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DerekLeBrun 05-20-2008 10:32 AM

Portfolio Advice for 3D Modeler
I've been having trouble landing an interview with my current portfolio. I was wondering how I can improve it. I realize I need some hard surface modeling, which I am currently studying. I try to update it every few months, but I'm considering removing all of the content and replacing it with just 4 or 5 new models.

Any advice?

yaustar 05-20-2008 11:04 AM

Do you havea 'printed' (Word copy) of your resume and covering letter we could look at? Also, how many companies have you applied to? How many of those have you called back and inquired about your application?

DerekLeBrun 05-21-2008 10:25 AM

Every company I've applied for only requested either a portfolio website link, or 3 images of my work, so I have never sent a printed resume. I have used the resume on my website, and my initial email as a cover letter.

What I write depends on the company. I try to mention an ability to produce assets for games they have made in the past, or a project that I know they are currently working on. It's mostly mentioning my abilities, the school I recently graduated from, and thanking them for taking the time to look at my portfolio.

I have applied for 12 companies in my area. One company immediately replied the second I sent my application with an automated email saying they had my portfolio on file, and would contact me if interested. Another company got back to me after a few months with another automated email saying they weren't interested in me at this time. None of the other 10 companies have contacted me.

yaustar 05-21-2008 12:30 PM


Originally Posted by yaustar (Post 4204)
How many of those have you called back and inquired about your application?

This is key. You need to keep chasing up your applications to make sure you get a final answer.

Edit: A more art orientated colleague has mentioned that your portfolio is heavily reliant on ZBrush modeling and does not demonstrate typical modeling work flow in the games industry. If you look at the galleries on CGTalk and 3Dbuzz you can get a rough benchmark of the level.needed

DerekLeBrun 05-21-2008 01:31 PM

Sorry for misreading. Each of the companies I applied to were through general email addresses. I have no way of following up short of resubmitting my portfolio, or finding a general phone number for each of the companies as suggested in the article. I will try the latter before remaking my portfolio.

I feel that I am as equally proficient in 3ds Max as I am in Zbrush, and that I follow a typical game development work flow on most of my models. If my portfolio isn't conveying that, then I need to change it.

yaustar 05-21-2008 04:00 PM

Most company sites should have a contact number to call (maybe it is different in the US), if that fails then keep sending emails every several days or week till you get a response.

Definitely add some 3DS Max work as similar tools are commonly used in the industry. Wire frame renders would be useful to see how the model is constructed.

The 2D section isn't fantastic and I would remove it unless you have something much better to show.

What I didn't mention before is your resume, the sections seem to be in the wrong order. Since you are a recent graduate, your education information is most important and should be first.

Proposed order:
Work History
Software (probably should be part of skills)

Your current 'Qualifications' are not qualifications and are at best, skills. Traditional and CG Art should go into the Skills section and everything else in that list should be removed and be mentioned in the covering letter instead.

Vig 06-02-2008 08:20 AM

Follow up emails are good, calls can be a bother. Some websites state that they do not want be contacted via phone about jobs. So becareful before calling.

What I suggest for follow up emails is that before you send out the first one, have a piece ready to go up on your site but hold off from posting it. Of course make sure your portfolio is strong enough and doesn't need the peice. Then a week later post it, and send out follow up emails if any fish haven't bitten. "Hey I just updated my site and I wanted to make sure you where aware bla bla bla" That way they have something new to look at and can gage the time it took you to do something.

About your particular portfolio.
I see zero finished game art. This will hurt you. Knowing Zbrush is nice but what is critical is knowing the 3D app the company uses. Normally 3dsMax or Maya.

You need to demonstrate that you can successfully complete all the tasks they will ask of you. If you are applying for a modeling position, that means showing low poly modeling techniques, carefully unwrapped UV layouts, well painted textures and possibly a rigged/animated character. Notice that ZBrush doesn't fall into too many of those catagories and that the work you have posted is untextured, possibly unwrapped, unrigged and even the low polys are a bit high poly.

It looks like you're going for character modeling positions, which are pretty hard to come by and the competition is feierce. It seems that is mostly what schools focus on for some reason. Which is kind of wierd when the bulk of the work is often done by enviroment artists.

In short, finished game art, fully textured and if you have the know how and the time rigging and animating is great. It also helps to have examples of your models made into custom player models in popular games that support those types of things. id games, Epic games, Valve games ect...

I'd say if a place was looking for a zbrush artist you could apply with what you have but not much more outside of that, until you can demonstrate you have the other skills it takes to make game content.

Personally I think there are WAY too many character artists portfolios out there and not enough Environmental Artist portfolios. I would ballance it out and work on Environment props for a while, your chances of getting in as an enviro artist are greater because the competition is less feirce and there are more jobs available. If your heart is for doing character art, then being on the inside already will help you get there.

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