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Is it okay to have weapons as part of portfolio of 3d environment artist?

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Oblivion2500 polycounter lvl 6
I'm a 3d environment artist and I'm currently working on my portfolio (https://olliverpetkac.artstation.com/ ). I'm working towards smaller projects with more focus on quality and high detail. One feedback I got was that it's not a bad idea to have a high-quality prop in my portfolio as well. I was wondering if having a weapon is okay? I know that there are weapon designers but I love making weapons. It's sort of a prop...

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  • sacboi
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    sacboi polycount lvl 666
    Yes.

    Weapons encapsulate an hard surface discipline throughout all phases of the creation process. Also I think worthwhile, is to research established artists like Tim Bergholz, JL Mussi...etc in order to examine their individual methology generating these particular objects.
  • Zi0
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    Zi0 polycounter
    Yes, you can also make a weapon that can also be used as a prop, a turret for instance.
  • Ex-Ray
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    Ex-Ray polycounter lvl 11
    In the context of your other threads and current portfolio I would advise against it. I would recommend spending your time and effort on a environmental hero piece that supported your environmental work. The hero piece becomes the focal point and direction for lighting, composition, layout, set dressing etc.

    Think:
    - Ornate fountain/statue in a courtyard.
    - Grandfather clock in a manor house.
    - The main computer terminal in a nuclear bunker.
    - Jukebox in a diner
    - Old typewriter in an abandoned house.

    So you have a hero asset and an environment and you showcase both. 

    Broaden your vision, use photography or cinema as inspiration, then imagine your chosen environment in a game as a end of level area or even better as an in game cut scene. Think what sort of quality do I need to pull that off.

    All the best. 
  • Oblivion2500
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    Oblivion2500 polycounter lvl 6
    That's a good idea. Funny, you just mention the grandfather clock and I was just thinking of creating the grandfather clock from Resident Evil 1 remake which had a very interesting design and detail to the face. It was a puzzle in the game and the face of the clock had interesting parts like a shield, key, etc. I'm also planning on doing a very small abandoned prison cell for my next environment project with the hero prop being an old prison cell bed that's all rusted and old. 

    How does one become a weapon designer? I have seen some environment artists do weapon design as well? This is a struggle I have with myself. I also always wanted to do weapon design and monster design since I was s kid drawing weapons and monsters. It's a struggle wanting to do everything but my strongest skills are toward environment design and game design. 
  • Meloncov
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    Meloncov greentooth
    weapon? Sure. All the skills you show in a weapon are relevant to making environment assets.
    Weapons, plural? I'm gonna start to wonder if what you really want to be is a weapon's artist, which could be a mark against you.
  • Oblivion2500
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    Oblivion2500 polycounter lvl 6
    Meloncov said:
    weapon? Sure. All the skills you show in a weapon are relevant to making environment assets.
    Weapons, plural? I'm gonna start to wonder if what you really want to be is a weapon's artist, which could be a mark against you.
    Honestly, just one or two weapons. I don't think I would want to do weapons all the time even though they're cool. The same goes for characters. I would want to do a character or some cool monster someday but I wouldn't want to become a character artist. I feel that environment art is best for me in terms of a game artist. 

    To be honest, I still want to be a game designer one day. I feel more aligned with myself when designing game mechanics, storylines, and gameplay. I'm currently working on my environment artist portfolio just to break into the industry and be an artist for a while. I do love art and game art a lot but I love game design even more. I'm working on courses online, making small 2D games, and eventually will make 3D games with UE4 w/ blueprint/C++. The advice I got from other game developers that have worked in the industry told me it's possible to change career paths but it would be a good idea to just break into the industry as an environment artist which is my current strongest skill set and make connections with other game developers. 
  • Alex_J
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    Alex_J veteran polycounter
    if you want to design games i think you should be designing games right now (more importantly, building games). Unreal blueprints are really accessible way to start. 

    look out on udemy they have 90% sales every so often. Guy named Ulibarri makes the most accessible scripting/visual scripting instruction I've found anywhere. That's a great way to get started.

    Knowing how to make art is a huge plus but it is a separate branch. To me it makes sense to take the most direct path possible once you know what your goal is. And with all the resources we have you literally don't have to wait a day to be designing and selling your own game ideas. There is no obstacle to prevent it.
  • Oblivion2500
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    Oblivion2500 polycounter lvl 6
    Alex_J said:
    if you want to design games i think you should be designing games right now (more importantly, building games). Unreal blueprints are really accessible way to start. 
    You're probably right. Now that I have a full-time job starting next week and a more livable income. It is the end goal. While I do enjoy the art aspect as well. I don't want to completely abandon it or stop learning game art. The same goes with a little bit of programming which is a valuable skill as well as a game developer. I should quickly figure out a plan to have 80-90% of my free time being game design while the other 10-20% will be art and maybe a little bit of C++/C# programming. I will focus more on blueprint when I can rather than C++ since I am not an expert programmer. I have done programming and sort of enjoyed it (the puzzle aspect of programming for games) but design and art are really my forte. Always has been. 
    look out on udemy they have 90% sales every so often. Guy named Ulibarri makes the most accessible scripting/visual scripting instruction I've found anywhere. That's a great way to get started.
    Just added all 4 courses by Ulibarri on Udemy wishlist. I love Udemy. I have some courses on Unity and UE4 game design/dev by GameDev.TV which is also really awesome and Udemy does have sales all the time which is awesome. Thanks for sharing! :)
    Knowing how to make art is a huge plus but it is a separate branch. To me it makes sense to take the most direct path possible once you know what your goal is. And with all the resources we have you literally don't have to wait a day to be designing and selling your own game ideas. There is no obstacle to prevent it.
    That's good to hear. Having strong art skills helps a lot and I have some programming skills (at least a good understanding of the principles of it but not an expert programmer like an actual game programmer). I don't know why so many people have told me to just become a game artist while I have always felt that I should seek game design which I have noticed is still one of the most misunderstood jobs in the gaming industry. I have even thought about this idea (and this idea has gotten stronger more than ever recently) which is to soon start a blog and youtube channel making games and talking about game design, etc. Maybe try making a full simple indie game since I also love doing the art part too. I even recently joined a game developers meetup group which is great and it's once a month. 

    I don't know why I felt like there was an obstacle preventing me from going for game design. I think it was more of my mindset or "checklist todo" in my mind. Do you have any advice on building a game design portfolio? Should my portfolio consist of small games with mechanics (that works for the most part) and some art? I have found some game designer portfolio sites and they seem to either show mostly small games or games they worked with strong programming skills while other game designers have some art shown instead of programming as well. I guess there's no 100% right or wrong way to do it since game design is a bit blurry if you get what I mean.
  • Alex_J
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    Alex_J veteran polycounter
    i don't know anything about getting jobs in the industry. in general it looks like you are in competition with too many people so that means you need to become really good at something, which means focus on only one thing to the exclusion of others until you are the expert at that thing. Knowing myself I can say I'm not a real smart smarty and I don't see dignity in the current employer to employee relationship dictated by capitalism in general so that's not a feeding frenzy for me. 

    as far as making games goes just make pong and tic tac toe and stuff like that first. you can still practice art skills by making them look nice once you've built the mechanics. if you can make tic tac toe look nice then i am sure you can make any game look nice. slow is smooth and smooth is fast.

    very few people can actually finish a game so that has to count for something. as always the inhibitors to production are human issues. know thyself is the only real guidance needed because then you can solve any issue. 

    if you notice that you start noodling with art and forward progress slows you got to ask why. 

    if you notice that you diving into technical issues or over-engineer your tools and this slows forward progress you got to ask why. 

    if you procrastinate ask why. 

    beware excuses: ever meet the sort of people who really suck at lifting weights and so they'll say something like, "yeah i'm more of an endurance guy." Don't be that guy. If there is a job you got to do just find a way to do it or die trying.




  • Oblivion2500
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    Oblivion2500 polycounter lvl 6
    Yeah, the industry is very competitive. 

    I'm was doing exactly. I was reverse-engineering old atari games like pong and space invaders, etc. Also, from there, make it my own with gameplay changes/improvements and graphical enhancements. I really want to get into 3D games once I get the feel of making 2D games. It's actually quite similar, just an extra dimension. The code remains similar. It's just that I have to finish the project, have a deadline, schedule around my job to do this, and then push myself. Get it done. 
  • Neox
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    Neox quad damage
    no matter if you are an environment or a character artist, showing that you have hard surface modelling skills can never be wrong.
  • Roomper
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    Roomper polycounter lvl 5
    It's funny but I had an interesting experience. When I was applying for the position of Environment Artist in a studio that makes FPS games, I had most of my portfolio were weapons and robots and some environment. After reviewing my portfolio they offered to give me an art test for Weapon Artist. But I wouldn't like to make weapons all the time. But I thought this is a chance to join the team and after to go to Environment Artist.
  • Oblivion2500
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    Oblivion2500 polycounter lvl 6
    Roomper said:
    It's funny but I had an interesting experience. When I was applying for the position of Environment Artist in a studio that makes FPS games, I had most of my portfolio were weapons and robots and some environment. After reviewing my portfolio they offered to give me an art test for Weapon Artist. But I wouldn't like to make weapons all the time. But I thought this is a chance to join the team and after to go to Environment Artist.
    I guess it can't hurt to have a weapon in your portfolio. it can still be considered a prop or used as a hero object in a small environment like have a weapon hanging on the wall or a dead soldier holding a gun or gun in some casing sci-fi, etc. 
  • Roomper
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    Roomper polycounter lvl 5
    I guess it can't hurt to have a weapon in your portfolio. it can still be considered a prop or used as a hero object in a small environment like have a weapon hanging on the wall or a dead soldier holding a gun or gun in some casing sci-fi, etc. 
    Yeah, you are right. That's an interesting idea. But you shouldn’t detail weapons for the environment like if it was used for the character in an FPS game. 

    But I think it would be better to have a complex environment in the portfolio which demonstrates skills on the different types of material and objects: stone sculptures, foliage, cloth objects, modular stuff etc. Also,  the works about setting up lighting, overall mood, composition, shaders and some technical elements. I mean, the portfolio's focus should highlights these things. I'm working on it myself.
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