View Full Version : [Portfolio] - Nicholas McBride - Animator needing critique please.
01-07-2010, 11:40 AM
Hello fellow CG junkies!
My name is Nicholas McBride and I have recently joined the Polycount ranks in hopes of becoming a better artist.
It would do me a great service if I could have my portfolio critiqued. My reel is focused primarily on animation. However, the reel does contain a character that I modeled, sculpted, textured, rigged, and animated myself. Fans of the Warcraft games will recognize it. Modeling was my first love, and probably still is. But for the time being animation is my focus.
So yeah, give it to me straight and give it to me real. I have been hunting for a job and it has proven rather difficult to trap one. Perhaps I need better bait.
Here’s a little bit about myself:
I enjoy long walks on the beach, a hot cup of cocoa in the winte….fuck that…GAMES. I enjoy…no, I love face-melting, ass-kicking games, movies and other awesome shit. Baby demon fetuses. Post nuclear mutant zombies. Interstellar leeches of…doom – I Love it. Ask me to hack a nether-spawn in two and I’ll happily skip into whatever dimension it comes from and slay it and its whole family. But DO NOT Ask me to watch a scary movie…Haha I’m a chicken shit when it comes to scary movies. For real…I won’t do it and you can’t make me.
01-07-2010, 11:50 AM
 NM I jumped too fast. Your portfolio is very scattered which is expected, I went through that phase too as a student. I'd say take the photography and drawing sections out. If you want to be an animator, I think the only sketches that should be in there are poses you're placing onto paper before you animate them. Put all your best work on the front page.
I'd be wary about having your phone number typed into your webpage. If you want to post it, I'd make it an image so it's harder to Google.
You have a lot, I mean, a lot of text for a portfolio. When you show your work, just summarize the specs of it. I wouldn't talk about what your feelings are on the project.
"Bugatti Veyron 16.4
HDR lighting and and final gathering. Polycount: 6000"
Show some of the guts, the wireframes, the uwraps etc so that people looking to hire know you're not hiding that information.
Hope that helps as a starting point.
01-07-2010, 12:06 PM
Contains content of the Wmg. Youd better dont plan on applying in germany as we cant
see your video here ^^
You've got some good stuff there - I like your animation reel, the movement is pretty fluid and has a nice bounciness to it. I'm not an animator myself, but I can usually tell poor animation, and yours isn't that :)
One thing about the mixed cut anim reel, the troll jumping down right at the start after the Think Tank logo goes away seems really jerky like it's got no interpolation or is really low FPS or something. I'd try to fix that because it was the first impression I got.
Your highpoly sculpts seem pretty good too, but I agree that your site in general is pretty scattershot and odd layout. It could be a lot neater and probably remove the drawing because it's not as good as your 3d or animation.
01-07-2010, 12:15 PM
the music. Is it meant to trick people into turning up the volume so they can hear the background beat, just so you can scare the shit out of them and rupture their ear drums with that super loud swoosh noise every 10 seconds?
01-07-2010, 12:25 PM
I got the impression it was a blog and not a portfolio and skipped over the reel posted on the first page and went hunting for the real deal. Only I found the reel of what you cut out... I don't know if other people would make that mistake but given Zilk's comments I think you might need to rethink the amount of text and the format on the first page.
I think you've got some great stuff, just need to organize.
01-07-2010, 12:40 PM
My friend Archanexx is a member here on PC and is an animator so I'm going to shoot you his site as an example.
It's clean, it's easy to navigate, it has all the stuff you *need* to see at the top and if you feel curious a bit more towards the bottom.
P.S. That's me posing in the red hat xD
01-07-2010, 04:15 PM
Awesome, thanks for the straight feed back guys it is a tremendous help.
I see what you guys are saying, it looks less like a job resume and more like a blog / art dump. I will make the site more focused on the reel and not so much a bunch or random works and what not.
@Zilk - Thanks for all the suggestions and reference for a good site layout. I am going to go through the site and clean it up a bunch.
@aesir - Haha yeah I didnt care for the music much either, it was an instructors suggestion and so it kind of stuck. I got a few mixed and middle of the road reviews about it but no one ever gave me any raw opinions on it. When I add more to my reel (hopefully sooner not later) I will use different music for sure
Question: Should I leave both cuts of my reel on the site or just one of them, and if just one....which one?
P.S. Thats me in the photography section with the pointy teeth.
Whichever instructor said that music on a website was a good idea, give them a good hard slap.
Did they not consider that many people, when browsing portfolio sites, are actually listening to their own music (or maybe just enjoy sitting in peace) and don't care in the slightest to have someone else's choice of music foisted on them without warning...
That's the thing that always gets me, for this sort of website you basically want to try not to scare people away, so you have to make it as clear, fast, uncluttered and welcoming as possible.
The first thing I do whenever I visit a website with music is to look for the button to turn it off (which is invariably a tiny little crappy Flash button in some obscure location - again, brilliant idea!)...
Sorry, ranting a bit now, don't mean to target this at you, just websites with auto-music in general :)
01-08-2010, 08:21 AM
+1 to MoP's comments about forced music on sites.
I will add that, a lot of people who review animation reels don't even hit play. They load up a few and scrub through them quickly, if they see something they like they will watch it. If there's something they think they need to hear they'll put on the headphones.
Since I review a lot of lip sync and conversational body language I keep the headphones on but the volume knob handy as I like to watch the clip without sound to see if I can pick up on what they're saying. If its good I listen to it and see how close it all matches up. Which is something a lot of animators do when they review their own dialog (turning the sound off) it gives you a great idea of exactly how your performance is going.
01-08-2010, 05:05 PM
music is fail, i hate the forced clipping noise it has
01-08-2010, 05:39 PM
Well, I plan on re-cutting my demo reel with better music and hopefully some new work after I get my site in order. Until I then which version of my Reel should I use? I have 2 different cuts, the "alternate version" has more acceptable music, but I am not sure that the way it is put together is as good as the version with the terrible music.
01-08-2010, 06:18 PM
I see no reason why you'd have two demo reels. Make one with your best stuff.
01-08-2010, 06:32 PM
I'll just cut a new one with better music.
At the moment the 2 versions contain the same content, I just cut them differently. The main version has the segments mixed together, where as the alternate version has the segments in full 1 after the other. My concern with the alternate version is that it is boring. Meh, i'll cut a new one with the best of both.
01-11-2010, 12:02 PM
New webpage is up. Check it out and tell me what you think :)
@Zilk - thanks again for providing web site reference :) it helped a lot.
01-11-2010, 01:00 PM
There we go, now we're talking about a portfolio.
01-11-2010, 01:40 PM
I love the tree at the end. very convincing anims! the goblin thing was very good too.
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