Portfolio Critique for University application

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Curlscurly interpolator
Hello everyone! 
I am a 3D artist, who is currently applying for university to study Digital games with a specialization in Game arts. The application process is a bit more complicated here, since we have to send a portfolio in, make a game concept for a given topic and then we get to the interview. In the past few months, I've been working on my portfolio and filled it with different works that I created in the past few months and years. I would really appreciate it, if someone could give me a feedback about it, since I am really determined to get accepted at this Uni ( even though the game concept is the most important thing, it is also vital to have a good portfolio that shows my skill range etc). Thanks in advance!

https://www.artstation.com/artist/curlscurly

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  • Spoon
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    Spoon polycounter lvl 6
    I don't know what school you are applying to, but seems solid enough to get IN to a school, I would say.
    You could perhaps get rid of the "various environment illustrations", as it looks a bit weak compared to the rest, imo. But I dont know if that kind of 2D is a requirement for the school?
    Cherry Blossom is really nice! Quite a level up from the rest :)
    Good luck!
  • Curlscurly
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    Curlscurly interpolator
    Hey! Thanks a lot for your feedback, I appreciate it a lot. I am applying for CGL in Germany. I agree with you, I was unsure about the illustrations too, but I saw many people include traditional artwork into their applications, so I wasn't sure if I should as well, but I think i will ditch them. 
    Thank you! I just finished it yesterday :smile:

  • skyline5gtr
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    skyline5gtr polycounter lvl 4
    I agree with spoon should be plenty to get in , but you will have to work hard to get to an industry level to nail a job. you can do it  B)
  • Spoon
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    Spoon polycounter lvl 6
    She can definitely do it. The cherry blossom is really good, and she hasn't even started school yet.

    I'm visiting CGL in 2 months, actually, so could probably give more insight after that, but you probably shouldn't worry :)
  • Curlscurly
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    Curlscurly interpolator
    Thanks a lot for your encouragement Spoon! :)  Oh that's interesting, would be great if you could let me know! I think at that point I will be working on the application assignment. 

    I agree with spoon should be plenty to get in , but you will have to work hard to get to an industry level to nail a job. you can do it  B)
    Thank you too! I know that I am not on an industry level yet, but I am also not applying for a job yet :smile:
  • Jaggar
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    Jaggar polycounter lvl 3
    hey :) I check your artstation. It seems that you feel good in the hand-painted lowpoly workflow. So maybe you should to specialize in this, I have not seen a lot of artists who are good at. You have a solid foundation for this. I think the best thing you can do is practice direction which you will choose, and not necessarily in school ;) by the way this design looks best with ortografic perspective from above, on such screens I would be focused and would rather not show too much from the buildings or streets perspective. For school, such portfolio for sure is enough.
  • Curlscurly
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    Curlscurly interpolator
    Thanks alot for your advice Jaggar! yes thats right, I want to specialize in that field, it's the most fun to me :) I will keep that in mind for the future. 
  • philipp.bogdanovskiy
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    philipp.bogdanovskiy polycounter lvl 4
    I'm currently doing my second grade, and can tell that it's quite important to show a variety in your interests. Don't be afraid to include artwork or sketches in any medium you've been doing recently, as well as development process per project or artwork. That will your application thorough.
  • Curlscurly
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    Curlscurly interpolator
    Thanks! Where are you studying? The problem is that every portfolio is being reviewed for only 10 minutes, so I am not sure if putting in progress shots of my projects will only make it too heavy in terms of pictures. I do have sketches in it, but I mainly do everything 3D.My traditional artwork is more on the illustration side/calligraphy, but I dont think thats relevant. 
  • philipp.bogdanovskiy
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    philipp.bogdanovskiy polycounter lvl 4
    Thanks! Where are you studying? The problem is that every portfolio is being reviewed for only 10 minutes, so I am not sure if putting in progress shots of my projects will only make it too heavy in terms of pictures. I do have sketches in it, but I mainly do everything 3D.My traditional artwork is more on the illustration side/calligraphy, but I dont think thats relevant. 
    I'm studying remotely at UH, doing illustration course. The thing is that even if you do 3d, you come up with your thoughts and ideas in 2D. If your Illustration and calligraphy skills help you on a design side of things, it's good to show that connection.
  • BradMyers82
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    BradMyers82 polycounter lvl 10
    I'm going to speak mainly for studios and recruiters, I don't know what schools want, nor would I ever really care.

    One of the biggest things studios care about is how well you follow concept.  I would definitely include the concepts or references you based your work off, you must have something like this.  Also for hand painted stuff like this, I would show your texture sheets too, because it will give people a better idea how efficient you are with uvs and and breaking stuff up.  It would also be nice if you put it in sketchfab or marmoset to allow users to rotate around and see everything clearly.  

    Personally, I wouldn't bother with school, but if money is no object and you enjoy a more social atmosphere thats totally cool.  Its just that anything you would learn in school can easily be learned online, so I'm not a big advocate of schools.  Taking a couple of inexpensive art classes might be worth it though.  

    I don't think you should show anything unless its your best work or on par with your best work (unless your concept for 3d is just your own rough sketch, always show your concepts).  If you feel your sketches aren't that good, they probably aren't.  So I'm going to have to disagree with philipp on that one.  But again, I'm speaking mainly for what studios look for.  Your work is really strong overall, keep pushing yourself and I'm sure you will do well! 

    [edit] just noticed you did use sketch fab on some of your stuff.  So you already are doing that which is great!
  • Brian "Panda" Choi
    Relative to USC requirements (not that you're applying there), you're more than qualified.
  • PraxisPixels
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    PraxisPixels triangle
    90% of the students in my classes are nowhere near as good as you, so I would imagine you could get into any school you wanted with that portfolio :)
  • shabba
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    shabba polycounter lvl 9
    Just out of curiosity, why go to school when you seem to have a solid foundation? What is that you are looking to get from the school, and can you be certain that they will provide it? 

    Self-study is feasible, Games is an industry of skill, not degrees. If you can produce quality content much better than a graduate, and you have some personality, you can get what you are looking to achieve. Maybe not popular opinion
  • jose.fuentes
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    jose.fuentes polycounter lvl 4
    I agree with Shabba, some of my most successful art friends, don't have a degree.  You have a better portfolio than most kids that are done with school.  IMO i would just try to get started with finding work, you will learn more skills than you will at school.  Most art schools give you a general training, and since you all ready have a set style, try to get as best you can with that. There's no better way to learn, than on the job.    I have yet to ever pass on a candidate because they don't have a degree.  Your portfolio will take you a lot farther than a piece of paper will, any day!

    Keep it up!  Im sure that you'll land a job sooner than later
  • Shyralon
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    Shyralon polycounter lvl 6
    As someone who applied at CGL a couple of years ago and got accepted (even though I chose to study at a different university) I think your work is really good and you should not have any problem portfolio-wise. My portfolio at that time was literally a few sketches and some funky looking models, nothing even near the quality of your art.
    EDIT: oh wow, just noticed that this thread is from march, so the application is probably already done by now :open_mouth:
  • BradMyers82
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    BradMyers82 polycounter lvl 10
    sorry, I necro'd this thread.  For some reason I thought it was current.  Now I'm curious what happened. lol
  • travisdreams
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    travisdreams polycounter lvl 5
    i read the post about this being an application, checked your artstation and almost spat out my drink when i saw your portfolio. Your work is DEFINITELY of great quality to get you into whatever school you're planning to attend! Best of luck and let us know how it goes :D Great work!
  • Bletzkarn
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    Bletzkarn polycounter lvl 2
    Your artwork is amazing. Skip uni go straight for a job! I recently got a job in low poly environment art and my portfolio is A LOT worse than yours.
  • Curlscurly
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    Curlscurly interpolator
    Hey everyone! I'm very surprised that this thread was found, since I completely forgot about it haha. It's been a while since I posted this and my portfolio changed a lot! Thank you to all of you taking your time and writing in here.

    Update on what happened: I got accepted at my university and I am attending it since October. Our course is divided into different specialisation tracks (Art, Design,Programming) and every Semester, we create games within 2 months in small groups. The course duration is about 3 years.

    @BradMyers82 Thank you for your indepth feedback and suggestions, I really appreciate it! I will definitely include the Concepts as well. I only put the link to the original concepts  in the descriptions, having them visually included is definitely better. I will also put my texture sheets into each project from now on (and update).
    Regarding school, universities are basically for 'free' in Germany. You only pay a small fee for your train tickets basically. I mainly wanted to attend university to be able to learn more about the game development process from people in the industry. However, this school isn't very much of an Art school and will later on focus on 3D animation in the Art specialisation track. I am used to self-study everything I do and I don't think I will learn much about environment art during my course (which disappointed me, since that's what I want to do in the future.).However, I will look into some online courses as you mentioned and do that in my free time! 

    @PraxisPixels Thanks a lot!

    @shabba To be honest, I am not 100% sure after attending uni for 3 months if I will get what I was looking for. I think I underestimated my skill set and thought that in an university environment, I'd be able to learn more, since we got really skilled professors, who work in the industry. However, as mentioned above, the course seems to focus very much on 3D Animation and Character art. I decided for myself that I want to focus on Environments, therefore I feel a bit stuck in that regard. 
    A lot of my Game Art friends from outside of Germany said the exact same thing to me just like you, so it doesn't seem to be an unpopular opinion at all. It really made me think, thank you for voicing your opinion! 

    @jose.fuentes Thank you for your kind words regarding my portfolio and work! I will definitely have a think about getting a job maybe instead (since that seems to be what most people are suggesting me). I got a couple of job offers in the last months, but I declined them because of my uncertainty regarding going to university or start working. 

    @Shyralon Thank you! Yeah I think I overestimated the requirements for the application. I am one of the only people in my class who does 3D art, most students are concept artists here. Wish you all the best with your current studies!

    @travisdreams Haha, glad about that positive reaction! thanks so much! :) 

    @Bletzkarn Thanks a lot! Good luck with your job! 
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