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My 3D Environment Artist Portfolio is Finished. Feedback?

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Oblivion2500 polycounter lvl 6

I have just finished building my portfolio website, updated my ArtStation profile, and resume. I am ready to work in the gaming industry as a 3D environment artist. I would like feedback on my portfolio site and resume (which you can find on my website, easily). Also, I would like to mention that I am looking for a 3D Environment Artist job entry-level and that it would be my first job in the gaming industry. I do also have several questions regarding both my portfolio and job search.

https://olliverpetkac.artstation.com/

1.       How is my resume? Is the headline summary all good? Also, how are my social media profiles such as LinkedIn?

2.       How is my biography? It is the same on my resume page of my site and LinkedIn?

3.       Is my four-3D environment project in good order? I ordered them from best to least good.

4.       How is each project page screenshots/videos and description?

5.       How can I maximize my chance of landing a full-time job in the gaming industry as a 3D Environment Artist?

6.       I also have a Rookie account which is all set up, it just does not have any project uploaded. Should I also have all four environment projects on Rookies as well? https://www.therookies.co/u/olliverpetkac/about


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  • neilberard
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    neilberard polycounter lvl 15
    I'm not an environment artist but here is my two cents. Tbh, I don't think your portfolio is there yet. I recommend that you look at other professional environment artist portfolios that match with what you want to do and ask yourself, how do I reach this level of quality? Doesn't matter if it's entry level, studios want to hire the best artist they can find. If you are not as good as the competition, it's going to be really tough to land a job. Good luck!
  • Zi0
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    Zi0 polycounter
    I agree with the post above, your environments are pretty basic, you should work on things like creating mood in your scene, lighting and composition. If you want to maximize your chance of getting a job, don't worry about biography's and social media stuff right now, focus on quality work. This guide might help: https://www.artstation.com/kierangoodson/blog/0Kw8/the-road-to-rebellion-getting-my-dream-job-in-the-games-industry

    Also, your CV should only mention relevant work experience, a game company wont care about your job as a cleaner or construction worker.
  • Alex_J
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    Alex_J veteran polycounter

    5.       How can I maximize my chance of landing a full-time job in the gaming industry as a 3D Environment Artist


    None of the other questions besides the quoted are important. 

    The only thing that really matters: Is my art appealing?

    Projecting here but I'd say just forget about technicalities of 3d for a moment and only focus on learning what makes appealing art. Learning to do the technical optimizations is the easy part - there is a million tutorials/documentation and it's cut and dry stuff. Learning to make the art capture a persons attention is the harder part, or it takes more time to learn.


  • YF_Sticks
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    YF_Sticks polycounter lvl 4
    Agreed with the posts above. Your CV etc won't matter (for now) because quality wise it's not there yet. Everything at the moment comes down to you improving your quality, otherwise it's going to be hard.

    I can see that you know the basics of game art, now it's about pushing those skills to make appealing environments. 

    The main things I notice are scale, lighting and your bakes. Learn about composition and color. It will help to push your art further. There are good reference pages like ShotDeck where you can see cinematic images. Aim for that. 
    Another thing that is very common with students is scale. Always (and I mean always) work with a character (UE4 Mannequin for example) to see the things you create in proportion. I also recommend to check for real world measurements so you can accurately measure things in your modeling package. This will help to nail proportions and make everything feel more realistic.

    Technical wise what sticks out to me is your ability to bake, texture and texel density. The environments almost feel a bit blurry and mushy, that's because the texel density is inconsistent. I recommend you try doing a high quality prop where you really learn how to make something look good. This will translate well into your environments and your ability to present things properly.

    Hope this helps. Feel free to ask more questions if you need more inputs.
  • Oblivion2500
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    Oblivion2500 polycounter lvl 6
    YF_Sticks said:
    Agreed with the posts above. Your CV etc won't matter (for now) because quality wise it's not there yet. Everything at the moment comes down to you improving your quality, otherwise it's going to be hard.

    I can see that you know the basics of game art, now it's about pushing those skills to make appealing environments. 

    The main things I notice are scale, lighting and your bakes. Learn about composition and color. It will help to push your art further. There are good reference pages like ShotDeck where you can see cinematic images. Aim for that. 
    Another thing that is very common with students is scale. Always (and I mean always) work with a character (UE4 Mannequin for example) to see the things you create in proportion. I also recommend to check for real world measurements so you can accurately measure things in your modeling package. This will help to nail proportions and make everything feel more realistic.

    Technical wise what sticks out to me is your ability to bake, texture and texel density. The environments almost feel a bit blurry and mushy, that's because the texel density is inconsistent. I recommend you try doing a high quality prop where you really learn how to make something look good. This will translate well into your environments and your ability to present things properly.

    Hope this helps. Feel free to ask more questions if you need more inputs.
    Okay, I'm making big changes to the Xalirr Prism one. I'm changing the whole thing with different lighting and color. Got rid of the prism and make some cool stuff from a lot of feedback here and from my professors from college. I'm also going to make the environment tell a story that this planet is made of copper and that you can see a large mine in the crater The soil is greenish with a copper ground out and fragments, etc. Copper is green when mined and inside is the orange metal material. 

    What about feedback for the Manhunt one? DM-Tutorial Temple? The temple one is my favorite one so far. My least favorite one is the pine forest simply because it's also my oldest project and there's really not much I can do other than start over or just start a new project. 

    Honestly, I feel a bit depressed from all the feedback even though they're conductive feedback just trying to help me. Like I got feedback on Reddit telling me that my work history is terrible and that I need more personality of why I was a construction worker. Idk, it just set me off because the last 5 years were the worst for me. It's still bad right now. You can read up my story on my past thread (https://polycount.com/discussion/224252/advice-for-looking-for-job-in-gaming-industry-after-big-life-event#latest ). I just really want a job and I'm about to go homeless if I don't soon. I don't even have any savings left and I'm going to be 30 next year. 

    Anyway, the baking, texel density, and texture quality. That's still a problem for me for multiple reasons and I don't know how to tackle this. Reason number one, I'm using free software only such as Quixel Megascans and Mixer. It's awesome but it has less control than Substance Designer and Painter. I also use a blender instead of Maya and 3ds max, now Blender is amazing but it does have some weird quirks there and there. Reason two, I have a really old PC (8 years old) and also running out of storage space. The texture resolution can only be so high without suffering horrible framerates and making my computer freeze. I don't know. I mean like what games even have super high-resolution textures without it been downscaled, to begin with? I really could use advice and help on this subject. The same goes for sculpting with Blender. Blender sculpting is great but slow and I have a broken Wacom tablet. Again I don't have any money to upgrade or replace my computer or get the software. I did play around with trials in the 30 days for ZBrush, Maya, and Substance Designer. I don't mind paying $20 or $30 there to get one monthly subscription. 

    Sorry for the long and sort of ranting reply, I'm just very stressed out and I haven't had a break for so long. I can't even remember the last time I wasn't stressed out. Thanks again to you and everyone else. I just also need some motivation. I'm usually self-motivated but also externally motivated. 

    Please again, anything else or any more feedback is great. I'm going to keep working non-stop every day until I finally "finish" this and land a job.  
  • Oblivion2500
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    Oblivion2500 polycounter lvl 6
    I'm not an environment artist but here is my two cents. Tbh, I don't think your portfolio is there yet. I recommend that you look at other professional environment artist portfolios that match with what you want to do and ask yourself, how do I reach this level of quality? Doesn't matter if it's entry level, studios want to hire the best artist they can find. If you are not as good as the competition, it's going to be really tough to land a job. Good luck!
    I think my next projects should be very small but focused on high-quality assets and composition. I'm also working on the Xalirr Prism and giving it a big change and makeover. Quality upgrade too. Just hope my snail of a pc will keep chugging along with me. :)
  • Kanni3d
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    Kanni3d sublime tool
    Reason number one, I'm using free software only such as Quixel Megascans and Mixer. It's awesome but it has less control than Substance Designer and Painter. I also use a blender instead of Maya and 3ds max, now Blender is amazing but it does have some weird quirks there and there. 
    Texel density can be controlled (and mostly is) via your UVs in your modeling program. May help to check out how you can analyze texel density in Unreal using performance/troubleshooting visualizers in the viewport. Obviously be aware that if you're using multiple different texture sizes, the uv's must respect that as well. I'm positive there are some TD plugins for Blender to make setting up TD much easier, earning yourself a uniform distribution across your meshes in your scene.
    Reason two, I have a really old PC (8 years old) and also running out of storage space. The texture resolution can only be so high without suffering horrible framerates and making my computer freeze. I don't know. I mean like what games even have super high-resolution textures without it been downscaled, to begin with? 
    You sorta answered your own peril here - you can get a lot done with only 1024 textures/atlases/trims etc., don't worry or bother with 4k textures since only 1024 is practical, maybe even 2048 if there's a lot of trim/atlas information.

     In terms of filesize/harddrive space...a 1024x1024 .tga is only 3mb, so about 10mb for a texture set. I think a final environment inside unreal with several texture sets, light bakes etc. shouldn't be much out of the 3GB range. Granted there's raw files too from blender, mixer/scans, photoshop etc. but it's real easy to free up space/temporarily remove some games/applications you really don't need for the time being. 
  • Oblivion2500
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    Oblivion2500 polycounter lvl 6
    Kanni3d said:
    Texel density can be controlled (and mostly is) via your UVs in your modeling program. May help to check out how you can analyze texel density in Unreal using performance/troubleshooting visualizers in the viewport. Obviously be aware that if you're using multiple different texture sizes, the uv's must respect that as well. I'm positive there are some TD plugins for Blender to make setting up TD much easier, earning yourself a uniform distribution across your meshes in your scene.
    I got both Texal Density Checker and UV Toolkit for Blender. I think the problem is more that I'm having trouble making good UV maps for my meshes too. In Maya, which I don't have anymore. I used to be really good at UV Editing but with Blender. I can't quite get what's the problem but I know it's missing features like relax and flow unwrapping. It's rather basic compared to Maya UV Editing or RizomUV which I heard is great. Do you have any recommendations or decent advanced tutorials that can level up my skills on UV Editing and Texel Density for Blender? I'm going to check ArtStation Plus Learning Page and see if there's anything that could help me with. 
    Kanni3d said:
    You sorta answered your own peril here - you can get a lot done with only 1024 textures/atlases/trims etc., don't worry or bother with 4k textures since only 1024 is practical, maybe even 2048 if there's a lot of trim/atlas information.

     In terms of filesize/harddrive space...a 1024x1024 .tga is only 3mb, so about 10mb for a texture set. I think a final environment inside unreal with several texture sets, light bakes etc. shouldn't be much out of the 3GB range. Granted there's raw files too from blender, mixer/scans, photoshop etc. but it's real easy to free up space/temporarily remove some games/applications you really don't need for the time being. 
    I usually go with 2K for most objects since I can resize them to 1K inside of Unreal Engine to boost performance. I only use 4K for objects like really large objects or a single prop showcase or weapon/character. But yeah good tip on saving space. I could probably delete some stuff or resize it with very little quality loss (or none perceivable to the human eye). 
  • YF_Sticks
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    YF_Sticks polycounter lvl 4
    I mainly see the texel density inconsistency in your old projects, the temple one is actually alright.

    My main advice to you is scale and lighting. I wouldn't worry too much about having perfect texel density and rather focus on making good looking art (which is what will get you a job). 

    A lot of things in your scene are out of proportion. Some assets therefore feel very small and some feel very large. Scale is extremely important because it doesn't feel natural to the human eye when it's not correct. Some of your ceilings are very low and make the whole scene feel squished. Some assets therefore seem very large.

    Again, make sure you place a character in your scene and check real world metrics via google. You can always adjust those metrics a little, but your base should be correct.

    The other big thing that I see is your lighting (and composition). Your scenes are very hard to read and it's unclear to find a focal point. The shadows are very harsh which makes for even more contrast.

    I recommend to study composition (there are good videos on youtube) and study how other people light there scenes. You can even go on Artstation and look at well made scenes or concept art to get a good idea. Think about how you can guide the eye of the viewer towards your focal point and outwards again. This can be achieved with proper lighting and creating areas of interest.

    To be honest with you, I would take what you know now and create a new scene. Make a simple interior that you like. Focus on composition, scale and lighting. Learn as much as you can about it.

    I see that you post a lot of questions about CV, LinkedIn, Social Media etc etc. That is all good, that is important too and you should ask those questions. But if your art is not at a certain standard, it's going to be very hard to find a job. Because in the end, portfolio matters most, especially for a student trying to break into the industry. Your art needs to be at a certain level, otherwise employers won't even look at your socials, CV etc. Portfolio is king. 

    Hope this helps

  • Oblivion2500
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    Oblivion2500 polycounter lvl 6
    My main advice to you is scale and lighting. I wouldn't worry too much about having perfect texel density and rather focus on making good looking art (which is what will get you a job). 

    A lot of things in your scene are out of proportion. Some assets therefore feel very small and some feel very large. Scale is extremely important because it doesn't feel natural to the human eye when it's not correct. Some of your ceilings are very low and make the whole scene feel squished. Some assets therefore seem very large.

    Can you give me examples of assets that feel small or too large? Same with ceilings? I know that I made the manhunt attic one claustrophobic on purpose. If you're talking about the ceiling being too low. What if it was by design on purpose? The temple one has a very high ceiling and everything is supposed to be large since it's not human but alien from the game. I actually copied the scale exact to the original from the editor. 

    It helps more if I am told what is wrong with each scene. It helps me know what to look for. 
  • jStins
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    jStins greentooth
    Here is a great thread on lighting in UE4:

    https://polycount.com/discussion/190402/ue4-learning-lighting-art/p1

    I agree with the other posters in this thread. I'd also suggest making sure you're working from good quality concept art and references. I think lack of clear direction hurt your recent alien planet piece.

    Also sounds like you might need to find something outside game art for employment short-term. It's hard to focus on improvement when other basic needs aren't met. That doesn't mean it has to be a shit job just because it's not where you want to be ultimately. I worked in a print shop while I was in school and it was decent. Don't get discouraged, you can get there, good luck!
  • Oblivion2500
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    Oblivion2500 polycounter lvl 6
    jStins said:
    Here is a great thread on lighting in UE4:

    https://polycount.com/discussion/190402/ue4-learning-lighting-art/p1

    I agree with the other posters in this thread. I'd also suggest making sure you're working from good quality concept art and references. I think lack of clear direction hurt your recent alien planet piece.

    Also sounds like you might need to find something outside game art for employment short-term. It's hard to focus on improvement when other basic needs aren't met. That doesn't mean it has to be a shit job just because it's not where you want to be ultimately. I worked in a print shop while I was in school and it was decent. Don't get discouraged, you can get there, good luck!
    This is a great thread on lighting. Thanks for sharing!

    I'm making big changes to planet one. I'm changing the whole theme color, etc. Lighting is being completely changed. I'm also changing the landscape materials and detail meshes to something more green with a hint of brown. The story is that this planet is made of copper and that if you look down to the crater, you can see a mining area as well. I also got the idea that the top pointy mountains will have metallic copper at the tip making the overall design of the landscape more interesting. I will have screenshots soon once I'm done updating the materials and making new detailed meshes. Update the UV maps. 

    Yeah, I'm just trying really hard to find a job. I got an interview at Hyland as a cloud support analyst next week. It's been hard finding a job in the past year. 
  • neilberard
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    neilberard polycounter lvl 15
    Honestly, I feel a bit depressed from all the feedback even though they're conductive feedback just trying to help me. Like I got feedback on Reddit telling me that my work history is terrible and that I need more personality of why I was a construction worker. Idk, it just set me off because the last 5 years were the worst for me. It's still bad right now. You can read up my story on my past thread (https://polycount.com/discussion/224252/advice-for-looking-for-job-in-gaming-industry-after-big-life-event#latest ). I just really want a job and I'm about to go homeless if I don't soon. I don't even have any savings left and I'm going to be 30 next year. 
    I feel for ya, sounds like a tough situation. The good news is you can get there, just need to work through obstacles and keep your head up. Get the important stuff out of the way first. If you need money, take care of that, get a side job or whatever. Edit: (Missed your post about the job interview, good luck on that!) If your computer can't handle programs, upgrade it.

    manhunt attic crit: The blown out lighting / heavy fog and bright white sheet is killing it for me. I'm also not a fan of the blood "sniff sniff" tag, but that's just my opinion. You have a dark dirty attic with a white sheet that looks like it's glowing and a lot of nice details are being lost in the noise. Improving the lighting and color balance would help that scene out quite a bit. Look at tutorials on lighting and composition.

  • jStins
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    jStins greentooth
    jStins said:
    Here is a great thread on lighting in UE4:

    https://polycount.com/discussion/190402/ue4-learning-lighting-art/p1

    I agree with the other posters in this thread. I'd also suggest making sure you're working from good quality concept art and references. I think lack of clear direction hurt your recent alien planet piece.

    Also sounds like you might need to find something outside game art for employment short-term. It's hard to focus on improvement when other basic needs aren't met. That doesn't mean it has to be a shit job just because it's not where you want to be ultimately. I worked in a print shop while I was in school and it was decent. Don't get discouraged, you can get there, good luck!
    This is a great thread on lighting. Thanks for sharing!

    I'm making big changes to planet one. I'm changing the whole theme color, etc. Lighting is being completely changed. I'm also changing the landscape materials and detail meshes to something more green with a hint of brown. The story is that this planet is made of copper and that if you look down to the crater, you can see a mining area as well. I also got the idea that the top pointy mountains will have metallic copper at the tip making the overall design of the landscape more interesting. I will have screenshots soon once I'm done updating the materials and making new detailed meshes. Update the UV maps. 

    Yeah, I'm just trying really hard to find a job. I got an interview at Hyland as a cloud support analyst next week. It's been hard finding a job in the past year. 
    These sound like cool ideas for the planet scene, but a very risky time investment without some strong concept art to guide your process. It's very easy to get spread too thin and create visual mush if you don't have a concrete goal of what you want to achieve visually. A good piece of concept art will also give you a strong foundation of light, composition and value for a final image. 

    Also, apologies if the job thing came off as flippant. I know it's been a challenging year. Good luck with your interview!
  • Oblivion2500
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    Oblivion2500 polycounter lvl 6
    Honestly, I feel a bit depressed from all the feedback even though they're conductive feedback just trying to help me. Like I got feedback on Reddit telling me that my work history is terrible and that I need more personality of why I was a construction worker. Idk, it just set me off because the last 5 years were the worst for me. It's still bad right now. You can read up my story on my past thread (https://polycount.com/discussion/224252/advice-for-looking-for-job-in-gaming-industry-after-big-life-event#latest ). I just really want a job and I'm about to go homeless if I don't soon. I don't even have any savings left and I'm going to be 30 next year. 
    I feel for ya, sounds like a tough situation. The good news is you can get there, just need to work through obstacles and keep your head up. Get the important stuff out of the way first. If you need money, take care of that, get a side job or whatever. Edit: (Missed your post about the job interview, good luck on that!) If your computer can't handle programs, upgrade it.

    manhunt attic crit: The blown out lighting / heavy fog and bright white sheet is killing it for me. I'm also not a fan of the blood "sniff sniff" tag, but that's just my opinion. You have a dark dirty attic with a white sheet that looks like it's glowing and a lot of nice details are being lost in the noise. Improving the lighting and color balance would help that scene out quite a bit. Look at tutorials on lighting and composition.

    Yeah, it's been tough five years. Taking care of my dad and everything. Haven't had a job since 2018 and that job sucked so bad I had to quit. I was being bullied by my boss for my hearing loss. I'm still looking for a job with a job recruiter. Mainly looking for full-time tech support jobs or maybe a printing creative job. I do want to get a job in 3D asap. I need to replace my pc. Too many bottlenecks. Too bad it's hard finding a new graphics card right now. Once I have a decent-paying full-time job, I will be replacing my desktop with a brand new workstation/gaming build.

    Good feedback on the manhunt scene. I also scaled down the candles and added wax drops around them. I also notice that the candles were a big large. I will work on the Sniff Sniff. Maybe use Substance Painter physic brush to create a realistic blood decal. 
  • Oblivion2500
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    Oblivion2500 polycounter lvl 6
    jStins said:
    jStins said:
    Here is a great thread on lighting in UE4:

    https://polycount.com/discussion/190402/ue4-learning-lighting-art/p1

    I agree with the other posters in this thread. I'd also suggest making sure you're working from good quality concept art and references. I think lack of clear direction hurt your recent alien planet piece.

    Also sounds like you might need to find something outside game art for employment short-term. It's hard to focus on improvement when other basic needs aren't met. That doesn't mean it has to be a shit job just because it's not where you want to be ultimately. I worked in a print shop while I was in school and it was decent. Don't get discouraged, you can get there, good luck!
    This is a great thread on lighting. Thanks for sharing!

    I'm making big changes to planet one. I'm changing the whole theme color, etc. Lighting is being completely changed. I'm also changing the landscape materials and detail meshes to something more green with a hint of brown. The story is that this planet is made of copper and that if you look down to the crater, you can see a mining area as well. I also got the idea that the top pointy mountains will have metallic copper at the tip making the overall design of the landscape more interesting. I will have screenshots soon once I'm done updating the materials and making new detailed meshes. Update the UV maps. 

    Yeah, I'm just trying really hard to find a job. I got an interview at Hyland as a cloud support analyst next week. It's been hard finding a job in the past year. 
    These sound like cool ideas for the planet scene, but a very risky time investment without some strong concept art to guide your process. It's very easy to get spread too thin and create visual mush if you don't have a concrete goal of what you want to achieve visually. A good piece of concept art will also give you a strong foundation of light, composition and value for a final image. 

    Also, apologies if the job thing came off as flippant. I know it's been a challenging year. Good luck with your interview!
    I got some reference images. I just want to spend 2-4 days on this. Just to really make everything look nicer. I hate not fixing things if I know I can make them a lot better. I also have saved images of concept art that my project is inspired by. 
  • Zi0
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    Zi0 polycounter
    slosh said:
    If you do decide to start something new, just do a complex hero prop.  Much more manageable and will be an easier way to focus on making something high quality.  

    I fully agree with slosh and jStins, its a very risky time investment to go back and keep polishing your current environments. I also think its better to do a complex hero prop, good environments take a lot of time and planning etc and since you want to get a job asap it might be better to just grab a concept of a nice prop and ace it. Take a look at the links below.

    https://www.artstation.com/artwork/L3voKK
    https://www.artstation.com/artwork/q9nb1P
    https://www.artstation.com/artwork/QRlYE

  • YF_Sticks
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    YF_Sticks polycounter lvl 4
    To give yourself some more time and maybe less stress, it may be good to just find a job that pays the bills for now. It's been a tough year, so I wish you all the best for it! Let us know how it goes.

    Once you are back up and running with a job, take your time after work to create a nice hero prop. Really go into it, don't rush it and learn as much as you can as you go along. Feel free to ask around on polycount and on discord groups for input and feedback. Also make sure to use resources on Artstation Learning since it's now free, may be helpful to you!

    A very well done prop can get you an entry job in the games industry, so it's worth to spending a lot of time on the execution of it and the presentation. 

    All the best on your journey.
  • Oblivion2500
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    Oblivion2500 polycounter lvl 6

    Hey everyone! I have updated my portfolio. Even though you guys told me to just move on and start a new project. I just could not do that. It was nagging in my head knowing that it could be easily improved with some changes and I just had to do it. I am incredibly pleased with the updates and improved changes. I think they look a lot better now thanks to all the feedback I got. Now I consider them done and will now move on. I am going to move on to a high-quality prop using Maya/Blender, ZBrush/Blender Sculpt, and Substance Suite. The next 3d environment projects I do will be small and focused on quality.

    I am currently doing a freelance gig with someone making drum sets for Blender and his music software which is paid work. (Can I put this on my resume?). Also, I just got a full-time job at Hyland Software as a Cloud Support Analyst which I am so happy and grateful for. With money coming in and a job I am happy with, I will be way less stressed out. I am still going to keep looking for a job in the gaming industry and work on my portfolio.

    I got a few questions:

    1. Can I put my free-lance as a job on my resume even though I just started?
    2. Please check both my ArtStation profile and portfolio site. Should my weapon Deathmaster or photogrammetry prop Beethoven be part of my portfolio?
    3. How is the order of my projects? I consider my DM-Tutorial Temple to be my best work and my forest to be my least good.

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