View Full Version : character: model for Volition inc. (test)

01 January 2004, 10:10 PM
It's a test they administer to some candidates, they send a reference drawing and instructions on what to do and you have 5 days to finish. They claim they were impressed, but obviously not impressed enough to hire me...

Hoping I could get some pointers from folks more knowledgable than myself.

(Edit: Cut the video to save on bandwidth, thanks to everyone who offered tips and encouragement!)

And an image:

02 February 2004, 07:58 PM
People here may be able to point out where you went wrong if you can show Volition's reference that you had to use.

My own crit:

His pants look way tight.. I'd sag em up a little.

The text on his shirt is all distorted. I'd straighten it out and make it easier to read.

His tribal tattoo on his arm is a bit much for my tastes. I like tats on characters now and then but they have to be a bit more subtle. He looks more like he has some wierd skin disease than a stylish tat.

The toes of his shoes should be a little flatter, and tone down the whites on them and dirty them up some. This guy doesnt look like he's too concerned about keeping his footwear clean.

He can use some wrinkles painted into the tighter parts of his t-shirt like the underarm, and you can also define his pectorals a bit better.

He can use some muscle tone painted into his arms. the skin texture looks like just a solid color from what you're showing.

I'd need to see a closeup of the face to really comment on it. From here though he looks pretty ugly/creepy. Hopefully thats what you were going for ;)

02 February 2004, 09:29 PM
hm he seems to lack any style or funk his shoes have some but thats about it. very little tone on his skin at all its almost like a flat gray the same for his t shirt, i suspect looking closly what uve done is painted a texture that looks right but havent painted a texture that works on the model alot of the time u need to have alot more contrast in ure textures than is apparant on the model. are his jeans a photo? they look it (mainly because everythign else is so flat) i have to agree about the face as well. the model itself looks pretty good tho a tad bland also the spin round shows u need to sork on his chest especialy from the back 3/4 views u can see it sticks out to much. other than that just work on ure textures mainly, uve not made any 'mistakes' they just need more contrast and more detail so keep at it.

in future u may want to funk up ure things abit generaly if uve got ure own style u cna model the standard models but many people who do just standard models lack their own style

would be interesting to see the reference they gave u tho!

02 February 2004, 11:09 PM
We also need wires.
and given specs / your specs.

02 February 2004, 12:15 AM
hey man, I can sympathize with you...
volition actually flew me up there for a visit and an interview with like 10 different people. I met some amazing artists, especially Mr. Josh Nizzi...who in my opinion realy made it more than worth the trip.
I interviewed for the interface artist position. everyone seemed to like me/portfolio and was really nice, then I was driven to the airport the next day and told I would hear back either way in a week or 2. never heard back..I sent 2 unanswered emails thanking them for the interview and the trip.:(

I later heard from some industry friends that they had a shake up in the weeks directly following my interview, new CEO and many people got the axe. dont know how true it is but I took it for what it was worth...experience. that was about a year ago this time. in retrospect, I'm a southern boy and dont think I wouold have adjusted well to illinoise.

nice model, the facial features and the neck look a little off to me...and the tat kinda bugs me, it seems a bit too bold and could be a little more readable.

good luck in the future man.

02 February 2004, 01:20 AM
I agree with the others - here's my take:

1 - head is slightly misproportioned, especially the chin/mouth and forehead areas.

2 - pants are definitely too tight - they don't look very natural.

3 - bad UV distortion across the chest area - very clear in the lettering.

4 - letters and logo look pasted on, not like part of the shirt. There shouldn't be a drop shadow around it.

5 - jeans texture is muddy and unclear

6 - shoes are too cartoony, don't fit the rest of the model very well

7 - skin is much too white - add some red and blue in there, give it some life!

8 - tattoo looks like a layer slapped on in photoshop

02 February 2004, 04:56 AM
hi, this is interesting to me personally because I applied to Volition a week or less ago... still waiting to hear back, if at all.

your character has some good proportions, maybe too long in the legs, but the skin looks too pale, need some more flesh tones? also the other things mentioned by others. another main thing i noticed was that your contrast is too high on the graphic on the shirt, the tattoo and some other things... try to add more details and not cover them up with light light areas or dark dark areas. overall he does look human, just needs some natural adjustments :) i'd say keep at it you'll have a job with some basic improvements

02 February 2004, 01:08 AM
Thanks for taking a peak at my model guys.

Specs on the model are 1980 polys. I had a limit of 2000 polys. And the model shown here has 4 1000x1000 texture maps. (I was supposed to use 256x256, but I worked with a 1000x1000 map and sized it down later.)

My main skill is in modeling, I tried to make it look as much like the drawings as possible, in the drawings the guy had some skin tight pants on, so thats what I went for. I guess there were some aspects of the drawings that were probably off, that maybe I should have fixed. Especially since everyone comments on the long legs, I actually like longish legs, but, looking at the distance between his knee and the bottom of his foot now, it's evident that something is off. Also, one reason they look longer is because of his butt, it actually needs to come down further.

The texturing is pretty much crap, I knew that before, but hoped I could pass it off, now since everyone has gripes about it I should probably focus more on that. I have practicaly no experience with texturing, this was my first real game character texture job. (I was applying for a character *modeling* position, but I'm pretty sure the crappy textures are why I wasn't hired.)

As for "style", any style I have was suppressed in order to assume the style of the concept artist.

The letters on the shirt are actually not distorted, thats how they are supposed to be, in a V shape.

I got a question for you guys. They sent 3 drawings. 2 of them were front and side view, the 3rd was a posed ink rendering. The two orthographics were obviously the same character, but the 3rd ink drawing was quite a bit different. I tried to incorporate aspects of both, did they want me to use the ortho's for modeling and the ink drawing for texturing?? Or do I follow the ortho's until they differ from the artists conception??

02 February 2004, 04:33 PM
Keep @ it you'll get a job.
In my experience employers always wanted me to follow the ortho pics.
It's sucks sometimes because specific details are not communicated efficiently and the pipline gets backed up.
Never hesitate to ask for clarity.

02 February 2004, 05:04 PM
Game companies normally have one of two attitudes when hiring. 1) find someone straight out of school, or with little experience, who is hungry to learn, at the beginning of their learnign curve, has lots of tallent, and most importantly, willing to work for little money. 2) someone who is established, has several shipped titles, and knows about pipelines and working in a team environment. When they are looking for 2, it means they have a nice budget, and are willing to pay for that person.

i personally know of about 20 people who have done volition art tests in the last month. So im pretty sure they are looking for number 2. Amazing tallent, and exp. they are looking for the perfect candidate it sounds like.

If you are only asked to model, DO NOT texture it, unless you are an amazing texture artist.
Always go off of the orthographics. The 3/4 was prolly the initial sketch, that was approved, then the concept artist went back and made the ortho's off of it. So the orthos are the final version.

never ever resize your textures that much. I never paint mine larger than they are, because i get down to single pixel details quite often, which would dissappear in a resize. It also keeps you from painting too much detail that wont be in there. and if you do resize, do it in a power of 2, example: 512, halfed to 256. Not 1000, down to 256. that means every 8 pixels boiled down to 1, which is why it is so muddy.

wireframe, and a faceted view would be nice to comment on the model itself. But as it is, it looks like you srot of blended a variety of styles. the body legs and arms are very realistic, but then the head and shoes are heavily stylized. not a good mix.

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