View Full Version : Focus on techinacl shit of game art for reel?
I noticed Per128 comment on the thread that asked how to texture a race track, I here is my question... I graduated back in 2000 with my degree in Graphic Design, but I did my focus on 3D Animation and Game Design since I dislike Graphic Design as a profession. For the last seven years I have focused on the technical aspects of it and from reading the posts here and chatting with some of you it seems that I am wasting my time a bit trying to tailor my reel around these limitations. My question is should I show my non game art 3D skills. I know how to model environments for prerendered stuff, which may or may not work in a game engine but I have been limiting myself to what I know would work. Vertex lighting fun to use but my concern is how it's used for the game industry rather than making things look pretty in say Max or XSI.
Thoughts on what I should do to get hired full time in an established game company would be great. /images/graemlins/wink.gif I would love very much to make money doing this. Thanks.
06-15-2007, 07:35 AM
Well first rule of thumb is to simply make your stuff look awesome. If it doesn't impress, you're much less likely to be hired, regardless of tech skills. Unless you're going for a more technical job, like Technical Artist, then you'll need awesome tech skillz. /images/graemlins/smile.gif
2nd is to target your art to the job you want. Pre-rendered enviros are good to have if you're going for an enviro artist job... shows how you light a scene, how you arrange space, how you incorporate style, etc. Also shows all-around art skill (or lack thereof).
If you target a smaller company, showing a breadth of work is more helpful, since people tend to wear many hats in a small place. A bigger company will want your portfolio to be targetted specifically at the position, filled with that kind of task (enviro vs. prop vs. level design vs. character vs etc.).
A couple thoughts.
06-15-2007, 12:59 PM
A good artist is a good artist whether he uses 3 million polygons or 3 thousand. If your stuff looks good that's the most of it.
Maybe take an existing high-quality scene or piece and turn it into a next-gen asset, to show you have some familiarity with the pipeline and techniques.
If your stuff looks awesome as cinema art the studio will hire you... if your stuff is pretty good and you are competing with someone who had equal-quality game-art I would think it'd go to the guy with more experience.
If you have lots of cinema quality assets/enviros, then just turn them into game-art scenes.
Thanks for the feedback, I'll get to it and just enjoy doing some work for a change. /images/graemlins/smile.gif
06-20-2007, 01:49 AM
I generally agree with the others who have already commented here.. Technical skill is important, but it is only as important as your art skill. What I mean is that the technical side of the game industry is there to make the graphics look good at the end of the day. If your art is good in regardless of how you got to it and confine within the game's limitation, that is ideal position to be.
Today's generation games can do pretty impressive stuff so you can do so much more " cool " stuff than used to be. A character model with more than 10000 polygons are common and texture size of multiple 1024s. If you are not the real technical artsit person ( the one who go further to creat tools and scripts etc) you only need to know so much and the rest is your art creativity and looks.
Keep in mind when I refer to technical skills I'm mostly refering to the limitations found in game art, as in texture size, poly limitations, rigging limitations, and not rocket science here. /images/graemlins/smile.gif My problem is how am I supposed to make a decent reel for a company if I don't know what their game specifics are. Is making it look great regardless of game art limitations the best course of action? Or should I just pick a game like say HL2 and make models that work in that the best thing I can do for now? In case of an environment I don't yet understand to my satisfaction what the hell it is to model and texture to the grid. Does it mean that a door needs to be modeled at 128 x 32 pixels so it's texture matches perfectly? While this is a simple example and also not a big deal to learn, I just wonder what else is there that I don't know about. Whenever I get a project I ask what the specs I need to stick to are, simple as that, sometimes the person know and others it's a pain in the ass, cause they think I'm from Mars and don't know that game art has limitations. At interviews it gets awkward when I'm asked about tech because I can't say I know how to do something if I have never done it. I don't really have time to do work for fun, since I have to support myself, what else is new, and the shit job is killing me. Sometime I can't even move my hands. /images/graemlins/wink.gif But whatever I suck it up and do my best to learn to further my skills so I can get my full time job. Everything I do is geared to land me a job. However it feels like I'm getting nowhere since I don't how to do things that seem I can only be learned on the job, or maybe I already know how to do it but just worry... End cheesy sobby moment. Thanks for the feedback.
06-23-2007, 01:57 PM
Modeling and texturing "to a grid" means that the pieces of the environment you're making will snap onto a grid, so that your walls will match up nicely, as they're all multiples of .125meters or something, instead of them being random sizes. Texturing to a grid is the same thing, except with pixels, so that every 512x512 texture equals 1 square meter, etc.
The more important aspect of the "technical shit" in your demo reel isn't that you have a 5,000 triangle character with a 1024x1024 texture, but that you have effectively used every triangle in your count, and every pixel in your texture. If you aren't getting much detail out of those 5000 triangles, it will show, and if you are wasting tons of space and not putting in good details in your texture, it will show.
Looking at all the Dominance War entries for example, you can see that some people seemed to get a ton of detail and use out of the texture space and polycount, and others don't have anywhere near as much detail, because they wasted it.
People aren't going to be looking for someone who makes 7000 triangle characters, they're going to be looking for people who make use of every triangle they're given regardless as to how many they have.
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