Portfolio Do’s and Don’ts

Today I read a gamasutra article by Rachel Nador that has so many good and valid points, I just have to post it in here. Rachel is a freelance 3D artist with tons of experience, and has reviewed many portfolios. Some of the information she gives is common sense, some of it really can’t be internalized without some application experience. Here are 15 points that should be like a pattern to go by for your portfolio. I have added some personal comments beneath each point: 1. No Focus/ “Generalist” Reel. If you can actually be a generalist, that’s great. But that means you have to prove you are good at multiple things. Most student reels I see that are “generalist” in reality contain an unfocused body of work and just prove that they are bad at multiple things. Have a focus to your portfolio. Make that clear– if you want to do game environments, have a portfolio full of game environments. State this on your resume, on your web site, whatever– and then follow through. You have to understand that for the development of a game, there are many specialized people working together in a team to create the best product […]
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It’s not always easy. We all know that feeling: Everything you do seems to be exceptionally hard. You animate a sequence again and again, you do that rendering over and over and can’t get to make it look right. You stay up until 3 a.m., trying to make the perspective in that drawing look acceptable and go to bed frustrated and exhausted. That’s also the time when everything slows down: minutes turn into hours and after what seems like a fifteen hour day, you just didn’t get ANYTHING done. It’s the time when you check your email every few minutes, when you go through all those art galleries and designer blogs and tutorial websites that you bookmarked, seeking for inspiration. Which, of course, frustrates you even more, because all you accomplish is losing time and getting even less work done. Those phases come, and all creatives know them. I wanted to share with you a special letter. I found this blogpost by Austin Madison, an animator working at Pixar, where he shows a hand-written document (and how rare is that, anyway!) that he did for “The Animator Letters Project“. (Please check it out, it’s fantastic.) He writes about exactly this […]
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