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Megascans amount in portfolio piece

tester1225
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tester1225 polycounter lvl 5
So - i'm trying to finish up my demoreel after a long, long mental hiatus. But I've come to a complete block with one project, I can't execute a specific cliff texture in substance designer. Mashing the few tutorials out there together, nothing, I just can't seem to get it done. I've done other SD materials before but this just won't budge. 
Thinking of just using megascans or similar to paint my landscape instead - granted! in the end it's going to be a foliage heavy scene, the landscape will only be peeping out here and there, for flavour :) But it just feels like...cheating. Even though we use textures for everything, and for some foliage you just can't escape using those lovely atlases. But having a professionally scanned texture with all the normals, displacements etc just feels...I don't know. 

What do you guys feel about this? I'm only thinking about some of the pbr textures for my scene. I'm still making all the speedtrees myself, additional rock models, static meshes etc myself. Just feel like I'm cheating by using a premiere canvas so to speak!

//Very sorry if I didn't post this in the right spot! Can't thank the forums enough for all the help so far

Replies

  • Alex_J
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    Alex_J veteran polycounter
    Cheating doesn't exist if there aren't rules. 

    You got to think about what your specific goal is. 

    Does powering through and not giving up until you learn what you need to make the substance designer material serve your goal, or not? That's how you define your ruleset.

    If you want to be good with designer, I'm sure if you make a thread and show what you've done and why you think its lacking, somebody can tell you some tips. There is at least a few substance gurus lurking here.
  • tester1225
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    tester1225 polycounter lvl 5
    Well the tiny problem being is that there are rules, they are set by employers LOL That's why I'm so worried!

    I want to power through, get my stuff done and out the door - but at the same time I want to increase my poor odds at the lottery too LOL Yes I'd like to get good with designer with time, it's very fun when you understand what's happening with it, unfortunately skill and time - not on my side with this!
  • Alex_J
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    Alex_J veteran polycounter
    Well if there is rules you just have to follow them. If you arent sure what they are, ask (the employers, not internet).
  • PixelMasher
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    PixelMasher veteran polycounter
    The last few projects I have worked on at various studios all used megascans for some stuff, if it matches the art style and saves time, most studios will willingly embrace it. 

    It might be worth it to also learn how to use speedtree if you want to flesh out your skillset a bit as well. But at the end of the day it depends on your objective, if you want to be a level artist, you usually wont be hand creating every asset, but more focusing on level art/set dressing. If you want to be a more rounded environment artist at a studio where they do everything, then flush out your asset creation skills. 
  • tester1225
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    tester1225 polycounter lvl 5
    Alex, with needing to apply to multilpe to workplaces, think asking each one would be a bit overboard no? :)  Thought this would be the place to ask as there's a few industry peeps floating about.

    PixelMasher, that's the thing I know the studios themselves use megascasns and external libraries quite a bit, but obviously it's a bit different when you want to hire someone. Anyone can easily use megascans, that's why I'm worried that even if I use a relatievly small amount, it's going to be a red flag on my demoreel. Idealy, I'd like to work with environment art, but I'm not opposed to slightly different roles. But I'm keeping my reel environment based as that's what I enjoy. And yep speedtree is usually not an issue, I'm quiet comfortable using it for my own custom foliage. As I said, just worried about whether I'm setting up this project for failure - what would a hiring studio want, scene with some  megascans involved or most done in substance designer. 
    Really starting to lean towards just using megascans as sparingly as I can for this because it seems it'll be a much easier time setting up landscape materials in UE and seeing what works and then just dressing the scene with as much custom content as possible. Really want to include this scene in my reel just don't want to be potentially shooting myself in the foot haha :D
  • Alex_J
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    Alex_J veteran polycounter
    Alex, with needing to apply to multilpe to workplaces, think asking each one would be a bit overboard no? 

    overboard how? You are applying for a job and going to go to all this trouble to take an art test. How much is it to clarify what they expect from it before you start?

    You could think about the job you are applying for and make some assumptions. If it's level designer, you might lean on premade stuff. If its prop artist they want to see you make a prop right? 

    If they aren't explicit with your approved methods for production and you aren't comfortable making judgement call, just ask. Asking will never make you look stupid. It's smart - it's key part of time management. Try to figure out what you don't know so that you can get the work done as close to perfect the first time.

    If I try to hire some people to help with my projects, I intentionally don't tell all the important details (at first). If they don't ask before they start work, I know it's not gonna work out. I don't have time to QA work - that's more work than just doing stuff myself. So from experience I know the people who get shit done are the ones who ask all the questions and try to understand things completely before spending any time doing work.
  • lluc21
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    lluc21 polycounter lvl 4
    Alex_J said:
    Alex, with needing to apply to multilpe to workplaces, think asking each one would be a bit overboard no? 

    overboard how? You are applying for a job and going to go to all this trouble to take an art test. How much is it to clarify what they expect from it before you start?

    You could think about the job you are applying for and make some assumptions. If it's level designer, you might lean on premade stuff. If its prop artist they want to see you make a prop right? 

    If they aren't explicit with your approved methods for production and you aren't comfortable making judgement call, just ask. Asking will never make you look stupid. It's smart - it's key part of time management. Try to figure out what you don't know so that you can get the work done as close to perfect the first time.

    If I try to hire some people to help with my projects, I intentionally don't tell all the important details (at first). If they don't ask before they start work, I know it's not gonna work out. I don't have time to QA work - that's more work than just doing stuff myself. So from experience I know the people who get shit done are the ones who ask all the questions and try to understand things completely before spending any time doing work.
    I think you both are having a misunderstanding. He is not working on an art test, but working on some personal work for his portfolio.

    Answering the OP, I think it doesn't really matter if you're using megascans, especially if you use them in a way that is not very in your face (i.e it's so well integrated that you can't really tell it is from megascans), but of course you have to state that you used megascans on X and Y assets.

    Using megascans will never be a red flag in your portfolio IMO. It is a very good tool that can get you very good results with (relatively) low effort if you know what you're doing. Last time I checked the industry was all about that 🙂

    Cheating would be if you were a material artist, and instead of creating your own materials you just slapped some megascans to a material sphere and published it as your own, or publishing some 3d assets directly from megascans as your own and so on...

    Take a look at this portfolio by Maarten Hof, where he makes extensive use of megascans assets, but you can't really tell what is and what isn't megascans because everything is matched so well: https://www.artstation.com/maartenhof
  • tester1225
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    tester1225 polycounter lvl 5
    lluc21 said:
    I think you both are having a misunderstanding. He is not working on an art test, but working on some personal work for his portfolio.

    Correct :) I'm currently working on my demo reel so I can finally start applying for jobs. Wish I was at the stage of art tests or interviews LOL I just want to make sure I'm not making any serious mistakes with the first steps, i.e. resume and portfolio. Once I start getting art tests handed to me, of course I'll be asking as many questions as possible, but at the moment I just want a general feel of 'how many megascans are too many for an employer to potentially see'. 

    Well I think being a material artist is out of my reach (and also I'd find it boring just doing materials but that's just me!) so I won't be plagiarising any megascans that way hah :D But as a potential environment artist, it seems the opinions are split across the board? Some are so against using any scans it has me worried, even though I want to mix 4-5 different scans into a terrain scene. As I said everything else would be made custom, but because some of the terrain will be exposed in the front of some shots, just worried they'll take the whole project as a lazy attempt.
  • Larry
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    Larry interpolator

    Many studios nowadays outsource the final props, and internal artists do the blockouts, level design, first pass and establish the artstyle. So my opinion is that you'd benefit more if you do a composition using ready assets and then add your own props in it, to show what you can do. The art lead will understand if you are good enough. This will also save you tons of time trying to create everything in a scene, while fleshing out your idea.

  • poopipe
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    poopipe veteran polycounter

    Be clear about what's in the scene and the person looking at it can make a decent judgement about whether they think it's ok or not based on what they're hiring for.

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