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when to use megascans as an environment artist?

im not an environment artist yet but im working towards it. im just confused on when to use megascans as i am told that environment artists are responsible for the creation of environment assets, someone mentioned that i need to show that i have the necessary skills in order to show that i am capable of delivering. however another mentions that it is unrealistic for one to expect that everything in the environment is to be made by you. therefore learning how to tweak and alter megascans is more better.

im at a loss because im not sure my tree can compete to a 3d scanned tree, which would mean that it is preferred that i use megascans however if that is the case would it even be beneficial to learn to model certain things if there is already a megascans out there that does the job with a few modifications?

sorry for asking a basic question


  • Alex_J
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    Alex_J grand marshal polycounter

    This is more of a general question. The software subforums usually are for software specific technical questions.

    This is also a question that is asked often, but unfortunately a very concrete answer can be given because... it depends.

    "Environment artist" is a job description but it can mean different things at different studios. In general, a larger studio has tighter specialization - e.g. one person has narrower scope of responsibility in what they are doing, but probably more specialized at that thing.

    I think for a beginner you dont need to worry much about what your specialty is going to be. If you instead focus all your energy on making stunning art that gets attention and just learn whatever skill you need to solve each problem you come up against in your quest to make awesome art, I think that you might develop a specialty naturally.

    So if you are wanting to make a landscape scene and you find that making liberal use of megascans helps you get the best results in the most efficient way, hold nothing back. But if you find that creating the scenes you want requires a lot of custom materials to be made, then you'll naturally be spending more time in substance designer. And you'll get good at that and it will show.

    And if you are spending lots of time in designer and you realize you hate it, no worries now you know and you can find another specialty to work at. It all takes time and thus patience.

    I'm not in a hiring position but in a few more years I might be. If I was looking to hire a few freelancers to help with tiny indie game, I got no use for somebody who only makes materials. LIkewise I need somebody who can do more than only set dress too. Somebody who can do both is what I would call an enviro artist, even if they aren't particularly awesome at either.

    But if EA or Naughty Dog is hiring, they want somebody who is like the best at either of those things. So once you have done enough projects that you know what your strenghts and interest are, the next logical step might be to focus in on some studios that look like a good fit for you, and then tailor your work specifically to their current/upcoming projects. The more carefully you aim, the more likely you are to get a killshot, right? So don't spend too much energy trying to be the right tool for every job because you'll never get there. If you love using premade content to get your scenes made, that is fine there is work for people who are good at that - so long as the scenes you make are as good as the competition.

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