What not to put in my portfolio?

Discussion in 'I wanna be a Game Artist!' started by milkcarton, Aug 20, 2003.

  1. milkcarton

    milkcarton Gaming God One Of Us

    Alright guys, here is an exciting topic. You know you see it all the time, the stuff that makes your crinch and go... "WHY???" "HOOWWW could anybody think that is a good idea??" *ditch portfolio into trash*

    I would say porn. There is a difference between nudes and porn. I'm talking about porn. There are people who think that's a good idea.
     
  2. Armitage Shanks

    Armitage Shanks Largo al factotum One Of Us

    Try to avoid:

    - Space ship taking off from space hangar.
    - Big breasted barbarian babe with sword.
    - Default animation cycles or free pre-packaged mocap anims.
     
    • Thank Thank x 1
  3. milkcarton

    milkcarton Gaming God One Of Us

    Try to avoid:

    - your rendition of some already famous character, basically fan-art. I dont' know how much better you think you can do a DOA girl.. please keep it to yourself.

    - Unnecesarily comparing your work to better ones. I knew a character modeler who would put a picture reference of who he was tryign to model right against his creation. It was a good model, however, putting a photo reference right next to it is like flaunting all its flaws.

    - cramming 15 pictures into one page. The art needs space. People want to see big pictures. Select fewer ones but only put one or two on one page, and BIG.
     
  4. Evil-E

    Evil-E Literate Troll One Of Us

    Give each image as much space as possible. If you crowd a bunch of images onto one page it makes it look like you're trying to hide your work.

    Also, describe the image succinctly. If it's a pencil drawing, say that. If it was modelled in Maya say that as well. Also inlcude poly count and number of textures used.

    Do not add personal commentary. If you really liked something that's great but it makes you appear unprofessional. Similarly, if you had a difficult time with a model don't mention that, it will sound like you are complaining about your work. (The kiss of death to any potential employer)

    Don't try to "Art up" your resume or portfolio. Adding graphics or fancy borders only serve to annoy an HR person. Let your artwork speak for itself, if you put that crap in, you are effectively taking the spotlight away from your work.

    Hope that helps,

    :evil: -E
     
  5. Prof. Shminky

    Prof. Shminky Truth Wrangler Staff Member Who Watches The Watchmen?

    Don't put a big poo in your portfolio. To open up someone's work folder and find a huge, kingly turd staring back at you would certainly make me think twice about hiring that person.
     
    • Thank Thank x 2
  6. ChibiRobusuta

    ChibiRobusuta AK Cthulhu Who Watches The Watchmen?

    Ahhhh, Shminky. Always able to cause a laugh.

    You're the shminkiest!
     
  7. milkcarton

    milkcarton Gaming God One Of Us

    Actually, yeah. Some people do do that... in a way.

    DON'T put work that you are not proud of in your portfolio.
    It's better to have a short and sweet porfolio than 30 pages full of subpar... poo..

    There is a lesson to be learned here. :)
     
  8. NoOneImportant

    NoOneImportant Troll One Of Us

    Someone else's work.

    It might sound like stating the obvious, but it happens way too much.
     
  9. Prof. Shminky

    Prof. Shminky Truth Wrangler Staff Member Who Watches The Watchmen?

    Scary that you use that phrase.
     
  10. Armitage Shanks

    Armitage Shanks Largo al factotum One Of Us

    Very very good point!
    I've been confronted with some terrible illegible resumes from people that thought making their resume look like a piece of art would win them favours.
    Less is more!

    Your resume should be black words on white paper only.
    Your work should be as simple and accessible as possible. No fancy page layouts that destroy the actual images themselves. Especially true if you're going for a more technical job (ie. modeller or rigger or whatever). What is important is that you show how well you do your art, not how shiny you can make your portfolio look.
     
  11. milkcarton

    milkcarton Gaming God One Of Us

    I don't want the critique of individual portfolios to get buried in this thread so I Cartoonfox's request into its own separate new thread. :)
     
  12. andyo

    andyo Lurker Not From Round Here

    Try and avoid walk cycle animations, dull architecture (such a a table in an office), items that can be found in an argos catalogue(watches, lamps etc...).

    It is best to show variety over quantity. Instead of concentrating on a single lengthy short movie, focus on producing a variety of smaller pieces.

    A short list of quality 'never fail' folio work would be;


    Animation:
    • - 3 or 4 interesting animations of a simple character in an empty room with just a maximum of a few props. To add extra variety vary the character from 2 and 4 legs.
      - 1 short lip synced face animation. Say, no more than 10 seconds.

    Models:
    • 2 or 3 Interesting head models showing a variety of styles. Say, fantasy, cartoon and sci-fi.
      2 or 3 Environments small, contained environments in a variety of styles ranging, again, from fantast, cartoon and sci-fi. If you have the technology to hand, present these as small executable files in anyone can run and walk about them.
      2 or 3 figure models ranging in style and poly count. You may wish to produce these models and use the heads for your head model folio work.

    Misc:
    • - Textures! This is an area of art skill that is, quite frequently, ignored in portfolio work. This is daft as texture work is a respected skill in the industry and, if your good at them, you really want to be showing them off.
      - Traditional artwork. In this world of computers, traditional artwork is still required as a skill so build a folio containing a small collection of your best work. Avoid anything abstract. This is, afterall, an illustration industry.
      - 2D computer work. Photoshop, Deluxe paint. Basically anything you've produced on your computer that isn't 3d. Avoid including anything bland that doesn't reflect your art skills, such as, advert banners, icons etc...

    Hope this helps. I`ve been in this industry for nearly 15 years and I`ve seen a wide variety of portfolios so I hope this is an accurate list for you to work from.
     
  13. andyo

    andyo Lurker Not From Round Here

    Try and avoid walk cycle animations, dull architecture (such a a table in an office), items that can be found in an argos catalogue(watches, lamps etc...).

    It is best to show variety over quantity. Instead of concentrating on a single lengthy short movie, focus on producing a variety of smaller pieces.

    A short list of quality 'never fail' folio work would be;


    Animation:
    • - 3 or 4 interesting animations of a simple character in an empty room with just a maximum of a few props. To add extra variety vary the character from 2 and 4 legs.
      - 1 short lip synced face animation. Say, no more than 10 seconds.

    Models:
    • 2 or 3 Interesting head models showing a variety of styles. Say, fantasy, cartoon and sci-fi.
      2 or 3 Environments small, contained environments in a variety of styles ranging, again, from fantast, cartoon and sci-fi. If you have the technology to hand, present these as small executable files in anyone can run and walk about them.
      2 or 3 figure models ranging in style and poly count. You may wish to produce these models and use the heads for your head model folio work.

    Misc:
    • - Textures! This is an area of art skill that is, quite frequently, ignored in portfolio work. This is daft as texture work is a respected skill in the industry and, if your good at them, you really want to be showing them off.
      - Traditional artwork. In this world of computers, traditional artwork is still required as a skill so build a folio containing a small collection of your best work. Avoid anything abstract. This is, afterall, an illustration industry.
      - 2D computer work. Photoshop, Deluxe paint. Basically anything you've produced on your computer that isn't 3d. Avoid including anything bland that doesn't reflect your art skills, such as, advert banners, icons etc...

    Hope this helps. I`ve been in this industry for nearly 15 years and I`ve seen a wide variety of portfolios so I hope this is an accurate list for you to work from.
     
  14. lloyd mangram

    lloyd mangram Gamer One Of Us

    Right, off the top of my head and in no particular order:

    Never put anything in that you feel you need to make an excuse for, eg, "I dont like this bit but I was running short of time"- that sounds incredibly weak. Equally though, it's important to identify what you are weakest at, since that's one of the questions that might be asked during the interview.

    Don't pack your portfolio with just one style of imagery- manga stuff is just incredibly prolific in the portfolios I see, and it's mostly worthless since it's copied from already stylised work- a bit like aspiring comic strip artists copying Jack Kirby or Jim Lee, you end up with an inbred look, and the feeling that the artist has never actually drawn a real person, just someone elses idea of a person. In fact, I can't remember offering an interview to anyone with a mostly manga portfolio- of course, other companies may be looking for just that.

    Dont put multiple versions of one piece in your showreel- I once saw about 30 minutes of footage of a car pulling into a drive taken from different angles, diff lighting setups etc. The actual content was about 30 seconds, tops. Equally don't just shove every model you've ever made into your portfolio. (One guy actually had a plank of wood included in his portfolio, it wasn't even chamfered...) This shows that not only are you a boring bastard, but also that you lack critical thinking and judgement.

    If you stick in some standard game imagery, a dinosaur for example, then try and juxtapose it with something a bit more quirky or original. I'd much rather see an animation of a dinosaur thrashing around in a supermarket than fighting some axe wielding hero, f'rinstance. Apart from anything else it shows you can model real environments as well as fantasy animals!

    ...Good animal meshes/ animations are always good too

    humour, especially in animation, is very tough to do well. If you're good at this, chances are you'll be good at most other animations.

    Dont try and impress with technical jargon in an interview. It won't work.

    Don't steal artwork-if you have to do this you're not good enough. Sorry.
    Also, if some of your artwork contains other peoples work (say you did the animation on anothers model) I'd like to know before you turn up for the interview. So credit when you're using work other than your own.

    Be honest with yourself- Is your artwork of an equal standard to at least some of the work out there?

    Confidence in yourself is fine but dont *tell* me your work looks good on your CV... I'll be the judge of that!
     
  15. lloyd mangram

    lloyd mangram Gamer One Of Us

    Right, off the top of my head and in no particular order:

    Never put anything in that you feel you need to make an excuse for, eg, "I dont like this bit but I was running short of time"- that sounds incredibly weak. Equally though, it's important to identify what you are weakest at, since that's one of the questions that might be asked during the interview.

    Don't pack your portfolio with just one style of imagery- manga stuff is just incredibly prolific in the portfolios I see, and it's mostly worthless since it's copied from already stylised work- a bit like aspiring comic strip artists copying Jack Kirby or Jim Lee, you end up with an inbred look, and the feeling that the artist has never actually drawn a real person, just someone elses idea of a person. In fact, I can't remember offering an interview to anyone with a mostly manga portfolio- of course, other companies may be looking for just that.

    Dont put multiple versions of one piece in your showreel- I once saw about 30 minutes of footage of a car pulling into a drive taken from different angles, diff lighting setups etc. The actual content was about 30 seconds, tops. Equally don't just shove every model you've ever made into your portfolio. (One guy actually had a plank of wood included in his portfolio, it wasn't even chamfered...) This shows that not only are you a boring bastard, but also that you lack critical thinking and judgement.

    If you stick in some standard game imagery, a dinosaur for example, then try and juxtapose it with something a bit more quirky or original. I'd much rather see an animation of a dinosaur thrashing around in a supermarket than fighting some axe wielding hero, f'rinstance. Apart from anything else it shows you can model real environments as well as fantasy animals!

    ...Good animal meshes/ animations are always good too

    humour, especially in animation, is very tough to do well. If you're good at this, chances are you'll be good at most other animations.

    Dont try and impress with technical jargon in an interview. It won't work.

    Don't steal artwork-if you have to do this you're not good enough. Sorry.
    Also, if some of your artwork contains other peoples work (say you did the animation on anothers model) I'd like to know before you turn up for the interview. So credit when you're using work other than your own.

    Be honest with yourself- Is your artwork of an equal standard to at least some of the work out there?

    Confidence in yourself is fine but dont *tell* me your work looks good on your CV... I'll be the judge of that!
     
  16. Hagac

    Hagac Troll One Of Us

    Thanks for the replies guys, this is a great post.
     
  17. Hagac

    Hagac Troll One Of Us

    Thanks for the replies guys, this is a great post.
     
  18. crazymoogle

    crazymoogle Hardcore Gamer One Of Us

    Your demo-reel can never be too short.

    Well, okay, if its not breaking 30 seconds that would indicate some problems, but no matter how many times I go to lecture about it, students still feel they need to tell a story or otherwise show 2+ minutes of CG, when really most of it is ugly and needs to be cut.

    If its so-so, it needs to be cut.

    If its good but not great, polish or cut it.

    Take as much criticism as you can find and tweak it again.

    The one thing I try to tell CG students who are demo-reel planning is to think of a few scenes and polish the hell out of them. It may seem counterintuitive to the time-crunch nature of the industry, but showing 3 super-well animated short scenes that you spent 3 months polishing still better represents you than 2-5 minutes of first try scenes with no critical commentary.

    (omitting the horror stories of people submitting tapes labelled with nothing more than a ripped piece of packing tape)
     
  19. squarepusher

    squarepusher Lurker One Of Us


    It has happed like 3 three times on a large scale in the last 6 months.
    you will be found out and you will be hanged.
    don't do it.
     
  20. kandyman

    kandyman Lurker One Of Us

    -crap
    Everyone produces crap now and then (I know I do), but if you put it in your demo, I know that you don't recognize it. I've hired people I've seen only 5 images and a couple of models from.

    -too much
    Some people get hundreds of applications per week during busy periods (I know I do:) and they simply don't have the time to look at tons of similar pics.

    -DVDs with a creative flash menu
    Instant trashcan transfer

    -Irrelevant material
    Don't send 47 cartoony characters if the job opening is for realistic humans...

    I'll post more after I've gone trough the next 20 CDs on my desk :)

    -Marin