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An aspiring game artist seeking industry guidance.

polycounter lvl 11
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jaski polycounter lvl 11
Hello community,

As the title suggests, I want to get into 3D game art as a profession. I previously worked as a 3D modeling and texturing artist responsible for creating characters and props for the vfx industry and primarily used Maya and Zbrush. Since 2013, I moved away from 3D due to some family issues and now looking to get back into the industry. I am out of touch with the current pipeline and seeking help and guidance from the industry experts here. 

My interest as a 3D artist always revolved around creating characters but I've been told that getting a job as a character artist in a major game studio initially is hard unless you are an exceptional artist. Self analyzing, I would say I am not really great yet compared to the level of work I see on Artstation and other forums and  have been told it's best to put your foot in the door as a prop or environment artist and then move internally to character art.

Based on this, I have a few questions that I was hoping the community here could help me with : 

• What discipline should I first learn and build a portfolio on to get a job as a 3D game artist which would be the least challenging?

• Apart from modeling and texturing, is there anything else that I should master to be production pipeline ready?

• What tools should I master that are widely used in game studios. I am very comfortable with Maya but was aware that Max was majorly used in the • game industry. Is this still the case?

• Is there still a demand for game artists and plenty of jobs around?

• Is freelancing a good path to take as a game artist?

• What skills do the top game studios look for in a potential candidate?

you can check out some or my old work on my temporary site. I am yet to arrange my projects but this is something I can show around to get feedback and guidance. Please be brutally honest if I am absolutely terrible at this art. I am looking for honest feedback

Thank you


  • Brian "Panda" Choi
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    Brian "Panda" Choi insane polycounter
    1. Environment Art/Prop Art.  I would perosnally argue focus on characters though.
    2. In-Engine Tech Art: Material Node Graph, Scripting, Lighting.  If anything, try to do final renders in a proper game engine like Unreal or Unity.
    3. Maya is fine. I was asked to learn Modo at work, and all it took was a month of relearning which buttons did what.
    4. Yes, and generally no.
    5. It is if you're accepting the day to day pros and cons of it.
    6. OVersimplifying, "Have you made and shipped a game (of any size)?" or "Have you made things that we could immediately throw into a game and it be ready for play?"
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