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Help with my Portfolio

Vamptacus
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Vamptacus polycounter lvl 4
Hey everyone, I hope 2024 has been good so far.

I need help with my portfolio, I can't find a job, I've tried applying to different positions from junior to mid with no luck, admittedly I only apply to remote positions but still not getting any response is very discouraging.

I really need some advice on what works to remove from my portfolio, what do I need to work on and add to it etc to help me find a job in this career.


I feel like a lot of this are useless so I was thinking of hiding most of them except for the last 3-4 models.

Thanks in advance for any kind of help cause I really need it =)

By the way don't worry about my feelings and say what's needed to be said.

Replies

  • iam717
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    iam717 greentooth
    First thing, i think reorganization of the "best work" should be sorted (thumbnails).

    Secondly, you have sculpts mixed in with 'game res/uv'd' work, i am not a Hiring manager or anything & this is more of curiosity than anything else, but i do not think they should be mixed into the portfolio.  Game work with game work, sculptures with sculptures/render/figure works.  I can be wrong so anyone who is perhaps in the field of hiring can chime in for this person.

    Thirdly, you seem to be getting a lot of attention with your sculpt renderings and it looks like i think you are happier there and doing that line of work so I'd start looking for the options to garner currencies from aspects of positions from that than game art work.  (looking at the numbers)

    That is all i got right now, kind of quick perhaps dirty but hopefully it helps.

  • Vamptacus
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    Vamptacus polycounter lvl 4
    iam717 said:
    First thing, i think reorganization of the "best work" should be sorted (thumbnails).

    Secondly, you have sculpts mixed in with 'game res/uv'd' work, i am not a Hiring manager or anything & this is more of curiosity than anything else, but i do not think they should be mixed into the portfolio.  Game work with game work, sculptures with sculptures/render/figure works.  I can be wrong so anyone who is perhaps in the field of hiring can chime in for this person.

    Thirdly, you seem to be getting a lot of attention with your sculpt renderings and it looks like i think you are happier there and doing that line of work so I'd start looking for the options to garner currencies from aspects of positions from that than game art work.  (looking at the numbers)

    That is all i got right now, kind of quick perhaps dirty but hopefully it helps.


    Thanks a lot for your response! yes I indeed got better attention for those but I stopped doing them a while ago, my last 3 works are all for game use and I'm more, a lot more interested in game models.

    Do you think I should remove all of them except for game ready ones? Does that help?

  • Ruz
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    Ruz polycount lvl 666
    I think you have some nice pieces there, certainly enough to get a job. it's a bit tough right now with all those layoffs anyway
    just keep applying
  • jStins
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    jStins interpolator
    Yeah I think this could just be bad market timing. Your portfolio looks good, great even, with the caveat that I'm not a character artist. I think you should keep the sculpt renders since they look good, show proficiency with anatomy and you're demonstrating game pipeline competency in other pieces. I'm with Ruz, just keep applying and good luck!
  • David Somers
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    David Somers polycounter lvl 10
    While the layoffs are a lot more administrative/marketing (from what I've heard), I'm in the same boat as you. Granted I've probably been punching a bit too high with where I've been applying at. But yeah there just aren't a lot of openings around from what I've seen. Most are Senior to Lead positions and no amount of modding/freelance is gonna land those.

    I'm no character artist but I really like your posing. Even though the texture work isn't near as pronounced in your earlier stuff, I really like the emotions conveyed in the Toy Maker piece. While I get your professional emphasis isn't going to be on rigging or animation, it does a great deal in exploring the art piece in an interesting manner. I'd really say it's like visually taking your work out for a test drive. 

    Excellent work throughout!
  • Vamptacus
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    Vamptacus polycounter lvl 4
    I really appreciate the kind words everyone, I guess I'll just keep applying and see what happens, I'm also trying to learn a bit of rigging so that might help and of course I'll try creating better models for my portfolio.

    Though please if anyone has any advice for me please do let me know, it would mean a lot.
  • Alex_J
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    Alex_J grand marshal polycounter
    -- sorry, i posted response in the wrong thread -- 
  • carvuliero
  • Vamptacus
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    Vamptacus polycounter lvl 4


    Thanks a lot for taking the time to do this! really appreciate it, so improving anatomy and lighting should be a priority, by better background do you mean like a different color? could you explain it a little.
    And also remove the models you crossed off right?
    Unfortunately the one you mentioned to my best isn't a game model so it's not gonna help my job finding, at least that's how I feel =)
  • carvuliero
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    carvuliero hero character
    Your 'best' is a good example of background that help show your model it has vignette , soft gradient , something to break the flat color ,ground shadow
    On the other hand 2 new pieces have not particular appalling color [think they call this muddy colors then you mix complimentary colors they became mud if you have to keep it for reasons try to desaturate it so it less strong them model colors if not pick something that will pop your model], gradient is harsh it steal attention from your model combined with flat lighting only make things worse
    Yes I would remove those
    Its doesn't matter if its good, its good
    My suggestion is to remove what you don't like rearrange them so your best are top left and post for second round
    I have notice that biceps on few of your models is unrealistically long maybe should check origin and insertion and where muscle belly end and where tendon begin

  • Vamptacus
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    Vamptacus polycounter lvl 4
    Your 'best' is a good example of background that help show your model it has vignette , soft gradient , something to break the flat color ,ground shadow
    On the other hand 2 new pieces have not particular appalling color [think they call this muddy colors then you mix complimentary colors they became mud if you have to keep it for reasons try to desaturate it so it less strong them model colors if not pick something that will pop your model], gradient is harsh it steal attention from your model combined with flat lighting only make things worse
    Yes I would remove those
    Its doesn't matter if its good, its good
    My suggestion is to remove what you don't like rearrange them so your best are top left and post for second round
    I have notice that biceps on few of your models is unrealistically long maybe should check origin and insertion and where muscle belly end and where tendon begin


    I got everything you said but I don't understand what you mean by post for second round?
    I'll start creating new models and replace the old ones based on the things you mentioned with the anatomy, background and lighting.


  • NikhilR
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    NikhilR polycounter
    I really do think that you should approach artists at the studios you want to apply to for feedback. 

    Besides having clear demarcation between models (game res models and pure sculpts), I don't see anything critically wrong with you work that would affect a job application.

    The way the market is now, I wouldn't be surprised if studios are prioritising industry experience and published game titles over whats in your portfolio.
    Like you might have noticed how recruiters immediately put out posts on linkedin sympathizing with layoffs and highlighting job openings when a layoff becomes public.
    Its not that these positions magically appeared, the hiring just became more relevant because many of these layoff'd artists meet metrics that recruiters are expected to prioritise. And many time it has nothing to do with their portfolios.
    Not that this wasn't the case before its just that with the layoffs there are many artists to choose from that have these credentials.

     Could you also post your linkedin?
    Applicants are reviewed for PPR i.e profile, portfolio and resume, so its important to get the complete picture of your application.

    On polycount you're more likely to get feedback on the art side of things, which I'm not really sure would make that much of a difference to moving past the portfolio review stage in your particular case.

    I'm not too particular on anatomy changes and I don't feel any of your models need to be discarded, simply arranged/identified in the right category.
    I see you have 3 game ready models and the remainder are sculpts and rendered single images. 
    To demarcate, I recommend having a small logo in the bottom left corner of your thumbnail image (Unreal logo for game res/ Zbrush logo for sculpt) and tag the softwares used in the description.

    I don't think any of your models ought to be discarded. And the feedback about "weird or creepy face" is subjective. It doesn't take away from the rest of your work.

    There is the approach to lead in a reviewer with an appealing hero artwork, I'm guessing that is why the demon hunter is seen as the best piece.
    This doesn't make any real difference when you've made an application and the reviewer is expected to view your portfolio. They don't need a hero piece to decide whether to apprise the rest of the pieces, its their job.

    So for example, if I were to pick a piece to make a linkedin post to bring visibility to your profile, I'd start with your demon hunter piece.
    Not to say that the witch would have the same appeal, but the idea here is to bring visibility through appeal.

    Contrary to the assumption, reviewers at studios also don't blacklist your portfolio because they didn't like some aspect of some work. They are required to look for what is in the job listing and schedule art tests.
    So for a game art position, your 1st 3 pieces are sufficient and while they may have subjective opinions on other pieces, it doesn't mean you haven't cleared that stage.
    If you are rejected, companies keep your PPV on file for future opportunities.

    Like this is a rejection email I just received,
    "Hello NIKHIL,

    Thank you for taking the time to apply for our vacancy.

    You should know that we are truly excited about you wanting to join the team!

    Unfortunately, we received many applications, and after a thorough review, we have to inform you that we won’t be able to move forward with your application. With your permission, we would like to keep your CV for a potential future job opening. We sincerely thank you again for your application, and the MY.GAMES team wishes you all the best in your job hunt.

    Kind Regards,"

    This doesn't mean they rejected you because they found a face on your model to be creepy, it means that after looking through the candidate pool they found another candidates PPR to be more suitable to their requirements which is decided not just by artistic appreciation but also by headcounts and budgets.
    I do feel it helps not to sink into a spiral of speculation especially with regards to artwork. On approach is to also request feedback from a recruiter as a followup.

    It certainly does help to continue improving on your artwork and anatomy, but there is considerable speculation on whether this actually results in more successful applications.
    Honestly I think you ought to make a list of the companies you want to apply to, see which ones are hiring and approach recruiters and artist directly through linkedin.
    It really helps to network, look out for industry mixers locally.

    And here's a good article on Imposter syndrome
    https://onthecobblestoneroad.com/imposter-syndrome/
  • carvuliero
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    carvuliero hero character
    What I mean is to simple post your portfolio again then you are done rearranging for second round of crit

    @NikhilR You are missing the point here "And the feedback about "weird or creepy face" is subjective. It doesn't take away from the rest of your work."
    Its creepy or weird because something about construction or proportion is wrong and face alone is ruining perfectly good piece
  • NikhilR
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    NikhilR polycounter
    What I mean is to simple post your portfolio again then you are done rearranging for second round of crit

    @NikhilR You are missing the point here "And the feedback about "weird or creepy face" is subjective. It doesn't take away from the rest of your work."
    Its creepy or weird because something about construction or proportion is wrong and face alone is ruining perfectly good piece
    Its difficult to say without the concept art. 
    This link is to the concept art but the artstation profile has been removed,
    https://www.artstation.com/ciwel

    The face reminds me of q-posket 


    But with more realistic definition in the nose and lips. I like it, but my appreciation is more subjective and probably because I know about q-poskets. (though I prefer nendoroids)
    @Vamptacus - do you still have the concept art referenced for Yuki?
    https://www.artstation.com/artwork/8lXwNR
    There are zbrush rendering techniques that can bring the model closer to the concept, since zbrush matcaps tend to add more depth to an stylized face that could be softened 

    With this piece,
    https://www.artstation.com/artwork/kYDEl
    comparing it to the concept art here,
    https://www.artstation.com/artwork/58wkG8

    Its actually really good.
    Again I'm not sure how precise the standard expected by recruiters is, in my experience they looked at the PPR more overall and the art test was used to compare candidates over the portfolio.
    Then again it really came down to the position being hired for, there wasn't as high an expectation to hire entry level, unless the studio was the type to expect senior level work for junior level compensation (probably not a good idea to work for such a studio_

    Like certainly keep trying to improve, but I don't think there is anything in @Vamptacus's portfolio that's a cause for rejection. It would be good to have the thumbnails labeled so its easier for a reviewer to navigate, but I don't feel that there is anything he could do that would drastically improve his chances of being hired given the current market.

    I also found your art on zbrush central, as you can see from the preview bar at the bottom, there is a wide range of appeal for your work with many positive comments,
    https://www.zbrushcentral.com/t/yuki/356352/13


    I suppose best practice would be to keep to concept, though if your interpretation comes close or is entirely different to concept and your intent is clear I don't believe it would work against you.
    In my experience I've seen the artist to artist feedback to be far more severe than the reality when it comes to hiring, and its really not difficult to see that if you simply browse through character artists on linkedin and compare portfolios with the work of the studio.

    Of course if an art director or senior who reviewed your portfolio as part of your application gives feedback, that you should consider since it is more specific to the situation.
    Even there the advice I've usually received is to keep improving but apply anyway since a studios needs and allocated budget are very flexible.
    There have been cases where many candidate's with a portfolio that didn't receive universal acclaim (i.e many likes on linkedin, art contest winners, hosted on 80 lvl talent)  were considered simply because they applied at the right time and the studio really needed to get through the hiring process in the shortest time possible.

    But the single greatest asset is a referral. It is something I do hope changes since I'm not a fan of nepotism.



  • Vamptacus
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    Vamptacus polycounter lvl 4

    Thanks for the time you took to respond, it means a lot to me.

    Unfortunately I don't have the concept anymore though I'll try searching for it and see if I can find it again.

    Here is my Linkedin profile but I don't really apply through it so I'm not paying too much attention to it or updating it, is that wrong? I usually just email my CV and portfolio to the company I'm applying to.

    www.linkedin.com/in/iman-vakili-128573110

    Honestly I don't have a specific company in mind at all, I'm just trying to get a job and that's already ending in failure without limiting myself to a specific company.

    I just don't get a response at all or even if I do they just explain to me that "After careful consideration of your experience and skills, we regret to inform you that we will not be proceeding any further with your application on this occasion." I'm really not sure what to do =)

    I've started learning rigging and blender now, trying to finish a simple character with some animations hoping that it might help me out in landing a job xD


    I didn't know reaching out to recruiters was an option, do they actually answer on linkedin? I'm definitely gonna try that tomorrow and see if I can find someone to ask, I'll also organize my portfolio a bit more based on what everyone said.


    Again I really appreciate all the help and tips I'm getting here from everyone.





  • NikhilR
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    NikhilR polycounter
    Vamptacus said:

    Thanks for the time you took to respond, it means a lot to me.

    Unfortunately I don't have the concept anymore though I'll try searching for it and see if I can find it again.

    Here is my Linkedin profile but I don't really apply through it so I'm not paying too much attention to it or updating it, is that wrong? I usually just email my CV and portfolio to the company I'm applying to.

    www.linkedin.com/in/iman-vakili-128573110

    Honestly I don't have a specific company in mind at all, I'm just trying to get a job and that's already ending in failure without limiting myself to a specific company.

    I just don't get a response at all or even if I do they just explain to me that "After careful consideration of your experience and skills, we regret to inform you that we will not be proceeding any further with your application on this occasion." I'm really not sure what to do =)

    I've started learning rigging and blender now, trying to finish a simple character with some animations hoping that it might help me out in landing a job xD


    I didn't know reaching out to recruiters was an option, do they actually answer on linkedin? I'm definitely gonna try that tomorrow and see if I can find someone to ask, I'll also organize my portfolio a bit more based on what everyone said.


    Again I really appreciate all the help and tips I'm getting here from everyone.






    Happy to help!
     Linkedin is crucial to the hiring process, and many application systems of AAA studios do reference it. 
    You can also search for jobs on linkedin and apply directly through there.
    There also webinars and news on the platform that you can interact with to increase your visibility.

    And absolutely add recruiters. While you can message them any questions regarding positions, they may or may on respond, but adding them prior to applying certainly helps show interest, and its just easier for them to connect with you.

    You can also use linkedin to browse through employee profiles, send them a connection request too, that way you also get a lot of their updates in your feed that you can support. 
    They are likely your best bet to gain more insight into what it is actually like to work at studios.

    Realistically, its not a very good time for candidates across all levels to apply given the layoffs, though you should still apply so you can be added to their records.

    Also I see you're in Canada, I'm also from Canada (in Montreal) and I've sent you a connection, hope that grows your network.
    Where in Canada are you located?
    You can also refer to my profile to add to yours. I'd be happy to look at your CV as well.
    I had mine assessed and honestly its very critical since your CV if not properly formatted can be rejected by ATS (Applicant tracking system)

    About your linkedin,
    You'll certainly need to work on it further. 
    Some feedback,
    - You can remove modeler from the linkedin title and have it as 3D character artist so its more specific
    - Add a profile photo (ideally yours, some artists use their brand logo, or even their artwork, but professional photo is sufficient)
    - Your "about me" could use a more elaborate summary, usually you would summarize your skills, software and objective (please see mine)
    - You would have to elaborate your responsibilities, tasks and achievements in your experience.
    - Add education and volunteering if any.
    - Add skills and include any recommendations.

    I would also add relevant information to the artstation resume section.

    Linkedin's algorithm requires you to interact with their site so they can highlight your profile and send you more recommendations through your connections.
    So bringing attention to your work does require you to go ahead and add others, also like their posts boosting their visibility. 
    Commenting add's a personal touch but not necessary, as an artist if you have any questions about other artists work thats the best way to start a conversation.

    There's a lot that the application system and recruiters assess prior to your portfolio even being evaluated.
     So important to have that organised.
     Again this is not to say that there are instances where your artwork catches someones attention and they approach you, but this is becoming quite rare these days. Still good to be professional in your PPR. 

    Also add your artstation and linkedin to your signature.
    Another asset to learn more about studios is glassdoor, certainly go through the information and reviews on studios there before applying.
    Let me know if you have any more questions!



  • Vamptacus
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    Vamptacus polycounter lvl 4

    Sorry for the late response.

    I really appreciate the help, I'm actually in Leeds, UK right now not Canada, I tried changing some of the things you mentioned and I would love it if you could take a look at my CV since I'm 100 percent sure that it's not a good one. should I send it over here or somewhere else?

    I'll start connecting with people and see what happens, I think treating Linkedin as a social platform like Instagram is the way to go and it's something that I'll be doing from now on.

    Again I really appreciate your help.


  • NikhilR
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    NikhilR polycounter
    Vamptacus said:

    Sorry for the late response.

    I really appreciate the help, I'm actually in Leeds, UK right now not Canada, I tried changing some of the things you mentioned and I would love it if you could take a look at my CV since I'm 100 percent sure that it's not a good one. should I send it over here or somewhere else?

    I'll start connecting with people and see what happens, I think treating Linkedin as a social platform like Instagram is the way to go and it's something that I'll be doing from now on.

    Again I really appreciate your help.


    You can send your CV through private message on polycount, or on linkedin and I'll take a look at it!
    Its great youre looking for feedback and I'm always happy to help in anyway I can!
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