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Fantasy Knife Critique

Hi guys. I'm newer to 3D, and I was hoping to get some feedback on the latest piece I created.

I am a bit confused as to why my work did not get ANY likes at all. Is my work just not good enough? That's why I'd like some feedback. I have a background in 2D illustration and fine art, so you can use that lingo as well and I will understand what you mean. Be as real as you can be. I don't really have much of an ego when it comes to 3D, so I hope to get feedback on the good and the bad. Right now, I am thinking that it must be all bad.

So for my goals, I would like to be employed as a 3D Prop artist. Specifically, weapons and other tools, if a specialty is necessary. As I am not in a 3D program but am self-taught, I was hoping to have a community of people to interact with and give me a true perspective of how good, or bad my work truly is.

my knife model: https://www.artstation.com/artwork/nELmz1

I am new to Polycount, and this is my first post. I think it is in the right section...


  • rexo12
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    rexo12 interpolator

    First off, Welcome to Polycount! Pleasure to have you (sailor).

    This is a very cool concept, and I think you've managed to execute it really well. Great work!

    My main critique is that I think your presentation needs work. The fireflies and speckles present in your renders detract significantly from the piece. Renders have inconsistent resolutions and aspect ratios, there are banding artifacts in the backgrounds (although i'm not sure if this is caused by Artstation compression), and the wireframe shot has half-cropped GUI elements in frame, making it all look a bit amateur unfortunately. For future reference, you can render the viewport preview directly in Blender with the View->Viewport Render Image option.

    Your lighting also lacks dynamism which results in a flat and boring tone for the images.

    Others may have a differing opinion on this, but I do not like shots like these:

    In particular I'm talking about the exaggerated perspective and wide focal length. These shots absolutely destroy the sense of scale of the model, and often don't show anything useful in return. These don't add to the story being told and I haven't learned anything about your modelling or texturing that I didn't already learn from the wider shots. Thinking physically, this knife would be relatively small in real life and so closeup shots would probably be done with a very long focal length, or even a macro lens. It could be worth looking at some knife auction sites for examples of closeups.

    I have linked some other posts from Artstation which may be good references for presentation:



    Their use of leading lines with the knife edge in the renders is what draws my eye in particular - they almost appear to be slicing the frame in half. The lighting used is also more dramatic, and introduces some nice contrast and highlights. There is also a higher degree of polish in the presentation and post process - set dressing, background graphics, etc. These aren't essential details, but it's worth thinking about if that's your style.

    There are some minor UV errors/seams visible in the renders, and I'm not sure I understand the marbling texture on the pins - they don't read as metal and lack definition. You may also be relying a bit too much on bump/height detail, there's a lot of scratches and noise that don't make much sense and contributes to an overall lack of cohesion - e.g. the blade has a material that reads as finely polished, but this isn't reflected in the bump noise which reads to me as almost crumbly - like concrete.

    I do appreciate the work you've put into reflecting on your concepting process and providing a bit of backstory about the model. It demonstrates a degree of thoughtfulness and care that reflects well on you professionally.

    Again, good work. I hope this was helpful. I would love to see this again with a tighter, more refined presentation :)

  • Fabi_G
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    Fabi_G insane polycounter


    Overall looks cool and interesting design!

    I think you could look into retopolgy to achieve a lower polycount more suitable for a in game prop. Check existing game props for reference.

    At the beginning it can help to work off concept/ reference, to focus solely on execution aspect (even then there are design challenges to be solved). This is also how it would be in many jobs. For me, participating in the polycount challenges was a good learning experience.

    Btw, I don't know how you added the images to your post, but they don't appear embedded for me.

    Keep it up!

  • Khulim
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    This is an in-depth and very informative critique. I really appreciate your reply, since it helps give me some things to work on. I agree with everything you have said. It's nice to hear another opinion on it!

  • Khulim
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    Thanks for the feedback Fabi_G! I honestly didn't even know there are challenges here on Polycount! that sounds like a lot of fun. I'll definitely be checking that out.

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