View Full Version : Portfolio Suggestions for best impression?

05 May 2002, 05:48 AM
Hello Game Industry Professionals. I've got another question for your expertise. I Love Modeling. It's the favorite part of the whole experience, with Texturing and Animation following as a close second, and all the other stuff following. So my question is, for someone like me, what type of job should I be trying for to attain my ideal "fit", or and possibly more important, what kind of job in the game industry is easiest to get into to get started with. Excluding the somewhat obvious "intern" response, because I believe that I'm experienced enough to skip that process, besides I already interned briefly at Sega a while back anyways. But then again, I suppose if all of you really think interning is the way to go, then I guess I should do that.

And of course based on the job that you think I should focus on, how should I structure my demo reel. Should I do a ton of models, and just show them in wireframe or something, do just a character or two and texture and animate them? Or what? And is it better to show that I can do low-poly and avoid the hi-poly stuff, or both or what. So what do you all think?

Thanks in advance. :wavey:

05 May 2002, 07:07 AM
Originally posted by windarr
what kind of job in the game industry is easiest to get into to get started with?


05 May 2002, 08:24 AM
Really? Darn, because from what I've heard, most tester positions are full time 40hr positions. And I can't live off of the money that would generate having to give up my waitering job for it. Unless you know of places that don't work their testers on 40hr work weeks?

05 May 2002, 09:42 AM

Expect at least 40hr work weeks in any facet of the games industry.

05 May 2002, 04:21 PM
Ok, well suppose I try for that. I live in the Bay Area, and from my understanding the average tester position pays about $10/hour. I wouldn't be able to live on that kind of wage, so I'd have to keep my waitering position for about 2 days a week. I know that my demo reel still needs some work to get me a job, so I'm worried that two jobs would make finishing my demo reel take forever, or is a tester position such a surefire way to get into the art department that the demo reel takes backseat to to it?:shrug:

05 May 2002, 09:24 AM

Hey guys, anybody have some input on this? I'm trying to structure a plan for my demo reel, and I want your opinion on this.


05 May 2002, 11:16 AM
From what ive seen, being the props modeler/texture guy is easiest. Its entry level from my understanding. So having scene objects would be a definate plus in the right direction. I asked a art director over at Red Storm once the same question your asking now and he told me to get a magazine of a room and model that room with props and all to the exact likeness of the picture. Another thing that would be good to show is LODs of a model.... Show a character with low mid and hi poly counts and make them all look the same. This shows companies that you have a deeper understanding of what games demand. Now I draw the line from animating to modeling so I'm not too sure you want to spend too much time animating unless thats something you feel strong in. Although it is good to show that your models/characters can animate and still hold together by bending/twisting and turning limbs. Anyway I hope this answers a couple of questions. Keep in mind I am not a professional, but just a lowly lowly student. But I hope my opinion serves as a comparison you can use in persute of your demo reel.

05 May 2002, 01:56 PM
Sounds like good advice. But what do the rest of you think?

05 May 2002, 03:41 PM
SeanW has given some good advice, especially about the level of detail. The most important talent a 3d artist can have is recreating an object organic or inorganic as accurately as possible. Show some concept art and the models to go with it in your portfolio. Make sure you can recreate your concepts as accurately as possible. If you're looking for a job in the game industry, forget about high poly stuff. Focus on low poly. The trick is to make a low poly model look as high poly as possible. Texturing is a crucial part of this. Focus on detailing you textures with subtle lighting painted on the texture itself. Create different objects. For instance one character(Human), one alien, a vehicle, an animal, anything you can think of but make sure you have variety. Well, I hope this helps you at some level.


05 May 2002, 06:30 PM
I think everyone is about dead on. Cater your reel to what you want to do, and see yourself doing a few years from now. Do alittle soul searching and find out what makes you happy, then pound away on your reel. If you love modeling, focus on that, and so forth. Another important aspect of the reel is its look and feel. Most companies watch the reel in fast foward and only stop when they see something that catches thier eye. So when you make your reel, watch it in fast foward and see if it looks visually appealing. Another aspect that'll make getting a job easier is your total package that you send to a company. Pick a theme and stick with it. Make sure that from resume to buisness card, to the envolope you send it in, that there is no denieing its yours. A graphic design esk package makes you easily recognizable and rememberable when they look for someone to hire in the future. Oh, don't forget to smile:) Wish you the best of luck with your reel and job hunting.

05 May 2002, 07:33 PM
Well not exactly what I was looking for, but then again, I needed advice, not someone trying to make me happy. I guess I'll have to scratch texturing my high poly demon general for now then. I guess I'll get cracking on the lower poly stuff.

Anyone have any other suggestions, or advice?


The Magic Pen
05 May 2002, 09:57 PM
I looked at your website

You need to work on you 2d painting skills, you need to be able to make good have a long ways to go in this area..You need to draw characters and creatures and other things I noticed your perportions and anatomy are a off, work on that also :surprised

Do the low poly models because unless your an extremly talented high poly modeler you wont find work at the entry level

05 May 2002, 01:32 AM
Cover all aspects of gaming in your demo...

include a low poly model - for the in game

a high poly model - for the cinematic

a set- low or high - your call

some animation - make you model do something.

have a theme....fantasy, future, whatever

show your textures - the most important if your going for modeling.

show your drawing ability.

and most of all it all has to be high quality compare it all to someone you think kicks ass...if its as good or beter your good to go.

That is my best advce to you, I dont claim to know everything so if anyone disagrees with me so be it, just dont waste my time by telling me so. Goodluck.

05 May 2002, 07:55 AM
Magic pen: Thanks for taking the time to check out my site, I appreciate it. Yeah there is always so much to work on, and so much to improve upon. But I will definitely work on buiding low poly stuff, I'll find time to work on my drawing and painting skills. Thanks for your help.

Rob3d31: All great advice. Thanks a bunch for your input. Except what do you mean by "a set- low or high - your call"?

Anybody else got anything to add? Oh, how about quantity, I know about the 2-3 minute suggested limit on a demo reel, but how about the content, should I aim for a lot of models to show, or if I have a few really good ones, should that be sufficient, like maybe 4-5? Or what do you think?


05 May 2002, 06:23 PM
doin this quick. haven't read all the replies so forgive if I'm repeating.

You've got a rilly good start. Your torso skills seem to be down. I'd work on reweighting the purple alien a bit (esp: hips, thigh area - for a real challenge, pose him doing behind the neck pull ups - there is a soluctin to that believe it or not).

also your facial topology doesn't relfect true muscle and bone structure, i.e. the facial shroud isn't acurate.

So I'd forget about torso's for awhile, work on faces and setup.

oh, yeah. and forget about poly count. Don't worry about it.


05 May 2002, 09:49 PM
Cool, more input. Thanks spakman. Well this is interesting you are the first to say not to worry about polycount. Why do you say this and everyone else says different? When you say facial shroud you are talking about the bone structure surrounding the eyes right? Because yeah it doesn't look all that natural right now, but the rest of the face seems fine to me though, it is an alien after all.


05 May 2002, 10:38 PM
Originally posted by windarr
Cool, more input. Thanks spakman. Well this is interesting you are the first to say not to worry about polycount. Why do you say this and everyone else says different? When you say facial shroud you are talking about the bone structure surrounding the eyes right? Because yeah it doesn't look all that natural right now, but the rest of the face seems fine to me though, it is an alien after all.


Anybody who isn't in a real production schedule shouldn't give a rat's ass about poly count. those that get into this business worrying about polys first are doomed to work on second rate games and die poor. That's as plain I as can put it.

And what I mean by facial shroud, is the way the skin and fat lie on top of the bone and muscle structure.

In real life, whether a bacterium, a dinosaur or human, there is reason behind the shape. Everything about the physical shape is designed for motion. So if you think about it, there *is* no single shape in the physical body, but the opportunity for many.

So if you say that the face is alien, that's all good, but make me believe its a real alien. I want to know that you know why you put a wrinkle there, not just because it looks close enough to human to pass for alien.

05 May 2002, 11:19 PM
Originally posted by The Magic Pen
Do the low poly models because unless your an extremly talented high poly modeler you wont find work at the entry level

Just read these replies. So let me essplain myself. d=^)

The problem I have with Pen's statement is, if you're not an extremely talented modeller (note I don't say hi or low poly. just modeller) in an environment where realtime, realistic characters are becoming the norm, then you can still get a job in the game industry. We're seriously short of art techs. But you should prolly then leave the modelling to the modellers.

peace d=^)

05 May 2002, 11:31 PM
What I mean by a" set low or high" is that either you show an ingame set/enviroment or do one without worrying about the count.

As for the not worrying about the poly count... I would like to believe that but it has ben my experience that not providing low poly models can be detromental...its not nessecarily the modeling portion but the ability to paint and apply the textures. I would not advise you to include only high poly models in your reel in the hopes that someone will see them and think "Well, if he can do that no doubt he can do low poly stuff to".

There is a big difference in the two, most of the skills for low poly come from your ability to create the illusion of more shape, detail and character through painting textures. While with high poly you can model it.

Of course the industry is growing and blah blah blah hardware and ability to do more BUT its still gonna be awhile before 60,000 - 100,000 poly charaters are used in game.

One last thing for Spakman"Doomed to work on second rate games and die poor" ...? Have you seen Warcraft 3 online? Very low poly characters...and poly count is an issue...would you call it a 2nd rate game? or Blizzard a second rate comapny?...infact i would really like to know what comapnies you are talking about...I cant think of any that arent in some way hindered by poly counts. Please let me know, I'd like to apply to them. Cheers.

05 May 2002, 11:39 PM
Originally posted by Rob3D31
There is a big difference in the two, most of the skills for low poly come from your ability to create the illusion of more shape, detail and character through painting textures. While with high poly you can model it.

There's a big difference, but it's all procedure. You give me a movie modeller, who gets it, and I can take that person and show them all the realtime tricks in the world without worrrying about whether that person is going to apply those tricks to a shitty model.

05 May 2002, 12:28 AM
I'm curious if LODs is a skill you would want to see. I would think that its a important skill to show. I'm saying this becuase Rouge Leader for GC has what? 7 LODs for their ships?

05 May 2002, 12:53 AM
Originally posted by SeanW
I'm curious if LODs is a skill you would want to see. I would think that its a important skill to show. I'm saying this becuase Rouge Leader for GC has what? 7 LODs for their ships?

Totally. if somebody can model AND LOD all the better. But you gotta know how to model first. LODs are so uniqute to each project and even between characters in the same game that we make stuff up all the time.

Remember this my friends and you will never go wrong. Dunno of they even anachonize it anymore.

GIGO (Garbage In, Garbage Out)

GIGO is the one hardfast rule in all of communicative entertainment that you just can't get around.

05 May 2002, 01:03 AM
Originally posted by Rob3D31
...its not nessecarily the modeling portion but the ability to paint and apply the textures.

Irrelevant. I can't paint for s*@t. That's not my job. my job is to make sure the model looks and moves correctly. UV knowledge is paramount only in that you can make it easier for the texture artist to do his job.

But if I can model only fairly and texture fantastically, then I've got this crummy model with cool textures. Its still a duck.

I also thought I was pretty clear in that "if you are not in a production schedule" don't worry about polys. worry about getting a job.

Those companies you mention are in production cycles. Their artists get it. I have a sneaking suspicion that poly count doesn't even enter into their brains when making their prototype.

05 May 2002, 06:48 AM
Hmmm, interesting stuff, I'm digging the great information coming out here. Ok, so spakman, I'll definitely get back to work on my alien character. I modeled him without any real reference, so I realize that a lot of him isn't as accurate as it should be, so I'll try to take care of that soon. I'll try to make you believe in him being an alien.:)

Oh and I was thinking about your statement about not worrying about polycount, and I think it does make a lot of sense. I mean after all, what I hear more than anything else time and time again, is that a talented sculptor, or painter, or figure artist or just artist in general that has great talent with form, gesture, etc., who may have no computer experience, has way more of a chance landing a job than someone with 3d modeling experience, but less talent. So this is like saying that talent is paramount regardless of the form it is expressed in.

So if I get your advice, I could build a 1,000,000 poly character (though I promise I won't) that looks kick ass and be way better off than building a 2,000 poly character that looks great, but only as great as a 2,000 poly character can look.

So employers would rather teach a great modeler to build low poly than hire a low poly artist that is only so-so.....right?


05 May 2002, 08:14 AM
Some funny things you you cant paint for just model, thats all well and good, but I'm sure if you COULD paint youd be better off.... btw - how long have you been employed?

With regards to your comments on Blizzard artist not worrying about poly counts becasue they "get it"...what are you talking about? What do they get?

Do you mean that they understand how many polys they can afford?

Or do you mean that they attain a high level of quality before they have to consider poly count?

Either way, don't you think it wise for an applicant to demonstrate that they "get it" by including some examples....or should they just write on their resume..."I havent included any examples of in game modeling becasue i get it".....

I understand that your coming form a "specialist" point of view, but dont you think that a candidate who demonstrates skills in all areas has a better shot?..2 awesome modelers go for the job, 1 can texture excellent also...I'd put my money on him.

as for this...

"But if I can model only fairly and texture fantastically, then I've got this crummy model with cool textures. Its still a duck."

teaching a new recruit to build low poly models that move well/look good is nowhere near as difficult as teaching someone to paint/draw. If you have the painting skills show em off, if you dont, take some time to develop them, in gaming they are much more valuable than modleing skills...hell, once your textures are good you can try to take spaks job:)

05 May 2002, 08:46 AM
"So if I get your advice, I could build a 1,000,000 poly character (though I promise I won't) that looks kick ass and be way better off than building a 2,000 poly character that looks great, but only as great as a 2,000 poly character can look.

So employers would rather teach a great modeler to build low poly than hire a low poly artist that is only so-so.....right?"

That's good stuff, build that amazingly kick ass high poly super sculpture...AND build a kick ass low poly model with kick ass texture mapping to.....

Your an artist who is trying to get a job as a low poly/gaming modeler. So show them that you can provide what they need, if you want to take the gamble that they will see your model and assume you are capable of low poly modeling so be it....but why leave it to chance?

Hell, even you thinking they will look and say "wells he's super, lets take the time to show him how to create low poly models that are gonna be effective for movement aswell as teach him how to make his model more workable for the texture artists" (thats if your gonna be a specialist..which usually means a biger comapny..oh and there might be the issue of learning software for you to..i dont know)....why leave them having to make the call? Dude, show them you can do both, cause I'll bet my ass somebody else will ..and then they might see your model and say all those awesome things...but when they pop in the next...what...600 sure they'll some other guy who took the time to include all the goods and who didnt leave them having to make any calls or take any risks.


ps. if you limit how well you think your model can look your screwed before you start.

05 May 2002, 08:52 AM
Quite a hornest nest you've stirred up. So, being the antagonist that I am, (wow thats bad english) I might as well throw in my two cents.

I have to agree on some levels with what is generaly being said. However I disagree with keeping to one mind set and job skill. Being multiversitle is near essential to your survival in the industry. If your a great modeler, then by all means keep modeling, but don't over look the advantages of haveing a general knowledge in other aspect of your field.
Many of the smaller companies, who generally treat their employes better, can't afford to hire both a modeler and texture artist, for example. So they need people who can work near equal at both skills. I'm not saying I'm right or wrong, just giveing my opinion on the matter.
Sorry for being rhetorical. But can't pass up a good banter. :p


05 May 2002, 08:57 AM
It all comes down to this:

Aside from demeanor, a company will ALWAYS hire the better artist.

If one had 2 applicants side by side that showed the same zeal, and work ethic but one person has only great low res game art in their folio, and the other candidate has only great hi res art in their folio...bets are they would always take the hi res artist.

You tend to hear alot of flak from some artists in the games industry in regards to hi res art.
Alot of game art purists will get mad at my next comment...

"most low res modellers fear hi res"

...but they only get mad because:

a) they have been in the industry since the days of 500 polys being considered "hi res" for real-time graphics and are afraid they cannot adapt to produce better graphics [or they see better talent coming up the ladder] so they justify their methods through "low-poly purism"


b) the artist cannot create anything that looks good over 1500 polys because he/she has never studied anatomy and does not know what to do with a torso that isn't derived from a cube


The person who shows a better understanding for detail and structure will get the job. It just happens that 97% of the time, the person hired is a hi res modeller. This is because the hi res models afford the artist the budget to show what they know in detail.

[example: If I was to hire a portrait artist, I would want to see the detail he/she can acheive, not just the blocky gesture of a face.]

Granted there is a certain level of quality a low poly model has to have. Any hi res modeller will understand that level rather easily. So, if you really want to show some low poly work, make LOD's of your hi res model [even though LOD work in the future will be dynamically done realtime].

Windarr, I think you need to build more upon the basics to start. You need to understand proportion to model convincingly. In animation, you need to understand an objects structure to make it move/work correctly. One needs to understand the rules before one breaks them...

Good luck with your efforts Windarr.

It is all about observation.

Don't draw what you think, draw what you know.

05 May 2002, 02:45 PM
Hey Windarr. There have been a lot of good comments already, but I figured that I'd go ahead and throw in some more advice.

Only include your best stuff and I mean your best stuff. It would be better to send your demo reel with 4 really good models, textured and rotating in circles than 20 okay models. Focus on low poly models and by low poly I mean around 2000 polys. If you have some great high res stuff, then include it as well. And you'd better make good textures for these models.

I had a look at your website and thought I'd make a few suggestions. Since you're going for a modelling/texturing position, learn human anatomy like the back of your hand and make it show in your models. Demonstrate your 2D skills both in concept art and your textures. Focus on these and it'll be a lot easier on you in the long run. You should probably leave animation out of your reel. Currently, I'm an animator at a Japanese game company and I'm not trying to be harsh, but your animation needs a lot of work. So putting it in would probably take away from the demo reel.

Hope some of this helps. Keep working hard and looking for that way in. Good luck.

05 May 2002, 05:43 PM
"If one had 2 applicants side by side that showed the same zeal, and work ethic but one person has only great low res game art in their folio, and the other candidate has only great hi res art in their folio...bets are they would always take the hi res artist. "

Im trying to convince him to include lets a 3rd guy comes with good high AND low...wouldnt you say HE would get the job?..

05 May 2002, 05:44 PM
Rob, you are not seeing the forest for the trees. I've put it all out there, but I can see now you have no idea where I'm going with this. Stay tangled down in the details if you like. I'll stay up here.

peace all :beer:

05 May 2002, 06:06 PM
Wow, so much good advice, so much conflicting advice, but I guess that just shows that the best thing is to be good in everything. Thanks for everybody's input.

Rob3D31: I agree that texturing is very important, I don't think spakman was saying that it wasn't, just that you can't make a simple cube look like a head with a great texture. So therefore texturing is important, but you gotta have a great model first.

Whirlwind: Yeah I guess I did stir up some trouble. But at least nobody is name calling or anything. Yeah, I've decided that I will not only have one skillset displayed in my reel. I'll be as versatile in it as possible.

Bentllama: Thanks I think that you helped clarify what spakman was saying, in regards to hi-poly vs. low-poly. I've taken figure drawing classes in the past, but I know that I really need to be drawing everyday, I plan to enroll at the local JC most definitely.

Ohsama: Thanks also for participating. I love concept art, and I always have weird things popping up in my head. The only problem is putting them to paper so, yeah I'm gonna definitely work hard on my perspective, form, gesture, anatomy, etc. Have you seen some of Puddlefish's work? Man that guy has a great sense of detail and imagination. I know that that animation is on the weak side, my school didn't really give a very good education to myself and my peers in animation, modeling, texturing, or for that matter even lighting. And to put that in perspective, my animation there was way better than 98% of the other graduates at the time I graduated a year ago (...wasted money :annoyed: ). So what you see there is really a first attempt, I don't plan to include it at all in my demo reel, I should probably actually take it off the site even. I don't plan on including any serious animation in the reel, since that isn't my focus and it seems like a lot of animation positions go to experienced staff anyways. I'm gonna just include some animation to show my characters are rigged properly, then work on my skills later.

Thanks everybody, this has helped a lot for clarification.

05 May 2002, 06:28 PM
Can you help me out then...I gathered form what you had said that if Windarr included only high poly models, but they were excellent, he need not worry about including anything else....Was there a line or two I was supposed to read betweeen?

As for your comments on my place down in the details..and your position "up there"....Please, keep your ego stroking to yourself.

Btw- Will you answer my question about long you have been employed?

05 May 2002, 06:28 PM
Here is one more little tid bit you y'all should be aware of. Dunno if you realize it or not, but the games industry mimicing now what the special effects FMV industry was like in late eighties, early nineties. Positions becoming more specialized. I would even argue games will over take the FMV inudustry very shortly in so far as being able to closer simulate what the Is is, than somebody's canned idea of what Is is. Say within 5 years.

What I mean is, we (game artists) may not yet have all the fancy crutches FMV has - even in five years time. But we will be able to show the same amount of detail and more in realtime none -the- less (we already animate at over twice the resolution of video [60fps]. Which means we will have to figure out honest ways to do things that the FMV folks could and can cheat on.

Irregardless it's only going to get more complex and more specialized. My company is already this way. We've got texture artists who use Maya only painfully, but can paint magic, and we've got architectural artists that blow my mind. But they can't paint or do people. etc...

The point is, the closer you get to achieving true realtime realism, the more opportunity you give the eye to see the faults. It becomes ever more necessary to hire people specialized in not just seeing those faults, but solving those faults.

Two very different things.

The days of wearing many different game hats, like it was with effects in the 80s, is rapidly approaching and end. Specialization is where it's at.

05 May 2002, 06:55 PM
I re-read the thread and the advise your giving is obviously excellent..... for someone doing a study or just working on their skills.

It was my impression however that this thread was about "What should be included in a demo reel"

Of course all the information is relevant....but werent the two questions 1) whats a good job for me 2) what should I put in my demo reel......Maybe those are just the sort of details you dont trouble yourself with, not being a lowly detail dweller such as myself...all those pety details in life listening to peoples questions....or hey! Even learning to paint!

Look, if your making a demo reel for the gaming industry for christs sake include some gaming models, that is just common sense. As for not being able to make a cube look good with a are you talking about? Who is modeling cube heads? In game characters of 2000-3500 poly limits do not have cube heads.

Your advise regarding modeling faces is excellent, however, please realize the "details" that I am apparently lost in were the original questions put forward.

ps - How long have you been in the industry?????

05 May 2002, 08:10 PM
It would be great if there was some type of bible that people could go by for reels, too bad thats not the case. I curious what you have concluded from all the feedback. For me it sounds like doing LODs for a model would be great, you can prove that you can do a nice highpoly model where the detail is in the model not the texture and you can make a low poly model look high through effective poly placement. The main problem about pure hi poly models in my mind is that the "whole industry" is not there yet and it sounds like your looking for a job now. So I would pay attention to both. Some companies require that you do a model/texture test have give you poly and texture size constraintes. I do agree with spakman though about eventually speciallizing but thats does'nt seem the case for awhile for a lot of the companies out there. So you also might want to ask yourself where do you wanna work? Big companies who can afford to specialize or smaller ones that have to spread their talent around. And trust me I know how hard it is to make specialized reels, especially when your fresh out of school, but a lot of people gave me that advice. I wish you luck in your quest. All this hi poly talk has gotten me to change my mind about doing a pure low to mid poly reel.

05 May 2002, 08:38 PM
the better HI POLY will always win...

Originally posted by Rob3D31
"If one had 2 applicants side by side that showed the same zeal, and work ethic but one person has only great low res game art in their folio, and the other candidate has only great hi res art in their folio...bets are they would always take the hi res artist. "

Im trying to convince him to include lets a 3rd guy comes with good high AND low...wouldnt you say HE would get the job?..

and spakman brought a fact to light:

specialization is ever more prevalent in todays gaming industry

05 May 2002, 02:26 AM
Yeah, specialization is becoming more, because of that don't include low poly models in your gaming reel??! wtf

My advice is include some in game models.....But, lets go with the other would be a GREAT idea to not include any of those other unrelated artistic talents you posses in your reel...dont wanna throw HR off...that would be the wisest descision you could make. Hey, you know what..dont even rig those models, thats for the other specialists. OH! Don't do face shapes....casue at the rate this industry is specializng every company will have facial animation specialits by next week. And for gods sake, whatever you do DONT include any 2d images, your not gonna be a concept artist right, your gonna be a modeler. What great advice, especially to a guy that's just starting out. Cut yourself short Windarr! Show a limitied reel! ROCK ON!:airguitar

Bentllama, did you even read what you quoted???

2 guys apply with exact same high poly skills yet one includes kick ass low poly work....You say the high poly guy gets it...which one??

OBVIOUSLY the guy with more kick ass shit, the one who includes the low poly. The company KNOWS they dont have to explain a thing and this saves them money, plus the guy can show a wider range of characters and even the unthinkable....effective texturing for gaming!!

Windarr, best of luck to you. My advise is to NOT limit yourself.

05 May 2002, 04:48 AM
Originally posted by Rob3D31
VFS Grad : 3D modeling focus

When did you graduate? Where are you now? How many years do you have in the industry? Where is your website? Let's see some samples of your work. 3d modelling focus? Seems like you are gearing towrds specialization...

You see Rob, we can easily make this thread into a personal attack, but myself and many others around here would rather not flame. The industry is too small to have a sharp tongue. I value that you stated your opinion, now please respect that others like spakman and I have stated ours.

There have ben alot of prevalent points made by all the people who have replied to this thread. The main consensus being that while it is good to have an understanding of every discipline, you really need your reel to shine where your strengths lie.

What I believe Windarr needs to do now is work at his aesthetic shortcomings before worrying about reel content. Reel content will come as his best work rises to the top.

05 May 2002, 07:34 AM
I graduated 6 months ago, right now I am still looking for work and building a new demo reel, I have 1 yr of formal 3D education, 6 months self taught and yes I was geared towards specialization. I was geared towards a modeling specialization and built a demo reel including only high poly models, 1 human male character, 1 human female character and a car. The content of my reel was directly influenced by the repeated advice of people inside the industry. I was told that If could do high poly no body will think twice about low poly etc etc...

Before I continue I'll tell you that I agree with you that Windarr needs to work on the asthetics of his models etc before freeting over content, I hadnt seen his work until a day ago. However I didnt see harm, and still dont, in trying to guide him away from the pitfalls that I have experienced as someone currently searching the market, not as an insider.

As I began to apply I was greeted with some interesting responses....One company told me that while my models were very well proportioned and of overall high quality that I lacked content....another company specifically asked for low poly model 2 more companies I was asked to complete art tests for modeling low poly characters and sets ( of course thats a good and normal thing, but realize that i was not at this point being judged on my demo content but on my ability to produce the low poly models). As I have continued to search, my demo reel, with its 3 high poly models, posed, not animated, has continued to fall short. Of course there are many many reasons why this could be, however from the responses I have got I would say that had I added a low poly model or two I would have been better of for it. Better of in experience and had a more well rounded demo reel.

Of my peers, the most recent successes included both high poly models, low poly models, and animation in their demo reels.

Though my experience is short in years it is very high in hours and intensity, especially with regards to the job hunt. Something you seem have finished with a long time ago?

Ive posted some work below.

Hope I've answered all your questions.

05 May 2002, 08:02 AM
Sample 1.

05 May 2002, 08:04 AM
sample 2.

05 May 2002, 08:05 AM
sample 3

05 May 2002, 11:44 AM

This is an interesting thread with a lot of good advice. I ocassionaly sit on interview panels where I work and I would have to say that the overall most important factor in who gets employed is quality.

We quite often see work from graduates whos courses seem to have covered a lot of ground but not at great depth. This is something which especially shows up with 3D courses that have 'tacked on' some animation content. Students have spread themselves thinly producing a large number of pieces of not very good work.

Wether it is hi or low poly work or animation or modeling or texturing it needs to be good. The advice to compare your work with stuff you know is top quality makes a lot of sense. If something is looking a bit weak to you it certainly will look bad to a potential employer.

Generally traditional skills in drawing etc. are strongly rated. It demonstrates that the person 'sees well' which is core to producing quality work whatever the tools.

Finally on including lo poly in-game characters I would say it can help. It helps if they are original looking with back up concept drawings, and are textured well. This give the employer confidence that you made it yourself, and that you are comfortable with a number of core skills needed to produce in game art. It is always a bonus for an employer to get someone they can give useful work to staight away. It only helps if they are good though. Remember 'quality first'.

(last point, by low poly i mean about 1500 to 3000 triangles)

05 May 2002, 10:45 PM
Well again, thanks for everybody's input. I guess I'll have to take most everybody's opinion into account when making the reel. I can understand how the industry is becoming more specialized, but from what I have read in job postings, many companies have yet to achieve that, especially smaller ones.

Hey Rob3d31, thanks for your contrary outlook, I think your experience job hunting gives you a fresh outlook the professionals might not have. Let's not get pissed off though :) . Great looking models by the way.

Hey SeanW, yeah I thought I would do hi-poly models mostly, but after this I'm definitely going to include a varied mix of my best stuff. It's probably best to be varied until the industry as a hole moves towards specialization.


06 June 2002, 06:12 AM
Let me modify what I would like to see. LODs are rapidly coming to an end. Forget about those too.

I would make a model of one male and/or one female with real racial characteristics, and give me one version at 12 years of age one version at 25, 45, and 75. You do those four models convincingly and you're guaranteed a job somewhere....

You do that convincingly and you will know by mere side effect what to add and delete in LODs. It's kinda bizarre.


06 June 2002, 06:43 AM
I'm glad to hear you say that LOD's would be less important to focus on, because it sounds like a waste of time except for being in a production environment. Now what are you saying about your recommendation for the models I should do? You're saying to do 8 models at 12, 25, 45, 75 years of age, male and female? Or are you saying do 4 models of two people at two different ages each?


06 June 2002, 06:46 PM
Here's what would blow me away. If someone came up to me and said:

"I want to build people. Wasn't too sure on what they were feeding me in school, so I took this person here (famous people usuually have more reference footage freely available) Then I found pictures of this person as a child and thru various ages, and built examples to study what it really is the body is doing went it decides to be that way at that age.

(hirer is interested right now)

"Then I took what I learned on this study and applied it to a person of my own design."

(hirer is now most likely no longer looking at your stuff but looking for a pen to sign you up)

peace d=^)

06 June 2002, 02:41 AM
Oh totally, I can imagine how good that would look to a prospective employer. So I take it you are suggesting for maximum impact to do male and female at several different ages in their life?


06 June 2002, 05:50 PM
Originally posted by Rob3D31
.... I was told that If could do high poly no body will think twice about low poly etc etc...

Okay I just read that, Rob and can see where you were scammed. You've been the victim of avian hijinks.

You were given bad advice by a Parrot, my friend. They look like real people and sound like real people, but they have feathers in their shorts, and never tell you anything new.

They are too busy wasting time figuring out how to make their outdated production model work with the reality of today. They have no time to spend on progressive game development.

This should be a test for you guys too! Secretly interview the employer in your head. make sure they know what they are talking about. They may have been given the HR position because they **** at art and Managment was too scared to fire them. This is a crazy business.

The worst thing is for young talent to get gobbled up by Parrots. You are artists, not peanuts. Make sure your supervisor is a teacher, not just a playback device.

06 June 2002, 08:31 AM
Allrighty guys, I've got a much better idea of where to go now with my portfolio I believe. Let me just ask you your opinion of the content I'm planning to include.

My animations will not be complex, just showing that I can rig properly. My hi-poly General Thaa-Kor model (he's a Demon General), with a finished texture, and rigged with a possible background scene. I'll rework my alien-hybrid Alamar into having correct anatomy (for an alien), give him some gear, re-rig him, properly texture him and maybe give him a scene. He's also hi-poly. Then I think I'll take Spakman's advice about building a male and a female model at about the ages of 8, 20, 40, and 80. I want to do them detailed, with textures, rigged and animated in a scene. I'll probably use my fiancee and myself for reference, and others with similar features for the older models. I'll show the concept work for this and I'll work on some other concept stuff, and show it on the reel. I'm gonna work on my figure and life drawing, and include the best pieces on the reel. I'll use some of my best 2d pieces for the reel, I would like to include a couple new pieces if I have time for it as well. But we'll have to see how it works out. I know that this will take a long time, but it seems that as long as I do this right, I'll get a job no doubt, and a good one, hopefully.

So do you think this will lead to a killer demo reel (if executed properly) or large gobs of wasted time?

06 June 2002, 01:47 AM
rob3d, thats some bloody nice work, nurbs ? sub d ?
Since I came from the HL editing community I rather poly by poly or box modeling then converting to sub d.

06 June 2002, 04:21 AM
They're all polygons, then subdivided...well actually they are geometry approximated....but thats pretty much the same as sub'd.

06 June 2002, 04:27 AM
Sounds like that demo will ready for viewing by winter...of 2004:)

Good luck!

06 June 2002, 08:05 AM
Ha ha! Seriously. Well I know it sounds like a lot, but I'm tired of not having my dream job. So I figure if I work my ass off, do the best damn reel possible then it might take several months, but at least the reward will be worth it. And a potential employer would have to take notice....right?


06 June 2002, 07:17 PM
I agree, it's definatly worth it. I'm 23 and will be making demos till im 33 if I have that point...after all those demos if I still have no job...or didnt get one along the way... I'll become a hermit.

Cheers Windarr and goodluck. Dont forget Spakmans advice on the bone structure and the fat deposits for believeability!

06 June 2002, 08:18 PM
Well if you make demos until you're 33, you'll probably have enough experience by then to just start your own fx/game/animation company. You can call it Hermit Entertainment. :)

My problem with the structure and form of the characters was because I still need more anatomy experience, which I'll be working on. Also I didn't do much pre-planning for my characters, so I'll be changing that as well.

Thanks for the good luck.


06 June 2002, 09:44 PM
Portfolio suggestions for ingame artists from Blizzard...

06 June 2002, 09:51 PM
Originally posted by Rob3D31
Portfolio suggestions for ingame artists from Blizzard...

Love the part about the rest being gravy. I just love that part. Dunno why... d;^)


CGTalk Moderation
01 January 2006, 07:00 AM
This thread has been automatically closed as it remained inactive for 12 months. If you wish to continue the discussion, please create a new thread in the appropriate forum.