Originally Posted by yaustar
Oh, its yours... hmm this is awkward.
One thing to avoid in portfolios are cliches. In my experience, nothing turns off a viewer then seeing another 'generic space marine' or 'space fighter'. Be as original as you can and emphasise work that you have done in your own time over coursework done in education (only if it is the same level of polish).
Actually that's a bit of a misconception. When applying for a job (entry level for most people here) you want to show them the plain old things. This goes doubly for modelers. No robots or space aliens or sci-fi buildings. Instead make things that you would see every day but make them awesome. A few examples would be:
couch, table with dishes, pool table, trash can, wooden crate(you know how many of theses are needed for games!) Lamps, Toasters, Cell phones. Just model them and texture them to the tee. Specular, normals, bumps, diffuse, reflection and ray tracing. Use a skylight to light everything and make it look as real as possible.
They want to see these things because that's what an entry level modeler will be doing. It's great if you can create a transformer that has all it's parts fit perfectly together but both a transformers game and the Sims are likely to have a table in it somewhere. And somehow I don't think a company will trust a junior modeler to model Optimus Prime right off the line.
A general rule of thumb is to customize your portfolio for each job. IF your going to be doing 2d pixel art don't show off vast landscapes you created. If your applying to a company that focuses on racing games show them car models. (Pseudo interactive comes to mind)
Animators have it easy i terms of what to do. create a short 5-10 min Demo reel and show it around. This should include some sort of combat, interaction, walk/run cycles transition techniques and you can blend it into some video captured Maya work to show the technical side as well.