Portfolio/Demo Looking for Critique

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  03 March 2013
Portfolio/Demo Looking for Critique

Hello All,

I am looking to get some feedback on my work, I've been out of school for about a year now. Been having difficulty finding work since graduation. I've been posting on different CG forums to get tips and input on my work to help improve my content. Please take the time to review my work and provide any feedback you can about modeling, texturing, animation, ect. Please note I would prefer critiques on the actual content on my site, not the layout. I have received posts about they layout and though they are appreciated a good site is nothing without solid content. Much thanks

  03 March 2013
Hello Vin,

It seems that you are in the same position that I was about 4 years ago. That said, I want to be as helpful and completely honest as I can. I know, as I'm sure others do too, that your work is very personal to you, and you are very proud of it. The hardest lesson that I've learned from being in your position is to take the advice into consideration and be appreciative because someone is taking the time to offer help.

Let's begin:

1. It seems that you are very comfortable with music and sound effects, and I'm glad you gave credit.
2. You should compile all of your work into a full demo reel. You'll want to create a reel that is about 1 - 2 minutes. Always put your very best work first. I'll repeat that, ALWAYS put your very best work first. Most companies will have you judged within the first 15 seconds and they will either turn it off or mark you to be contacted. Keeping in mind that 15 seconds, you're spending too much time on your intro. A simple name and e-mail or phone number if local is all you need. You can spice that up if you want but keep it clean, short, and to the point because you want to get to your content.
3. Content: Your content needs to be focused more. It's nice to be a well rounded jack of all trades and master of none. But that's where the problem lies, master of none. Decide now if you want to be a character artist, animator, modeler, texture artist, sound designer, concept artist, etc. There are very specific positions for ALL of those. Pick one and run with it, and if you're going to do it then do it well.
4. Use reference. Before you model anything, do your due diligence, and find as much real life reference as possible. It will improve the quality, and make your models that much more believable. Plus, you can develop some textures from the reference images.
5. This is the part where I'm going to be brutally honest. Your work is not up to par. The textures of your models are flat, too glossy, and too much weird material transparency. The models themselves are lacking interest. The devil is in the details. The animation needs some work. It could be smoother. I'm not an animator but hopefully someone on here can chime in.

The part about this industry is that you have to compare yourself to EVERYONE in it. Check out the galleries of the cgsociety masters. Look at what makes their work amazing. Learn from it. I would also recommend some additional instruction. I know that you have a BS in the Art Institute of Philadelphia but that doesn't guarantee you a job because it's just a piece of paper. I have my piece of paper framed, sitting on the wall in my office, and 5 years later, it's still just a piece of paper. The point is this, it's not that you have a degree, it's what you do with it.

So, to move forward I would strongly recommend joining digitaltutors.com and following their learning paths. It will improve your workflow, your abilities, and give you the tools that you need to create your own awesome work. I started using their site this last summer after hours in between my regular work schedule. The way I ran was about 2 months online learning, then 2 months off just practicing the techniques that I gained.

I would also recommend reading the book, "Art & Fear" by David Bayles. It's an amazing book and gives some motivational insight into doing the work that you need to do. Also, check out the site www.game-artist.net. They have regular challenges posted there, and that tends to motivate me to actually get work done. Plus, the people over there tend to be really friendly, helpful, and positive. I'm not saying this place isn't but I wouldn't expect as much feedback here.

Last but not least, don't get discouraged. That "Life after graduation" animation spot you created says a lot of what many of us have gone through. Just keep plugging away and you'll get there. Maybe not now, maybe not in a year, but by all means never give up. Malcolm Gladwell coined a 10,000 hours rule that it takes that much practice to become successful at anything. So, the more you practice, the better you'll get. Good luck. Vin.
Wiping the slate clean, time to do it right.
"The best way to predict your future is to create it."
  03 March 2013

Thank you for taking the time to comment, I really appreciate the amount of feedback you have provided. I will take a visit over game-artist to get more input on my work, also thank you for recommending digitaltutors I've been looking for more digital guides to improve my work. Once again thank you again so much for the comment.

  03 March 2013
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