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I'm an 3D Real-Time Environment Artist looking for first 3D job. Portfolio & Resume Tips and Advice?

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Oblivion2500 polycounter lvl 6
I'm a real-time 3D environment game artist. I'm looking to get my first job (entry/associate) in 3D. I want to work for the gaming industry. You can read more about my story in this thread from a few months ago (https://polycount.com/discussion/224252/advice-for-looking-for-job-in-gaming-industry-after-big-life-event#latest ).

I'm almost finished with my portfolio. I'm currently finishing up a project and I'm planning on doing a smaller environment project later this month as well as props projects such as hard-surface modeling and photogrammetry projects using Maya and Substance Painter. Some may be done with Quixel Suite. The majority of my project are in UE4. So in my portfolio site (by ArtStation), I will have my 4 best projects and in my ArtStation profile, I will also have everything else such as older projects, etc. I have some questions as I complete my portfolio and start looking for a job. 
  1. Does it help to have concept art in your portfolio or as a separate page? or no? Maybe just have some in the ArtStation profile instead of the portfolio website? They're alright, not amazing or anything. 
  2. What about Game Design work? Level Design work? Game Mods? I want to eventually become a level designer and then a game designer. 
  3. What about a resume? Keep it one page, correct?
  4. Does it help to have a blog on the website? Talking about 3D art techniques, current projects, game art & design?
  5. Do employers look just at your ArtStation portfolio site or do they also look at the ArtStation profile as well?
  6. Is a demo reel necessary? I find them to be kind of useless and a waste of time. 
  7. Is it okay to use Quixel Megascans in your portfolio projects? For example, I have this one large project in which I created everything but I borrowed three assets from Quixel Bridge Megascan and made my own materials for them as well to fit with my project. Is that okay? Do I need to cite the source and credit? What about UE4 Marketplace items?

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  • YF_Sticks
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    YF_Sticks polycounter lvl 4
    1. Don't have concept art in your portfolio. Focus on real time 3D environment art if that is your goal. Getting a job in that field is based on your real time skills.
    2. Same applies here. Trim down your portfolio to what is essential (for AAA at least. if you want to go to a very small studio/indie studio, you can still show some level design stuff during the interview)
    3. If you can, keep the resume on one page. Stick to the most essential parts and be concise.
    4. A blog is fine to have next to your portfolio. Most likely employers won't really look at it though due to time. It may be something you can talk about during your job interview. But to get that attention from recruiters and employers, portfolio is all that matters.
    5. If you can, don't use the artstation portfolio site, just use the normal artstation profile. a lot of employers just go to the normal profile anyways, even if you provide the portfolio site. It's what they know. I personally prefer the normal arstation profile way more as well.
    6. Do not make a demo reel. If you want to show real-time, include gifs in your post or use the new video feature by artstation to upload 10 second clips or so
    7. Yes, it is okay to use Quixel Megascans. It always depends what your goal is with a project. If it's a lighting study, you can have 100% quixel in your scene, because it is not the focus of the project, it's the lighting. Show that you can make high quality props. Show that you know how to do materials. Show that you can bake down assets and create compelling environments using tiling textures and trim sheets. If you use megascans here and there to support your project, it's completely fine. Same with marketplace assets. That being said, be 100% honest in your job interview. If they ask you how you did this and that, always say where you used megascans/marketplace assets. Explain why you used them and what your goal was with them and you're good. No one will not hire you because you used a grunge decal from quixel. It matters that you are transparent and honest.

    Hope this helps!
  • Oblivion2500
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    Oblivion2500 polycounter lvl 6
    YF_Sticks said:
    1. Don't have concept art in your portfolio. Focus on real time 3D environment art if that is your goal. Getting a job in that field is based on your real time skills.
    Alright, that makes sense. If I ever make an amazing concept art out of magic. I will just share it in my concept art album and still leave it out of my portfolio. 
    2. Same applies here. Trim down your portfolio to what is essential (for AAA at least. if you want to go to a very small studio/indie studio, you can still show some level design stuff during the interview)
    Yup, bare essentials. I have only 4 of the best work on my portfolio page and nothing else. My ArtStation profile does have more than that like props, some older works, etc. 
    3. If you can, keep the resume on one page. Stick to the most essential parts and be concise.
    Yup, done and done. Finished it last night. 
    4. A blog is fine to have next to your portfolio. Most likely employers won't really look at it though due to time. It may be something you can talk about during your job interview. But to get that attention from recruiters and employers, portfolio is all that matters.
    Okay, good info. Maybe I will have a blog once I'm ready and have time to do that. I think it will be more when I become a game designer and already working in the gaming industry when I casually talk about game development. Both art and design. Right now, I'm not going to bother unless I suddenly come up with awesome ideas for blogs. 
    5. If you can, don't use the artstation portfolio site, just use the normal artstation profile. a lot of employers just go to the normal profile anyways, even if you provide the portfolio site. It's what they know. I personally prefer the normal arstation profile way more as well.
    Okay, I just so happened to have ArtStation Plus (which was on sale 25% off 2 weeks ago). I will keep my ArtStation portfolio site similar to the ArtStation profile. The only difference is that the portfolio site will not show my older work or lesser quality projects. Just my best 4 projects right there on the home page along with my resume page. 
    6. Do not make a demo reel. If you want to show real-time, include gifs in your post or use the new video feature by artstation to upload 10 second clips or so
    Yup agreed. I also don't particularly enjoy going through the motions of making a demo reel too. I just find them a waste of time for myself and the employer. I think they're more useful for VFX artists or 3D Generalists for Film, Rendering, etc. Not for the gaming industry so much.
    7. Yes, it is okay to use Quixel Megascans. It always depends what your goal is with a project. If it's a lighting study, you can have 100% quixel in your scene, because it is not the focus of the project, it's the lighting. Show that you can make high quality props. Show that you know how to do materials. Show that you can bake down assets and create compelling environments using tiling textures and trim sheets. If you use megascans here and there to support your project, it's completely fine. Same with marketplace assets. That being said, be 100% honest in your job interview. If they ask you how you did this and that, always say where you used megascans/marketplace assets. Explain why you used them and what your goal was with them and you're good. No one will not hire you because you used a grunge decal from quixel. It matters that you are transparent and honest.
    Okay. Good info. In most of my projects, I have created everything myself. In my current project that I'm finishing up has three Quixel Megascans assets which I got from Quixel Bridge and retextured with Quixel Mixer. I will mention that in the description and to the employer as well. Same for using UE4 Marketplace Planet Creator Blueprint in my same current projects. It helps a lot to borrow and use other people's assets. It also allows you to make it your own and gain some ownership as well. Also, you get to reverse engineer it and see how it was made which can be very educational! 
    Also, my computer is really old (almost 9 years old). It's slow as a snail and also tight on storage. I need a full-time job asap. It helps to just speed things up by borrowing other people's assets from Quixel or Marketplace. Normally I would just make it myself if I had the time and energy to study and figure it out with a newer computer and perhaps I could do photogrammetry with my camera as well. You get the idea of what I'm saying. I also know that people like the artist in the gaming industry are working together and helping everyone else just like the designers and programmers. It takes a team to create awesome stuff. One artist/designer/programmer can do a lot with talent but a team can do even more. 
    Hope this helps!
    Thank you for the help and advice. Very helpful! :)
  • Oblivion2500
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    Oblivion2500 polycounter lvl 6
    Also I have another question:
    Should I also have a Rookie account/profile alongside with ArtStation or is that too much?
  • YF_Sticks
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    YF_Sticks polycounter lvl 4
    Also I have another question:
    Should I also have a Rookie account/profile alongside with ArtStation or is that too much?
    Sure, it's not a bad thing. I recommend when you apply to different position to only apply with your artstation portfolio, just so you don't throw too many things at the employer. 
    Usually it's good to be in several places. Instagram, twitter, rookies etc etc. Especially when you are trying to get that first job. 
    Always remember, the more eyes are on you and your work, the higher the chances of someone noticing. Once you actually have a job and work professionally, you can stick to the platforms you enjoy and like and discard the others.
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