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Old 09-18-2005, 09:54 AM   #1
Saramago
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roland macdonald
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Online Portfolio - any tips?

My Online portfolio is pretty much finished (it is flash based)

EDIT [23:33 gmt, 19/09/05] looks like my site has gone down already just as I had finished making a load of changes to the flash file. Damn.

EDIT [removed link] used up data transfer - what a noob - switching hosting plan - thanks

Is there anything I should change before I send it out to art leads?

Last edited by Saramago : 09-20-2005 at 10:36 AM.
 
Old 09-18-2005, 09:55 AM   #2
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EDIT - image updated below

Last edited by Saramago : 09-19-2005 at 10:36 PM.
 
Old 09-18-2005, 03:08 PM   #3
Headless
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Dan Lowe
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It's a good portfolio site. Very clear, straightforward, and does a good job of showing off your work. You've also got a great set of work on there (your 2D work and 3D environments are particularly nice), and I like the way you've set things out so that you can go from rendered, to wire, to animations for each model.

I think you should probably offer an HTML alternative. I know that pretty much anyone who's anyone has Flash, but it's still worth covering all the bases. If i'm being honest then I can't see much of a reason why you actually needed to do this site in Flash, as you don't really do any animation, and you could have saved yourself having to have the preload bar. Also, while your work is great, the site itself is a little simplistic, at least visually. I know that alot of employers say that's not important, and I appreciate that sometimes people go over the top to the point that the site detracts from the work, but I still think your site would benefit from perhaps having a nice title logo rather than simply a font.

Generally though I can't say that there's anything 'wrong' with it, and none of my suggestions are going to significantly increase your chance of getting a job, so you might as well go ahead and apply, unless anyone else has any comments.
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Old 09-18-2005, 03:28 PM   #4
Saramago
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thanks for the input
- your points are all good and I will make a few changes, for starters a better page header is a good idea.
- I only did it in flash cos it was easy to learn and I was in a hurry. I will try and do a non flash version now I have a bit more time. thanks again

EDIT - the simplicity was deliberate. Mainly I wanted it to show the work off without any overly complicated frills.

Last edited by Saramago : 09-18-2005 at 03:38 PM.
 
Old 09-18-2005, 05:11 PM   #5
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Adam Saltsman
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Well done! You're definitely on the right track, I went through at least 3 major layouts for my own portfolio over the years, and ended up settling on something similar to this, only using popups instead of a viewer window. I have gotten a VERY positive response to it as well - really night and day compared to my old sites.

Simplicity and prominence of the artwork itself are paramount, and you've really done that exactly right. I agree, though, a fancier header could be a great finishing touch. I would recommend using a different font for your large letters than for your small ones, there are not many fonts that work equally well at say 40 pts as well as 10 pts, they begin to look spare/empty, not very appealing. For example, on my site I use italic Impact for my large letters and headers, and a much smaller Verdana for links and text.

Orange on black is not terribly compelling from a graphic design perspective, but with the right header it could still work I think. It could definitely work if you were to add in an additiona trim color like white or dark gray or something; orange and black just screams "cheesy halloween graphics!" if you live in the States.

Also your models, especially the frog warrior, are friggin great that helps too!
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Old 09-18-2005, 07:41 PM   #6
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my only crit is regarding renders, cause if it is game art and ur rendering it with gi its a bad omen, cause there are very little games that use gi ( even fake ) , so why not making 100% iluminated renders or 20% with a simple omni light ? thats the best way to show if ur models are solid model and texture wise.
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Old 09-18-2005, 07:59 PM   #7
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looks ok
but when i click an image and it pops up in a new window, that pic is awefully compressed :(
And its annoying to have to load the site all over again everytime you open it.
 
Old 09-18-2005, 08:11 PM   #8
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I strongly suggest an HTML only portfolio. While a lot of people think flash is standard, a lot of HR don't have it installed and will never see your site. User has to look at that loading bar too long, and because your site scales dynamically your art will never be represented accurately.

Game jobs are usually more specific, as in character or environment positions. Having two portfolios, one for environmental art positions and one for character art position will ensure you have a focuses portfolio for the job you apply for. Now to be totally blunt, your environments outshine your character work by a longshot. I suggest making this portfolio strictly environmental.

Otherwise, you main page gallery layout is mostly perfect minus contact information on the main page.
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Old 09-19-2005, 04:31 PM   #9
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Thanks very much for the tips guys - definately a few things to deal with there. I will have a go at converting it to html only tonite although I have no idea how.

Adam Atomic - i see what your saying. Thanks for the compliment.

johny II - The light is all burnt in so it shouldn't look too different. I'll do some self illuminated renders and see what I think - I definately take the point.

Gradius - A bit surprised by what you say about the environments. Is there something wrong with my characters or should I take it as a compliment. I guess the character choices are a bit dull . . .

Also I've only been modelling for a year so I just don't have the quantity yet to present a specialized portfolio. Given your other comments I am a bit confused about where to focus my attention - characters or enviroments?

Can someone tell me how to make the loading/loading bar work - the site isn't actually reloading when you reopen it's actually playing an animation, a quick fix cos I don't really know flash and didn't know what to do.
 
Old 09-19-2005, 07:00 PM   #10
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no worries mate ill send you a decent preloader script.
 
Old 09-19-2005, 07:34 PM   #11
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Hi Saramago,

First off, congrats on finishing your degree. Now you're skilled to work at McDonalds j/k

I have to agree with everyone the portfolio site is well designed and easy to navigate. There are a few areas of the site which are worth addressing though:

- As said by others, definitely consider a HTML version of your site. Dreamweaver, for example, is incredibly easy to pick up if you would rather not learn HTML.

- The hires view button is a bit awkward. I didn't realise there was a toggle for posed/wire and it left me thinking "How do I go back to the previous view?" for a while. Persoanlly, I wouldn't put a hires view if it doesn't differ greatly from the standard view. If you really want to include the option of a hires view, place seperate buttons under posed and wired. That'd work much better. Though I did like the idea of a rollover used for the straw hut, but I guess that's not pratical for the characters.

- This is just preference, but there's a lot of dead space either side of the navigation pane and it would've been better to see the images use more of that space to increase the "standard" size of the image. The thumbnails could perhaps be smaller to assist this. But hey, if it's too much work, ignore this one.

- The degree work should really be in a seperate window. Perhaps it's worth adding another selection button at the top ("misc", for example). Or not include it at all as they don't show off your modeling/texturing skills and do seem more including all you can rather than what's necessary. ie. Bloating your portfolio.


With regards to tailoring your website for either character or environment, I personally can't see why you need to aim for one or the other. Firstly there are more people wanting to be character artists than there are character artist jobs, whilst studios tend to be screaming out for environment modelers and animators; though there will be studios who will offer you a post as a character artist if you can find them. Keep both sets of work: it shows you can do organic and in-organic work and you can model based on what you see and what's in your head. If you're applying for a particular post at a dev co via email/CD, that would be the ideal time to split the portfolio imo.


BTW, I really like the diorama of the chinese garden. Very peaceful And the chinese emporers in your 2D section would benefit being bigger.


Good luck on your job hunt!
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Last edited by WHW : 09-19-2005 at 07:40 PM.
 
Old 09-19-2005, 10:31 PM   #12
Saramago
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Well it looks like my site has already gone down but here are some changes I made.

 
Old 09-20-2005, 07:13 AM   #13
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Hey Roland,



Your environments are great, I like the soft, pastel feel of them.



I like your characters too, largely for the same reasons. I especially like the toad guy, but his walk cycle could use some tweaking. Notice how everything seems to hit on the same frame? The arms, legs, and head are all at their extremes on the same frame. If you offset these you'll get a much more natural looking walk. In general, I have the arms hit before the feet, so that they are moving on to the next pose as the feet are hitting their extreme. It can also be good to offset the arms from each other a bit (even just 2 or 3 frames makes a difference).
 
Old 09-20-2005, 08:09 AM   #14
Saramago
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thanx for the animation tips - i'll knew it was wrong but I couldn't tell why - still quite green when it comes down to animation
 
Old 09-20-2005, 08:09 AM   #15
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