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Env Art Portfolio Question - LOD

Greg DAlessandro
polycounter lvl 6
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Greg DAlessandro polycounter lvl 6
I am currently building my environment artist portfolio.
My goal:
12 pieces with a good layout like this:
http://www.clintoncrumpler.com/

My question(s):
Is it worth having LOD breakdowns? (if so, should it only be for 1~3 pieces?)

breakdown examples:
All of these are created by Brandon Nobbs from
http://brandonnobbs.blogspot.com/

Any suggestions to create a great environment artist portfolio are highly appreciated. (even if it is not related to LOD) Thank you.


CellTowerLODsSM.jpg
RoofVent2SM.jpg
RoofVent1SM.jpg

Replies

  • drizs
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    drizs polycounter lvl 15
    A good general rule of thumb: Imagine yourself in a position where you review and hire artists, what is important to you?

    Generally, LODs aren't that important and most artists go for "eye-candy" over performance. Showing that you are aware of LODs and know how to make good looking ones quickly, is very welcome. However, doing it for every single asset might be a waste of time both for you and the guy reviewing your portfolio.

    With that said, setting out to do an epic "12 piece" portfolio is a gurantee for failure, especially true if you're a beginner. If you are a beginner with no industry experience or anything to showcase in your portfolio, my advice is to just have fun and create without an "epic portfolio" in mind. Start small. Very small.
  • Joost
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    Joost Polycount Sponsor
    Unless you're applying to be a lod artist I wouldn't bother. Lodding isn't exactly a skill that's hard to master.
  • Greg DAlessandro
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    Greg DAlessandro polycounter lvl 6
    Why would having 12 pieces for my portfolio be guaranteed for failure?
  • VelvetElvis
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    VelvetElvis polycounter lvl 9
    Why would having 12 pieces for my portfolio be guaranteed for failure?

    A 12 piece portfolio itself isn't. Setting out from scratch to do 12 pieces is a recipe for failue. You'll get too bogged down, lose interest, and give it up. Or get into a rush and end up with 12 half-assed pieces.

    2-3 great pieces is much more attainable.
  • beefaroni
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    beefaroni sublime tool
    Why would having 12 pieces for my portfolio be guaranteed for failure?

    Because you're not going to be able to do 12 really really good pieces. You'll end up with a shitty portfolio.

    Quality over quantity.

    3 solid environments > 12 average environments
  • ZacD
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    ZacD polycounter
    2 Enviroments and a few great props is enough for a starting portfolio. Unless you just did only props, then maybe do 6+.
  • Snefer
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    Snefer polycounter lvl 14
    12 good props = ok.
    12 good enviros = not gonna happen
  • ZacD
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    ZacD polycounter
    12 good enviros = you've pretty much made an entire game's worth of levels at that point.
  • beefaroni
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    beefaroni sublime tool
  • BJA
    Nobody is doing LODs or collision meshes for personal projects anyway, so I wouldn't worry about that. Guess it's more important to have some great props and environments with a nice presentation.
    If you want to show technical workflows, maybe show some material or lighting setups.
  • Greg DAlessandro
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    Greg DAlessandro polycounter lvl 6
    Sorry I should have clarified my intentions:
    I don't plan on creating 12 environments.

    My plan right now: But not necessarily in order

    1) full scene (a diorama focusing on lighting, props, composition, and consistency)
    2) vehicle
    3) building exterior (modular pieces/textures)
    4) organic model
    5) hard surface model
    6) mechanical model
    7) plants/shrubs/vines (practice with cards)
    8. natural landscape (outdoor environment)
    9) realistic texture (tilable)
    10) pbr texture/render (a prop using pbr)
    11) hand painted texture (a model with possibly tilable texture)
    12) prop

    I will showcase breakdowns for some of them as well. Or would it be best to have a breakdown for each piece?
  • beefaroni
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    beefaroni sublime tool
    Did you even read the comments above?

    How long do you think you think it will take to complete those 12?
  • Greg DAlessandro
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    Greg DAlessandro polycounter lvl 6
    Yes I did. They mentioned that 12 full environments to start with is not viable/worth it. (I was not planning on doing that) An environment and several props is much better to do. A very rough estimate: 13 weeks or so?
  • Autocon
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    Autocon polycounter lvl 13
    Sorry I should have clarified my intentions:
    I don't plan on creating 12 environments.

    My plan right now: But not necessarily in order

    1) full scene (a diorama focusing on lighting, props, composition, and consistency)
    2) vehicle
    3) building exterior (modular pieces/textures)
    4) organic model
    5) hard surface model
    6) mechanical model
    7) plants/shrubs/vines (practice with cards)
    8. natural landscape (outdoor environment)
    9) realistic texture (tilable)
    10) pbr texture/render (a prop using pbr)
    11) hand painted texture (a model with possibly tilable texture)
    12) prop

    I will showcase breakdowns for some of them as well. Or would it be best to have a breakdown for each piece?

    Yes this would be the "ideal" portfolio that anyone would love to have as it show everything. But NO ONE has that portfolio. That is an insane amount of work and you will find it hard to make even 1 great environment.

    I would rather see 1 fucking kick ass/balls to the wall/jaw dropping environment and like 2/3 unrelated props than a few meh/ok environments and a lot of crummy props.


    As for the original question about LOD's. Yeah I think there great to include in your portfolio. You are applying to be a production artist and at a TON of studios you will indeed be making LOD's. Demonstrating in your portfolio that you know how to do some of this technical work will set you apart from other artists who just know how to make things pretty.

    I would only do 1 thing with LOD's as thats all you need to show you know how to make good LOD's. Spend the rest of your time making sweet art porn. But yeah, its a benefit for sure.
  • beefaroni
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    beefaroni sublime tool
    A very rough estimate: 13 weeks or so?

    If you're just learning about environments and you're trying to get a job. Just 1 env alone is probably going to take 13 weeks.

    Also, you should be using PBR for all of your pieces.
  • ZacD
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    ZacD polycounter
    There's no reason not to use PBR, even for hand painted stuff. Unless you want to do mobile spec hand painted.
  • Greg DAlessandro
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    Greg DAlessandro polycounter lvl 6
    For my scene I was looking to do something of this caliber:
    size of the piece
    attention to architectural detail
    interesting composition/lighting
    weathering

    by Antoine Galanti:
    8cht.jpg

    by Scott Homer:
    statelyhome_final.jpg
  • BagelHero
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    BagelHero greentooth
    Yeah, I'd venture for someone who's just getting into this stuff (up to a few years personal experience, honestly), something like these would take about 13 weeks to do decently. These are small, but highly intricate and have a TONNE of props and pieces in them, some of which I have no doubt you'd be learning from scratch how to implement.

    Try and nail one item at a time. You don't want to be caught up thinking about your next six projects before you've even started the first one.
  • Greg DAlessandro
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    Greg DAlessandro polycounter lvl 6
    So then should I start by creating single props instead of a full scene like this first? (props not related to the scene that I will create)

    I am trying to figure out what I should have in my portfolio before applying to game studios. I am currently a graduate (for about a week now) What should be my minimum be if I do not have a scene? (also wouldn't a scene like this be necessary?)
  • Autocon
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    Autocon polycounter lvl 13
    Post up what work you have right now. Even if it sucks. Its the ONLY way to effectively judge what you need and help you.
  • Greg DAlessandro
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    Greg DAlessandro polycounter lvl 6
    Here is my WIP portfolio:
    http://gregdalessandro.weebly.com/

    3 things to note:
    a) I am drastically changing the layout
    b) I am getting rid of the female model and Peter Dinklege (they were placeholders for my Portfolio class)
    c) I plan on texturing/rendering the building I already made. (it was also built with modular pieces)
  • Joost
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    Joost Polycount Sponsor
    Don't have that bamboo picture as your banner. Or anything that isn't your own artwork. You don't want some random stock photo to be the focal point of your portfolio.

    Also I'd personally advise you to just do a couple of very polished props. Unless you're very passionate about creating environments. A diorama is a good compromise. A lot of aspiring artists (including me!) set out to create big environments and either can't finish them or the quality of the assets ends up being sub-par due to the scale of the project. Or sometimes they don't even start because they can't figure out the best way to do things.
  • Greg DAlessandro
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    Greg DAlessandro polycounter lvl 6
    I will do several polished props. However, wouldn't having an environment in my portfolio be vital for applying for an environment artist position?
  • Fansub
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    Fansub sublime tool
    I will do several polished props. However, wouldn't having an environment in my portfolio be vital for applying for an environment artist position?

    Yes,but having several props FIRST will give you a taste of how hard/easy it is for you to create small projects and complete them.
  • Joopson
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    Joopson Polycount Sponsor
    If you're amazing at props, you can get by while you're working on a good environment. Much better to have a few great props than one not-nearly-as-good environment.

    I got my job before I had a real environment in my portfolio. Just show you can do great work, and then the details matter less.
  • Greg DAlessandro
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    Greg DAlessandro polycounter lvl 6
    Fair enough. Thank you for the replies.
  • drizs
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    drizs polycounter lvl 15
    Great advice in this thread.

    Setting yourself too high visual target will make the process frustrating and you'll end up hating what you do because nothing you do will look good enough, until the very last moment when you put the post-process filter on. Chances that you will have a final high quality piece is very slim because you will have given up way before then. It takes experience, a good process and a good eye to be able to reproduce something like that without giving up. Or you have insane work ethics :)

    If you're honest with yourself, have you put yourself 110% in everything you've done up to this point? If not, then chances are, you have normal work ethics like the rest of us, which is to say, it's super fragile and requires a lot of mental effort to get through.

    I know it LOOKS easy, because you know every step how to recreate the image. But it isn't. Start small. Make crates, fire hydrant, weapons, wheel, barrels, tv sets, make the really mundane easy stuff. If it's fun, then the quality will show, because you want to push yourself.

    I really want to help you, so I'm not trying to attack you, just saving you from a very expensive lesson.
  • Greg DAlessandro
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    Greg DAlessandro polycounter lvl 6
    I genuinely appreciate that drizs. Thank you.

    Question regarding direction:
    Would it be better for me to create props for my portfolio, or to create sculpted tilables like this:
    https://lazaruz.carbonmade.com/projects/4493279
    He is a very talented artist.
  • beefaroni
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    beefaroni sublime tool
    I'd start with props and fill out any materials that you think you're missing with sculpted tileables.

    Basically, show that you can texture a prop super nicely. But if it doesn't have a wood or a stone in it, you could do those as tileable sculpts/textures. That way you demonstrate that you can create a asset start to finish, but you also have the ability to create a variety of textures.
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