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Portfolio Critique

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SopheeJay triangle
Hi all :)

I'm a current second year Game Art student, I'm applying for game industry internships at the moment and would greatly appreciate any feedback and critique anyone would mind giving of my portfolio! 

I'd like to specialise in 3D environments as a career and (as I hope you can tell) I love everything fantasy, natural and colourful.
However, as internships usually hire as general artist positions my portfolio is currently a bit more generalised, so I know focusing on a specific area is something I'll have to do once I graduate.



Portfoliohttps://sopheejay.artstation.com/

My ArtStation has some extra pieces (portraits, traditional media, fanarts) that I decided to remove as I felt they weren't relevant, but I might be wrong.
ArtStation: https://www.artstation.com/sopheejay

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  • PolyHertz
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    PolyHertz quad damage
    Right now I'd say 'Material Primitives' is the best pieces in your portfolio, and shows the most potential for future growth. I'd recommend doing more painted material studies like that, and once you feel you've made progress try making some full-bright hand painted 3D pieces (avoid relying on normal maps and pre-calculated lighting for a while). 

    Past that, the substance materials for 'The Wiccan's Clearing' look decent enough, but everything else in the scene doesn't match the same quality bar. The background for 'Koborebi' is simple but nice, however the character looks both sketchy and exhibits some beginner level mistakes when it comes to color. The vehicle designs are a good way to show you understand how to photobash concept art, but I'd get rid of the final design as it doesn't show a strong enough level of refinement over the rough concepts. 

    Basically everything else I'd remove.

    I think if you focus on color and materials for a bit, while avoiding characters and baked-lighting, you should be able to make quite a bit of progress. Good luck! :)
  • SopheeJay
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    SopheeJay triangle
    @PolyHertz

    Oh wow, that's some feedback I definitely wasn't expecting, I'll be honest!

    No one ever mentions my 'material primitives', let alone suggest they're the best piece! They're good but I don't think they show any usable or transferrable industry skill other than an ability to work realistically and hand painting.

    I definitely plan to revisit 'the wiccan's clearing' because I ran out of time during the game jam period, so I agree the quality can be refine and I already plan to spend more time on it, but I'm quite proud of it as my first larger environment in such a short time. 
    As for 'komorebi' I can also agree with what you said, as it's an older piece but I can revisit and improve.
    I understand what you mean about the final designs of the vehicle too (if you mean the flat colour design), though I thought it was an obvious step in development (as well as being required for the project brief).

    But I'm surprised that you suggest removing half my portfolio, especially as the 'candy chest' and 'future tribe character' are often referred to as my best pieces! This would also leave me with a majority 2D/concept portfolio, which although I know may currently be my stronger area,  would still feel a bit odd as I want to progress into 3D environments.

    But thank you for the feedback, it's of course appreciated, even if quite different from what I usually hear! :)
  • PolyHertz
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    PolyHertz quad damage
    SopheeJay said:
    @PolyHertz

    'material primitives'...I don't think they show any usable or transferrable industry skill other than an ability to work realistically and hand painting.

    Brian Jones (aka. Bobo the Seal) who worked as the lead artist on a number of high profile games once said something to the effect of: 'When I'm looking to hire new artists I always check to see if they can paint before worrying how well they understand the technology. I can always teach them what buttons to press, but the fundamentals must already be there'.

    The ability to paint believable materials goes hand-in-hand with learning color theory, and color theory is a boon when working in nearly any art style. The material studies are important because they demonstrate the beginnings of foundational knowledge, something that can affect all the art that you do in the future and that wont be limited to a single program or technology.

    If you said you wanted to learn how to create floor plans, mechanical/industrial equipment, realistic 3D scenes reconstructed via photogrammetry, or anything else like that then I wouldn't be giving you this kind of advise. But you said you care about colorful fantasy and nature scenes, and that kind of work benefits greatly from more traditional artistic skills.

    Also, just in case you haven't seen many hand painted 3D assets before that are well made (to take inspiration from), here are some examples:
    http://blog.sina.com.cn/s/blog_48d03ba30102z2gk.html
    https://www.artstation.com/mikibencz
    https://www.artstation.com/artwork/D5zBRe
    https://www.artstation.com/artwork/zAyBEd
    https://www.artstation.com/artwork/N559qJ
    https://www.artstation.com/artwork/W2Qgw2
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