career Advice

Hi there,

I'm an aspiring 3D artist, looking to get into Games doing props and environments. I'm from New Zealand and it's been really tough finding work. University didn't prepare me at all which was a real shame, I was a straight A student and thought I was doing well. I realized very quickly how far behind I was. I spent about 8-9 months looking for work and getting my skill levels up. There's basically no work available right now which has been quite tough. I'm having to work in a course creation video editing job to support myself, since I was unemployed for so long. There was one or two studios that were considering Grads/Juniors but these places have ignored me, even with a lot of networking. Feels like I know almost every person my industry in Auckland at this point but I might still need to try improve networking ;P

I would really appreciate a bit of guidance. I'm not sure if my portfolio is just really sub-par or if it's more my location. I made all of my portfolio pieces in 2019, so there's not a huge amount of work, which may be one of the reasons. It would be great to read about some people's experiences of getting into a 3D career. I'm pretty open minded as well, so even if people had suggestions of other industries to try that I might not have thought of, it would be a huge help. 

Thanks :)

https://www.artstation.com/isaacpattison

Replies

  • maximumsproductions
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    maximumsproductions polycounter lvl 8
    I think you are interested in more painterly styles, which is apparently a little harder to find the work for. I recommend, putting your skills together into a set. 

    "blizzard art contest" (you likely already know hehe) if you search that in google images, and see kind of that style, I think you could find some inspiration for yourself and tackle what seems to be close to your style, and incur some of the learning process that go hand in hand with the environment creation,  art style, conception, and integration. (perhaps find the center piece for yourself, treat that as your hero prop, and integrate the rest of the scene)

    Currently it looks more like you have a lot of 1 off studies (which are great learning wise) Now maybe you've hit a threshold you can put all you learned all together. And challenge and improve yourself as you find the road bumps that go hand in hand with something larger.

    I'm not much experienced in what your doing but I also think for your eye, this article would be fun to look at. Maybe you've already seen it. The concept it self is far branching it terms of literally all cg. Whether I'm doing FX, previs, composition, layout, lookdev.

    https://support.steampowered.com/kb/9334-YDXV-8590/dota-2-workshop-character-art-guide


    Lastly as you're improving, I personally like your bow. In the concept however, is tattered strings and such. I would say, either challenge yourself to figure out how to do exactly that (these smaller things take the most time of a piece in all departments but is what distinguishes yourself, and people will start asking how you did so and so etc). Or if you're not going for the concept but going a different style, accentuate the different style and find yourself changing it.
    Thinking for yourself, and conception on the fly is just as good as following concept. Just do it with intent or purpose. No halfies :P 

    In the end, as you train your eye, which will be most all that matters, you'll just produce better and better work, so I think try to be very actively conscious of your decisions and if you are unsure in a direction of art style or look, just pick somebody elses mind real quick, what they think. Offer them what you were thinking and ask how they think something should look and why.

    Personally I think you should try to be stubborn and really nail this type of work you're going for :)  #biased.
    Good luck!

  • nzlkingprawn
    @maximumsproductions Thanks, appreciate the reply. I'll look into that stuff you mentioned :) Your advice about the bow piece is really valid and I appreciate that, thanks. Is the Blizzard Art Contest possible for me to do? I remember it being an American/Candian Student only kind of thing or am I getting that wrong?
  • Taylor Brown
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    Taylor Brown sublime tool
    Re: blizz art contest, I think they meant more along the lines that an environment artist should have some environments to show. Take that Egyptian stylized wall, create a few more modular pieces with your trim sheet ability, a few props at the caliber or above of the bow and get it in engine. That alone would show exactly what it is you want to be. The Egyptian altar, sword and oven are all weaker than the rest of your port and aren't highlighting your strengths.
  • Ex-Ray
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    Ex-Ray polycounter lvl 9
    I'm sure most artist have gone through the same experience as you have described. Personally I learnt the relevant skills after Uni, and you have accept this is the beginning of the journey.

    Regarding your portfolio, you have a good foundation to improve upon but to be career ready I believe you have to focus on a chosen direction. Either props or environments, either realistic or stylised.

    If you can't decide then tailor your portfolio for the job position. But understand in this scenario you will be spreading your time and efforts to 4 areas.

    Some quick feedback:
    - use triangle counts not faces for accurate metric.
    - The edge wear on the cooker is too uniform & too much global coverage. Do you think you can still make it look good with a 2k map? Is that grey values on the metal map?

    The next step is to take things further with your art, check out this thread for portfolio reference:
    https://polycount.com/discussion/187512/recently-hired-in-aaa-show-us-your-portfolio#latest
  • sacboi
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    sacboi sublime tool
    Just curious, as to whether there are any openings or internships going at WETA and/or indeed 3D roles in non entertainment industries such as archvis, product vis, industrial design, medical, aeronautical sims, for example?

    By the way I'm coincidently an ex-pat Kiwi myself, transplanted across the ditch decades ago and now pretty much call AUS home, though I confess really ashamed too admit, have absolutly no clue about the NZ CG scene as it stands today. But nevertheless I'd adivise once you've satisfactorily redefined your folio, you might want to then consider casting the job seeking net slightly wider, which I think will at least proactively in a lateral sense plus all things being equal, enable exposure to 'a CG production environment', albeit outside the bounds of an interactive framework.
  • nzlkingprawn
    Ex-Ray said:
    I'm sure most artist have gone through the same experience as you have described. Personally I learnt the relevant skills after Uni, and you have accept this is the beginning of the journey.

    Regarding your portfolio, you have a good foundation to improve upon but to be career ready I believe you have to focus on a chosen direction. Either props or environments, either realistic or stylised.

    If you can't decide then tailor your portfolio for the job position. But understand in this scenario you will be spreading your time and efforts to 4 areas.

    Some quick feedback:
    - use triangle counts not faces for accurate metric.
    - The edge wear on the cooker is too uniform & too much global coverage. Do you think you can still make it look good with a 2k map? Is that grey values on the metal map?

    The next step is to take things further with your art, check out this thread for portfolio reference:
    https://polycount.com/discussion/187512/recently-hired-in-aaa-show-us-your-portfolio#latest
    Thanks for the feedback, I'll look into that stuff :)
  • nzlkingprawn
    sacboi said:
    Just curious, as to whether there are any openings or internships going at WETA and/or indeed 3D roles in non entertainment industries such as archvis, product vis, industrial design, medical, aeronautical sims, for example?

    By the way I'm coincidently an ex-pat Kiwi myself, transplanted across the ditch decades ago and now pretty much call AUS home, though I confess really ashamed too admit, have absolutly no clue about the NZ CG scene as it stands today. But nevertheless I'd adivise once you've satisfactorily redefined your folio, you might want to then consider casting the job seeking net slightly wider, which I think will at least proactively in a lateral sense plus all things being equal, enable exposure to 'a CG production environment', albeit outside the bounds of an interactive framework.
    Hey Sacboi, thanks for the suggestions :)
    In terms of Weta I've been considering it. Might have to work a year just to have a stable footing so I can move to Wellington but it would be cool if I could get in there somehow. The arch vis and product vis ect is an interesting idea, I have no idea where to look, or what skills they're after. But I could try and ask around. If you know anything about those kind of industries it would be a big help.
  • sacboi
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    sacboi sublime tool
    Product Visualisation or Rendering is basically a term describing the process by which various technologies are utilised in order too rapidly create persuasive typically realistic imagery, whilst still in the early design//concept stage and especially nowadays has become increasingly relevant across a broad diverse range of industries: http://steensolutions.com/2016/11/understanding-basics-product-visualization/ So I'd suggest researching studios involved with product design and visualisation plus alongside any currently aligned job vacantcies that may exist in and around Auckland, to start with, building a more detailed picture of what potentially might be available where you live.

    Cheers.     
  • Benjammin
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    Benjammin polycounter lvl 2
    Hello fellow kiwi! 
    We have a very small games industry, and more schools that we need churning out waves of graduates. If you know people inside the studios where you'd like to work, get them to tell you as much as they can about the project's art style and genre. Then, make portfolio pieces that match. An art director needs to know you have the skills, but also that you'll fit into their project with a minimum of fuss.
  • poopipe
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    poopipe quad damage
    I imagine itll be tough where you are - can't be many opportunities.

    You'll need to up your art a bit to make headway though - I'd say observation is your weak point.  It looks like you can make stuff and there's clearly technical ability in your texture work but I don't feel like you've really nailed the feel of any of the concepts - youve got the shapes and style but you need to take the time to compare your work directly with the concept. 

    The one that gives me most concern is the cooker - rust doesn't form on plastic and I don't believe it's all made of steel.  To make something like that believable you have to understand how it's constructed in real life and use that to develop a narrative that describes how it reached the state of decay you're aiming for. 
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