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DougG
05-08-2010, 09:52 PM
I started a thread over in 3d stills, but I figured that all the current work I will be doing will end up in my demo reel, this area might be a more fitting place to get critiques and get the most out of my reel. My aim for the demo reel is to show off modeling and texture work while (hopefully) showing an understanding of environments and characters. I also have a pretty moderate to advanced understanding of rigging and animation, but my first love is environment work and characters. I guess my question comes down to should I try to cram animation and rigging into the reel or focus more on environment design and straight character modeling/textures. All my current work is done in 3ds max 2010 and zbrush.

Here are a few current stills of the first environment I'm working on to open the reel up. I was planning on making a character to walk around the environment.. still not sure where I want to lay the focus on. Any advice would be appreciated.

http://i317.photobucket.com/albums/mm394/Smashlt/almost.jpg

http://i317.photobucket.com/albums/mm394/Smashlt/almost2.jpg

http://i317.photobucket.com/albums/mm394/Smashlt/almost3.jpg

http://i317.photobucket.com/albums/mm394/Smashlt/almost4.jpg

Thanks!

kelvincai
05-09-2010, 08:10 AM
I agree with you that you should focus one particular area in your reel, either rigging, animation, environment design, or character design.

Since you posted only an environment piece, I would comment only on your environment design area.

I would suggest you post some 2D concept work (preferably detailed and painted). And, show your progress and consistency from the 2D concept to 3D render. About the 3D render of this piece, you will need some serious improvement on the texturing, lighting, and rendering. It has too much pitch black, and the textures lacks variations. Try to make one piece as best as you can, hopefully to a production level, then move on to the next piece. You might just do a fly-through to the environment, and a character walking around the environment is unnecessary and could be a distraction.

Meloncov
05-09-2010, 08:23 AM
Are you aiming for game works, or film? I see a lot of imperfections, such as the repeating textures mentioned above and a lack of variation in the body of some of the plants that I can't tell if they're flaws in your work or necessary sacrifices in order to stay within a poly/texture size budget.

I second the comment on lighting. If you're not interested in improving your own lighting ability, perhaps find someone who wants to focus on it and would be interested in having something unique to light for their reel.

DougG
05-09-2010, 06:03 PM
Thank you for the quick replies guys. I have a lot of sketches and drawings leading up to the 3d models and current renders so I will definitely add those to the reel. As for my lighting its pretty simple at the moment, I honestly think the contrast is way too high. I'm currently just using mr sun and mr sky. I need to change the lighting all around. As for hooking up with someone who specializes in lighting more than me, that's an interesting idea to make my work stand out more and give someone else something to work with. I've been away from 3d design for a long long time and I really do appreciate all these comments and ideas, thank you.

I agree with you about the textures at the moment and its something I am currently working on. As for the aim of the reel I would love to work in film or a game environment but how would I go about showing off both skill sets? Would I create an environment, say this one here after I finish and polish it off in high detail, then go back and redo the geometry of everything and give myself a texture and geometry budget and try to make it look just as good within those confines, then move on to the next piece?

The repeating textures at the moment are partly because I'm just trying to get the feel down and partly trying wrestle everything down to keep everything manageable within a good render time (which is a horrible way to work I know). I guess If I had to chose I would love to work in the game industry as I actually love the challenge of making something look good given certain limits. I just didn't want to pigeon hole myself, but maybe I just need to focus on what I really want... which would be environment design for video games.

Anyways, I'll be back with updates and thank you for taking the time out to give me some pointers.

Wiro
05-09-2010, 09:24 PM
It's a pretty decent start. Your approach isn't bad actually, to start with repeating textures and simpler geo to rough it out, but you have yet a way to go to "get it there".

The first thing that sprang to mind were the rocks which look very inconsistent. The geometry shapes at the "hand" are quite edged and linear whereas the cave is more curvy. The displacement on top of that looks very sharp and noisy. You have to think of what kind of rocks you're trying to replicate. Look for lots of ref on flickr and whatnot.

Instead of trying to cover your rocks in a more or less generic displacement map you should look into taking it in to Zbrush or Mudbox. It'll be pretty essential anyway at some point as an environment artist. Then think about (or rather...REFERENCE!) where dirt, moss, stains, streaks, mud, etc would gather. You got water in the scene, use it for interesting advantage.

If you want to present the landscape more diorama or turntable-like ) I think you could get away with less lighting skills and make the reel-viewer concentrate on the modelling and texturing.
If you want to show it off in the current way though you'll have to think a lot more about the lighting which looks kind of flat now.

Wiro

DougG
05-09-2010, 11:48 PM
It's a pretty decent start. Your approach isn't bad actually, to start with repeating textures and simpler geo to rough it out, but you have yet a way to go to "get it there".

The first thing that sprang to mind were the rocks which look very inconsistent. The geometry shapes at the "hand" are quite edged and linear whereas the cave is more curvy. The displacement on top of that looks very sharp and noisy. You have to think of what kind of rocks you're trying to replicate. Look for lots of ref on flickr and whatnot.

Instead of trying to cover your rocks in a more or less generic displacement map you should look into taking it in to Zbrush or Mudbox. It'll be pretty essential anyway at some point as an environment artist. Then think about (or rather...REFERENCE!) where dirt, moss, stains, streaks, mud, etc would gather. You got water in the scene, use it for interesting advantage.

If you want to present the landscape more diorama or turntable-like ) I think you could get away with less lighting skills and make the reel-viewer concentrate on the modelling and texturing.
If you want to show it off in the current way though you'll have to think a lot more about the lighting which looks kind of flat now.

Wiro

Thank you! I'm going to back and research the how and why and come up with an altered design based on nature and take my time with this. I appreciate you helping me out.

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